Who can use this app?
Anyone on planet earth. With the release of version 2, the app is now global. It uses GPS or manual location entry outside the US or Canada.
Which satellites are included in the flyby report?
The most interesting ones! The team at spaceweather.com monitors current launch events and thousands of objects in Earth orbit to report the brightest, coolest, and most newsworthy flybys. We sort through the confusion of Earth orbit so you don’t have to.The app countdown does not exactly match the actual flyby. It’s off by minutes. What’s wrong?
If you have an iPod, it syncs its clock to your PC or Mac. The flyby app uses the iPod clock to tell you when to look. If your clock is off, your flyby countdown will be wrong. You can fix this by correcting the clock on your computer and re-syncing your iPod.”
How can I find out which satellites are currently being tracked?
All of the satellites and objects currently being tracked are listed in the “About” section of the app. You can also see the current satellite set here
How will I know if the satellite database changes?
The app uses Apple Push Notification. You will be notified when satellites are added and when interesting things are happening in the night sky.
Sometimes I don’t have any flybys in my report. What gives?
No satellites are flying directly over your location for a few days. This happens on rare occasions, and it is temporary. Wait a few days.
If I enter a latitude and longitude that are far away, the flybys are off. How can I fix that?
In “Worldwide” mode the app uses the internal timezone to calculate flybys. If you set the latitude and longitude for a far-away location, you need to also adjust the timezone accordingly in your general settings.
Why don’t I ever see the Hubble Space Telescope?
You might not live in the right place. Some satellites are visible only from low latitudes due to their orbits. The HST is one of these.
Why didn’t the app show a satellite flyby for my location that another website listed?
Because we’re smarter than they are. Our flyby prediction software uses a minimum angle of transit elevation to make sure the flyby is far enough above the horizon to be easily visible. This minimizes the risk of going out and not seeing anything.
Does the app show flybys when I am not connected to the internet?
Yes. Once the flyby schedule is downloaded, it remains on your phone and you don’t have to be on the internet to use it. However, you do have to be on the internet to download the flybys initially and to update your schedule as time goes by.
Do I have to input my location every time I use the app?
No. Once you’ve input your location, the app stores it for future updates. You can enter different locations if you’re planning to travel or want to look up flybys for a friend.
When does the app update the flybys?
Every few days and/or when you enter a new zip code and/or when the satellites change. In other words, almost constantly. The flybys schedule is never out of date. Caveat: You have to be connected to the internet to get flyby updates.
What if a new satellite shows up?
The app will update itself when new satellites are added.
Why are magnitudes brighter for lower numbers?
That’s Astronomy for ya!