Tracking those pesky spy satellites - WSFA.com Montgomery Alabama news.

Tracking those pesky spy satellites

Next time you look up at the night sky, you may be looking at more than stars and planets. 

There is a man who has made it his mission to show people what is looking back down at them.
 
Kodak moments from the heavens above. 

After years of spy satellites zooming in, looking down on us, in matters of uh, natural security.
 
That someone is artist geographer Trevor Paglen who is opening our eyes to the other night sky, those tiny streaks of light are military spy satellites.
 
Amateur astronomers know, they've been tracking satellites for decades.

Paglen used their data to predict when these celestial objects would be overhead. 

Using a customized computer controlled telescope and camera he clicked away.

"It would be like standing on top of the Transamerica building in downtown San Francisco and trying to photograph a school bus in Los Angeles that's driving at about 3000 miles an hour," said Paglen.

He captured on film 189 reconnaissance objects and is now exhibiting a handful of them at the Berkeley art museum, making the invisible, visible to the world.

"What I want the art to do is one of the oldest tricks in the book.  It's to take something that's familiar and show that it's in fact very strange.  And I think that when you look up at the night sky, it might be a familiar sight, but in fact there's quite a bit going on there that maybe we're not always aware of," Paglen said.

To drill home that point, Paglen helped develop software that tracks and displays in real time the positions of those 186 recon satellites.

"I think this is something that people should think about.  Something that gives me pause," Paglen said.

Next time you're under the night sky look up and make sure you smile.

  • NewsMore>>

  • NFL to require all on-field players to stand for national anthem

    NFL to require all on-field players to stand for national anthem

    Wednesday, May 23 2018 12:33 PM EDT2018-05-23 16:33:08 GMT
    Wednesday, May 23 2018 12:54 PM EDT2018-05-23 16:54:05 GMT

    NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said Wednesday that players on the field who do not stand and "show respect" during the national anthem will be subject to discipline. 

    More >>

    NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said Wednesday that players on the field who do not stand and "show respect" during the national anthem will be subject to discipline. 

    More >>
  • FDA warns teething medicines unsafe, wants them off shelves

    FDA warns teething medicines unsafe, wants them off shelves

    Wednesday, May 23 2018 9:43 AM EDT2018-05-23 13:43:09 GMT
    Wednesday, May 23 2018 12:57 PM EDT2018-05-23 16:57:25 GMT
    The Food and Drug Administration said that various gels and creams containing the drug benzocaine can cause rare but deadly side effects in children, especially those 2 years and younger. (Source: FDA)The Food and Drug Administration said that various gels and creams containing the drug benzocaine can cause rare but deadly side effects in children, especially those 2 years and younger. (Source: FDA)

    The US Food and Drug Administration health is warning parents about the risks of teething remedies.

    More >>

    The US Food and Drug Administration health is warning parents about the risks of teething remedies.

    More >>
  • Pompeo 'very hopeful' N. Korea talks will still take place

    Pompeo 'very hopeful' N. Korea talks will still take place

    Wednesday, May 23 2018 12:44 AM EDT2018-05-23 04:44:27 GMT
    Wednesday, May 23 2018 12:54 PM EDT2018-05-23 16:54:10 GMT
    (AP Photo/Evan Vucci). President Donald Trump meets with South Korean President Moon Jae-In in the Oval Office of the White House, Tuesday, May 22, 2018, in Washington.(AP Photo/Evan Vucci). President Donald Trump meets with South Korean President Moon Jae-In in the Oval Office of the White House, Tuesday, May 22, 2018, in Washington.

    The June 12 summit, planned for Singapore, offers a historic chance for peace on the peninsula - but also the risk of an epic diplomatic failure that would allow the North to revive and advance its nuclear weapons program.

    More >>

    The June 12 summit, planned for Singapore, offers a historic chance for peace on the peninsula - but also the risk of an epic diplomatic failure that would allow the North to revive and advance its nuclear weapons program.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly