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Thread: Massive X-ray Satellite Set to De-orbit

  1. #1
    Elite Member Kat Scorp's Avatar
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    Default Massive X-ray Satellite Set to De-orbit

    Yes, another one. Forecast rainy with a chance of molten steel... so wear a hat.

    ROSAT RE-ENTRY: The ROSAT X-ray observatory, launched in 1990 by NASA and
    managed for years by the German Aerospace Center (DLR), will return to Earth
    within the next two weeks. Current best estimates place the re-entry between
    Oct. 22nd and 24th over an unknown part of Earth. ROSAT will produce a
    spectacular fireball when it re-enters, but not all of the satellite will
    disintegrate. According to the DLR, heat-resistant fragments as massive as
    1.7 tons could reach Earth's surface. Check SpaceWeather.com -- News and information about meteor showers, solar flares, auroras, and near-Earth asteroids for
    more information.

    LAST-CHANCE SIGHTINGS: As ROSAT slowly descends it is growing brighter.
    During favorable passes, the satellite can now be seen shining as brightly
    as a first magnitude star in the night sky. Local flyby times may be found
    using SpaceWeather's Satellite Tracker: Spaceweather.com's Simple Satellite Tracker: International Space Station, spy satellites, Hubble Space Telescope .
    Or turn your smartphone into a ROSAT tracker using our Simple Flybys app:
    Simple Flybys for iPhone and iPod Touch .

    Check SpaceWeather.com -- News and information about meteor showers, solar flares, auroras, and near-Earth asteroids for more information


    I use heavens-above.com to track ROSAT, but it wont be visable here until 4am on the morning of the 24th (if it hasn't dropped till then). *sadface*
    Tiene razon, y gracias por su opinion. Now go fuck yourself.

  2. #2
    Elite Member darksithbunny's Avatar
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    So is this one bus size too?

  3. #3
    Elite Member Kat Scorp's Avatar
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    From wikipedia

    ROSAT is expected to re-enter the Earth's atmosphere between October 21 and 23 2011. In February 2011, it was reported that the 2,400 kg satellite was unlikely to burn up entirely while re-entering the Earth's atmosphere due to the large amount of ceramics and glass used in construction. Parts as heavy as 400 kg could impact the surface intact.[1]
    ROSAT is one of the satellites that amateur astronomers say is pretty damn bright and easy to make out due to the size and reflective material. It throws off lots of many flares (bursts of reflected sunlight).

    Of course, now that I want to post a pretty pic of ROSAT taken from the backyard telescope... I can't find the fucker. But this vid (not a youtube vid - it's owned by spaceweather.com) shows you how bright the satellite is normally. So I'm hoping to see better pics of it in lower atmospere than we got (didn't get) with the last one.

    http://spaceweather.com/swpod2011/15oct11/rosat.wmv

    Remember how the last satellite sparked a little controversy because of the millionth of a chance it could fall on someone? Well, after it crashed, the NASA people sent a tweet out that said "everybody okay?" Cute.
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  4. #4
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    I think this is it!

    Surprised we do not hear more about space junk, our orbit is littered with it! It is a shame.


  5. #5
    Elite Member Kat Scorp's Avatar
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    Yep BT, that's ROSAT but an artist's rendering. I swear that there are lovely photos taken by amateur astronomers through their telescope lenses, but I deleted the page from my favourite's list.

    You're absolutely right about the damn space junk up there. NASA was doing a pretty good job at minimising the clutter, but then the Chinese Government did some surface to air rocket test above the atmosphere and ended up doubling the amount of space junk wizzing around up there. Must find that link too. Ack.
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    Elite Member Brookie's Avatar
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    I sit outside a lot on nice summer evenings, recline the lawn chair and look up at the stars (I'm a space junkie). You'd be surprised what you can catch flying over if you keep a sharp eye - all kinds of junk.
    Life is short. Break the Rules. Forgive Quickly. Kiss Slowly. Love Truly.
    Laugh Uncontrollably. And never regret ANYTHING that makes you smile.

