Spacecraft burn/propellant dump at 23:06 UT, 2022-04-29

Forums General Discussion Spacecraft burn/propellant dump at 23:06 UT, 2022-04-29

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    Nick James

    Denis Buczynski, Alex Pratt and others reported a circular cloud moving to the north last night at 23:07 UT. My video from Chelmsford is here:

    There was a Falcon 9 launch from Florida last night injecting Starlink satellites into a 53 deg orbit and later there was a second stage de-orbit burn but this observation doesn’t seem to be consistent with that. It is a bit of a coincidence though and I don’t know what else it could be.

    On my all sky camera this starts out as a very bright point moving out of shadow and then expands into a fuzzy disk with a point in the centre.

    Dr Paul Leyland

    On Twitter Martin Lewis asked about this event. The thread is available at suggests that it may have been a fuel dump from Cosmos 2555 as the orbit tallies rather closely.

    Nick James

    Cees Bassa responded to my video pointing to this tweet from Jonathan McDowell:

    It was the de-orbit burn for the Angara AM second stage launched from Plesetsk yesterday.

    • This reply was modified 2 years ago by Nick James.
    Nick James

    Paul, yes that’s the one.

    Jim Latham

    I also saw this from North Wales – an extraordinary thing to witness. Thanks all for the information.

    Rob Januszewski

    I was fortunate to observe this too, wondered what I was witnessing but guessed it was a satellite burn/launch.

    David Strange

    My daughter (non-astronomer) saw and picked up this this circular cloud during twilight on 21st April 21.31h BST moving eastwards across the sky. I guess it was also a fuel dump, but much more entertaining to suggest it was a toilet dump from the ISS!


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