UARS update: Falling NASA satellite caught by astronomical telescope (Video)

By on Sep 22, 2011 in Astronomy, Europe, Science, World Comments

Updated: September 23, 2011 3:00 p.m.

Read UARS falling update: NASA satellite not to fall in North America; re-enters Earth on Friday Sept 23

The falling satellite called the Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite (UARS) was recently caught by an astronomical telescope, as shown in the video below.


Falling UARS (Click Image To Enlarge)
Image Credit: Thierry Legault

As reported at on Wednesday, September 21, 2011, the falling of UARS was captured on video by astrophotographer Thierry Legault, a Paris resident, as it returns back to Earth.

“The satellite appears to be tumbling, perhaps because a collision with satellite debris a few years ago,” Legault said on the report, noting that the UARS video was taken last September 15, between 4:42 to 4:44 am (UTC).

“The variations in brightness are rapid and easily visible to the human eye.” Legault added, who used his 14-inch Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope as an automatic tracking system.

As reported earlier, NASA estimated that UARS will re-enter the Earth’s atmosphere on Friday, September 23, plus or minus one day, with the exact location still unknown.

According to NASA, the orbit of UARS was 120 miles by 130 miles (195 km by 210 km) as of Sept. 21, 2011 and the exact area where it will fall is very hard to predict.

Nevertheless, UARS debris is being expected to land within a zone between 57 degrees north latitude and 57 degrees south latitude; and will break into pieces as it re-enters the Earth.

However, NASA noted that predictions of the time period are becoming more refined as days pass by and keeps on reminding the public not to not to touch any suspected part of UARS debris.

NASA’s UARS falling from space
Video Credit: Thierry Legault

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