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  7. #7
    Elite Member Kat Scorp's Avatar
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    Brookie, you've a good chance of seeing the ROSAT brighten in it's last couple of days of orbit; it will glow like a mag-1 star. Lucky bugger, I live near an industrial area and seldom see anything thanks to the light pollution.
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  8. #8
    Elite Member Kat Scorp's Avatar
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    Sorry for the DP, but ROSAT has entered the atmosphere.


    Defunct satellite enters Earth's atmophere | News.com.au



    A DEFUNCT satellite is hurtling towards the atmosphere and pieces of it are expected to crash to earth within hours, the German Aerospace Centre says.

    The x-ray observatory, named ROSAT, made its re-entry between 5.45PM AEDT and 6.15PM AEDT on Sunday, the German Aerospace Centre (DLR) said in a statement.

    "There is currently no confirmation if pieces of debris have reached Earth's surface," the statement added.

    According to estimates cited last week, as many as 30 individual pieces weighing a total of 1.7 tonnes could reach the surface of the Earth.

    But Andreas Schuetz, spokesman for the DLR, said they would have to "wait for data in the next days" to know when and where the debris could fall.Pieces of the ROSAT scientific research satellite hit before 4.30pm today (AEDT), according to the agency.

    Most parts of the minivan-sized satellite were expected to burn up during re-entry into the atmosphere but up to 30 fragments weighing 1.7 metric tons could crash into earth at speeds up to 450km/h.

    The satellite orbits every 90 minutes and it could hit almost anywhere along its path - a vast swath between 53-degrees north and 53-degrees south that comprises much of the planet outside the poles, including parts of North America, South America, Europe, Africa and Asia.

    "According to the data we currently have, we expect it not to hit over Europe, Africa or Australia," agency spokesman Andreas Schuetz said.

    "The satellite is still orbiting and we are observing the data for other parts of the world," he added.

    Fluctuations in solar activity and the fact that scientists are no longer able to communicate with the dead satellite render predictions of where and when it will come down yet more difficult.

    The scientific ROSAT satellite was launched in 1990 and retired in 1999 after being used for research on black holes and neutron stars and performing the first all-sky survey of X-ray sources with an imaging telescope.

    The largest single fragment of ROSAT that could hit into the earth is the telescope's heat-resistant mirror.

    A dead NASA satellite fell into the southern Pacific Ocean last month, causing no damage, despite fears it would hit a populated area and cause damage or kill people.

    Experts believe about two dozen metal pieces from the bus-sized satellite fell over an 800km span of uninhabited portion of the world.

    The NASA climate research satellite entered earth's atmosphere generally above American Samoa. But falling debris as it broke apart did not start hitting the water for another 480 kilometres to the northeast, southwest of Christmas Island.

    Earlier, scientists had said it was possible some pieces could have reached northwestern Canada.

    The German space agency puts the odds of somebody somewhere on Earth being hurt by its satellite at 1-in-2000 - a slightly higher level of risk than was calculated for the NASA satellite. But any one individual's odds of being struck are 1-in-14 trillion, given there are 7 billion people on the planet.

    Hope some people upload good vid of ROSAT to YouTube.
    Tiene razon, y gracias por su opinion. Now go fuck yourself.

  9. #9
    Elite Member Brookie's Avatar
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    Of everything NASA scientists have figured out, they can't arrange it so that satellites disintegrate before they have a chance to re-enter the atmosphere and possibly do damage somewhere?

    Kat - I'll be looking for this sucker; it's been cloudy here lately so I just need a good clear night. Hopefully, it won't be skimming the neighborhood trees when I spot it.
    Life is short. Break the Rules. Forgive Quickly. Kiss Slowly. Love Truly.
    Laugh Uncontrollably. And never regret ANYTHING that makes you smile.

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