Real-time satellite tracker shows precise location of North Korea’s new satellite

December 12, 2012

North Korea's Kwangmyongsong-3 is shown somewhere over Germany. (Source: real-time satellite tracker)

North Korea's first-ever successful launch of a satellite into Earth's orbit accomplished two things for Pyongyang: It demonstrated to the world that the country is that much closer to building a nuclear-capable intercontinental ballistic missile, and it showed off the government's strength, for the benefit of North Korean citizens. But there's another, incidental effect of the launch: It's deposited a North Korean satellite into the atmosphere.

If you're so inclined, you can actually track that satellite's precise location at the Web site n2yo.com. As of this writing, the Kwangmyongsong-3 Unit 2 satellite (its name, which means "bright star," comes from a Chinese-language poem by founding North Korean leader Kim Il Sung) is soaring approximately 350 miles above Germany, moving at a rate of 4.7 miles per second. The satellite has a reported orbital period of 96 minutes, meaning that it will circle the Earth in about the time it takes to watch "Team America: World Police."

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Olga Khazan · December 12, 2012