3 mins read 14 Aug 2020

Capital Space Selfies

A Satellite flying over Our Nation’s Capital will take “selfies” from space for National Science Week.

For the first time Canberran’s and those living near the Australian Capital Territory are invited out during Science Week to make signs and messages to be viewed from space! 

On Monday August 17, Wednesday August 19 and Friday August 21, a Satellite will pass over Canberra between the hours of 10am and 11am for a few minutes each time, taking images of Canberra as a digital time-capsule. 

The Satellite in question is about the size of a car and will be travelling at 26,850 kilometres per hour, 770Km above the Earth's surface. It will take an image of what is happening in Canberra at that moment. The satellite camera has a resolution of 50 cm which means 50 cm = 1 pixel. 

“So it will see Canberra but not all of the detail and your privacy will be safe.” said InspringACT

Three Satellite flyovers are being run to avoid cloud cover obstructing the picture. The clearest image with the least clouds out of the three will be processed and released on the InspiringACT website and social media in September.

Advice from the organisers is to plan to be outside for all three of the flyover days or to make something to leave out for the whole week.

The How to Guide recommends images to be: “BIG and laid flat on the ground. Each pixel needs to be 50 cm x 50 cm, so the letter 'A' for example should ideally be no smaller than 2.5 metres (5 pixels) wide and 3.5 metres (7 pixels) tall to be seen clearly in the satellite image. The bigger your sign is, the better.” 

A How to Guide with instruction and FAQ is available on the “Inspiring the ACT” website.

There are over 420,000 locals to the greater Canberra area, including the Queanbeyan, Googong, Tharwa, Yass, Murrumbateman, Sutton, Royalla, and Bungendore who will be able to participate. 

The exact time of the flyover will be released a few days before via the website and social media.

The event is part of National Science Week 2020 and the “Where You Are Festival” with support from the ACT Government. It is co-hosted by The Australian National University

ACT National Science Week has partnered with the satellite company Maxar to provide this opportunity.Inspiring Australia is a national strategy aimed at helping build connections in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Maths) fields and industries as well as to foster public participation and innovation in Science.

Video credits: Inspiring the ACT website.

Check out other National Science Week events on near you