Investigating Visual Media

Satellite orbiting

Featuring a project from Quarz that visualised hundreds of active satellites orbiting the Earth on their missions to take pictures, relay communications, broadcast locations, spy on us, and even house humans.

There are more than 1,200 active satellites orbiting earth right now, taking pictures, relaying communications, broadcasting locations, spying on you, and even housing humans. Quartz took a database compiled by the Union of Concerned Scientists, and visualised each satellite orbiting as of August 21, 2014.

The satellites are sized according to their launch mass and are colored by their country, purpose (such as surveillance, communications or methereology), country, age and primary user (e.g. military, government, civil). On this Quartz's visualisation you will be able to navigate through all satellites. Click on the bubbles and get information about satellites, such as the Hubble Space Telescope launched in April 1990.

First published on October 13, 2015