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Potentially Observable Satellite Re-entry

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stewartw's picture
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Potentially Observable Satellite Re-entry

Dear All,

Len Entwisle has drawn attention to the fact that the current prediction for NORAD 8063 (Delta 1 R/B) has the reentry occurring near the British Isles.

The current estimate is 20th May 2017 at 22:48 +/- 20 hours. Note the rather large uncertainty - hence reentry might actually occur pretty much anywhere. As the time draws closer the uncertainty should decrease.

The ground track / sky track won't change that much, just the time of the pass as upper atmospheric drag slows the satellite. Attached image shows the predicted view from Cheshire. The satellite will rise in the north-north west horizon and pass into the earth's shadow just after passing north-west.

If it reenters one orbit early, it will be to far east to be readily visible from the British Isles (Scandanavia, Central / Eastern Europe and Italy will get a good view) while if it reenters one orbit later it will be out over the central Atlantic.

Obviously will keep you posted as the orbital elements are updated, the timings and hence position on the change.

Best regards

William

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stewartw's picture
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Hi All,

The uncertainty in the time of decay has reduced from +/- 20 hours to +/- 12 hours and is now predicted for 15:00 UTC on 20th May over South America ... which is not only a long way from the UK bit also during the hours of daylight.

Given the orbital period and inclination, it could still come down just about anywhere so let's see what the next update brings. 

Best regards

William

stewartw's picture
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If it's still up there ...

... which is probably isn't but if you fancy a look, latest chart attached. It will / would have entered earth's shadow at 22.49 GMT tonight.