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I am looking for some software that will help me figure out what different satellites are as I spot them gliding across the sky. I have tried using Stellarium, but I think the satellite package has some bugs.

The best thing would be to see just a sky map of my current location, and watching the objects move across the map in real time with what I observe in the sky.

Anyone know any options that are similar? Is Stellarium my best bet, or are there other options?

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  • $\begingroup$ Whichever program you use, it's important to regularly update its orbital elements. Most of the programs have a self-update feature, and the web-based ones will do so automatically. For visual observations by the unaided eye, generally elements less than a week old should be sufficient. $\endgroup$ – pericynthion Dec 23 '14 at 0:32
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You have several options (please note: I have not used any of these myself, thus can not verify how good they are), a directory exists on the website Satellite Related Software. for a range of platforms, this website is attached to the Visual Satellite Observer's Home Page.

Further information and links can be obtained from the linked Tracking Programs and TLE Resources page.

A recommendation is to research reviews of these programs before downloading and using them

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The list on the Visual Satellite Observer's Homepage is a good option.

I've experienced those software/web pages with a lot of fun:

Try the Heavensat tracking software (freeware) it's easy to use and you can easily download the TLE's directly with the software. Another one is Orbitron (also freeware).

On line you can try Heavens-Above.com web page or (I recommend) Celestrak.com

In any case you have to set the software/web page with your position coordinates

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Nice tracker that runs in modern browsers (that support WebGL).

Useful because you do not need to install any additional software on computer from which you are accessing it:

http://apps.agi.com/SatelliteViewer/?Status=Operational

Built by AGI as demo of their Cesium virtual globe.

Another one with more features, but less satellites built on same technology: http://www.agsattrack.com/?view=3d

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I find software on a tablet or phone to be more convenient for identifying satellites in the field; Sky Guide from Fifth Star on iOS is a treat; it identifies whatever you point the phone at and can tell you what the brightest upcoming satellite passes are.

(There's an unrelated app with the same name on Android.)

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you can use (PreviSat) you can enter your house coordinates with the help of google earth and predict when you can see the international space station,iridium flairs or track any satellite you want the program is very accurate it predict the path of the ISS that will path exactly in top of my house i could see the ISS paths directly over my house

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