Tracking satellites in orbit with your Apple Mac

January Clearance Blowout ends 1/14“Have you ever tried to track a near earth moving object in a telescope? In a word, don’t,” Jeffrey Mincey reports for

“Google brought me to Freefall, a Mac and Windows application that, well, tracks satellites all over the earth,” Mincey reports. “What’s special about Freefall, besides the drop dead simple interface and easy search capability, and the fact that it makes my new Mincey Family Telescope a big paperweight with a lens, is the view.”

Mincey reports, “I was trying to view satellites from my telescope here on earth; no mean feat. Freefall [US$34.95] lets you view a bunch of satellites from the view of space—looking earthward from the sky, above the satellites—right on your Mac’s screen.”

Full article, with more info and screenshots, here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Fred Mertz” for the heads up.]


  1. Who would try to track a fast moving faint object with an insanely narrow field-of-view instrument like a telescope? No amateur astronomer I know. Binocs or naked eye, yes. But a telescope? Huh??

    As far as “seeing” satellites on your computer screen, that’s a little like saying you can see pictures of Venice on your computer screen, why go there? It’s missing the point.

    Save the $34.95 (?!?). Go to for free, and let it tell you when and where to look to see all kinds of drifting, gloriously visible-to-the-naked-eye space toys and junk. The real things, not simulations of them.


  2. Well, any of the Meade ETX-series telescopes, which come with cute little motor drives, will track satellites. You can enter the ephemeris data, and once the scope is aligned correctly, you wait for the satellite to enter the field of view, press enter, and VROOM (or, more like, “click, whirr, whirr) – off it goes, tracking your favorite article of space junk across the sky. Pretty cool, and not bad for something you can get for a couple of Benjamins. (for the ETX-80, which is a refractor; the ETX-90, which is a Maksutov-Cassegrain, is about $500).

    MDN word: income. Appropriate, somehow.

  3. Salelite tracking app with USB to rs232 to survo wide field lens, attached slr camera. Would also like motion detection and the ability to add un tracked objects to software to record obit time and capabilities. India have anounced they want to deploy satelite killer.

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