Upcoming Satellite Re-entry

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    William Stewart

    Hi All,

    The re-entry of Chinese Rocket Booster CZ-5B R/B (ID 54217) has been making headlines today:


    though it looks like whatever survived is a plaything for fish:


    HOWEVER, there is another Chinese Rocket Booster that is currently predicted to re-enter on Saturday 05th Nov 2022 at 05:54 UTC +/- 4 hours:


    I know, you wait for a bus and then two come along at once …

    x3 passes of this booster will be above UK horizons in the early hours of Saturday morning, rising in the west and setting in the east so, skies permitting, it may be worth going out and having a look.

    The attached charts show the circumstances for my location in Cheshire.

    Pass 1 rises at 03:55:29 UTC and sets at 04:01:11 UTC. It will be low to the SE horizon.
    NB The blue line indicates that it will be in the Earth’s shadow and hence will not be visible (unless of course it is re-entering the atmosphere it which case it will look like a very slow meteor, perhaps with fragmentation).

    Pass 2 rises at 05:25:28 UTC in the SW, passes through Orion, below Gemini (through Cancer) and though Leo. Again, the blue line indicates that it will be in the Earth’s shadow and hence will not be visible (unless of course it is re-entering the atmosphere). Just after exiting Leo at 05:29:29 it will no longer be in the Earth’s shadow and hence will be become visible (assuming it’s still up there … this is a mere 25 minutes before the (currently) projected re-entry time). It will set at 05:32:10 UTC having passed just below Arcturus on the border between Bootes and Virgo.

    Pass 3: If it survives another orbit, it will rise in the west at 06:56:16 UTC, pass almost overhead then set at 07:02:55 UTC in the east. While the booster will be in sunlight for this pass, it is shortly before sunrise and hence it may not be visible in the brightening sky.

    For those further west of Cheshire, rise and set times will be earlier; for those further south, the path across the sky will be at higher elevations.

    I suspect this one will fully burn up so tin hats should not be required!

    Best regards


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