Author Topic: Meteors vs reentry of Space Debris  (Read 1585 times)

Offline nicp

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Meteors vs reentry of Space Debris
« on: 11/23/2023 06:03 pm »
Just now (18:31UTC 2023/11/23, Farnborough, Hampshire, England) I saw a bit of space junk re-enter. Roughly south to north.
It wasn't especially bright and was slow compared to natural meteors - some of which are so fast you can barely get your eyes to them before they are gone. Note that this bit of the south of England has strong light pollution.

This lasted a good 2 or 3 seconds after I got my eyes to it - so given the time it must have taken me to react and focus call it 5 seconds. There was a dim blue core to it and yellow orange 'sparky bits' around it - resembling the famous video of the Hayabusa reentry (see YouTube) in 2010(?) but much dimmer.

It was relatively dim, certainly in comparison to another I saw 10 or 12 years ago - by coincidence from near enough the same spot. That one was north->south.

That older one was brighter and more strongly resembled (though much dimmer) the Hayabusa re-entry footage.

I suppose my question is 'is there any possibility of identifying what satellite/item this was?'
I am guessing no, because of the amount of junk up there, but of course anything particularly substantial is tracked.

Are there websites or other resources out there that might predict when something worth looking out for might be reentering over a particular locality? (And I don't mean the breathless idiotic mainstream press).

Thanks.
Nic

EDIT: I am guessing what I saw both tonight and on the previous occasion was relatively small and lightweight but I don't know. Is there any way of estimating mass and/or density? I would guess both were relatively robust (dense?), because the core on both occasions remained intact for some seconds.

EDIT2: I decided this is a bloody stupid question and I tried to delete it but can't. Moderators?
« Last Edit: 11/23/2023 06:44 pm by nicp »
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Offline laszlo

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Re: Meteors vs reentry of Space Debris
« Reply #2 on: 11/24/2023 10:11 am »
...

EDIT2: I decided this is a bloody stupid question and I tried to delete it but can't. Moderators?

I don't see anything at stupid about your questions and I hope your post is not deleted.

Offline nicp

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Re: Meteors vs reentry of Space Debris
« Reply #3 on: 11/24/2023 10:56 am »
...

EDIT2: I decided this is a bloody stupid question and I tried to delete it but can't. Moderators?

I don't see anything at stupid about your questions and I hope your post is not deleted.
When something really substantial is predicted to re-enter and perhaps makes the news, the predictions of exactly when this will happen aren't much better than say within a particular hour. This puts the location of the re-entry anywhere on a line thousands of miles long.
So I realized my second question (predicted re-entries to look out for) isn't exactly smart.
My first question - can I identify what I saw - is for similar reasons (and the fact there is so much junk up there as I mentioned) really not likely either.
Best to think a little more before posting perhaps. I blame two pints of Guinness. :-)

Nic
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