Reply To: Possible visibility of Virgin Orbit launch from the UK on January 9th

Home Forums General Discussion Possible visibility of Virgin Orbit launch from the UK on January 9th Reply To: Possible visibility of Virgin Orbit launch from the UK on January 9th

#615033
Dr Paul Leyland
Participant

The attached plot should allow you to determine the visibility at your location. Use the ground track and launch profile plots to determine the altitude and great circle distance from your observing site and the curves show how far above the horizon the launcher will be. For example if it is 1000 km away and 150 km in altitude it will be around 4 degrees above your horizon.

First stage burnout (MECO) is at around 180s and occurs at an altitude of around 75km. For the far southwest tip of Cornwall the ground track shows a great circle distance of around 450km. This corresponds to an elevation of around 10 deg above the horizon so the first stage should be visible from Cornwall if the weather cooperates. The visibility from SW Ireland is similar.

If anyone gets any video or images please send them to me. I can include them in the Sky Notes at the next meeting.

If I understand the map and your plot, the launcher should be coming up from the northern horizon and reach almost the zenith from here in La Palma. The north horizon is obscured to some extent (I am due south of El Roque) but I will see what can be seen.