Episode 14: How to Track Your Satellite and Other Astronomy Lessons


How do you track a satellite? How reliable is its re-entry into the atmosphere? And how do we know what is happening in space?

Dr Jonathan McDowell, astronomer at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, talks to us about orbital profiles, space debris, and just how crowded LEO (lower Earth orbit) is getting these days. We discuss re-entry into the atmosphere, how mega-constellations might challenge our previous assumptions about the atmosphere, and how X-ray telescopes are helping us explore space.

War in Space Podcasts

Space is becoming increasingly congested, contested and competed over. It has never been so easy – or so cheap – to launch a satellite into orbit. With space activity proliferating, its impact on national security has grown too: space assets are becoming vulnerable and space debris is becoming increasingly dangerous. War in Space is a series of interviews with experts in space and defence that will analyse the intersection of space and national security, unravelling the technical jargon that so often accompanies these discussions and explaining why space matters for our everyday lives and security.


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Juliana Suess

Research Analyst and Policy Lead

Military Sciences

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