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UPDATE on Satellite re-entry September 23, 2011

Posted by jcconwell in satellites.
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Fri, 23 Sep 2011 06:30:46 PM CDT

As of 7 p.m. EDT on Sept. 23, 2011, the orbit of UARS was 90 miles by 95 miles (145 km by 150 km). Re-entry is expected between 11 p.m. Friday, Sept. 23, and 3 a.m., Sept. 24, Eastern Daylight Time (3 a.m. to 7 a.m. GMT). During that time period, the satellite will be passing over Canada, Africa and Australia, as well as vast areas of the Pacific, Atlantic and Indian oceans. The risk to public safety is very remote.


Happy Equinox! September 23, 2011

Posted by jcconwell in Astronomy, satellites.
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Here in Charleston the forecast is cloudy with a small chance of late falling  satellite debris.

What a fragment might look like as it enters the Earths atmosphere. APOD: Credit & Copyright: Howard Edin (Oklahoma City Astronomy Club)

In case you haven’t heard, the NASA UARS (Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite) is expected to re-enter Earth’s atmosphere late evening GMT on September 23 or early morning on September 24. It is about the size of a city bus, so some of the denser parts made of Beryllium and Titanium are expected to survive.

Computer simulations estimate about two dozen fragments weighing from 10 to several hundred pounds are expected to hit the Earth.  Now they won’t hit at orbital speeds of 17,000 mph, but some fragments might be traveling up to 200 mph when they hit the ground.

Right now, the Center for Orbital and Reentry Debris Studies lists the projected re-entry time as 03:16 on Sept. 24, plus or minus 5 hours.  September 24, 2011 at 03:16 UTC ± 5 hours; or September  23, at 10:16 PM ± 5 hours Central Daylight Time