Re: Decay seen from Chippenham, England

From: George Roberts (
Date: Sat Jan 14 2012 - 15:18:40 UTC

  • Next message: Marco Langbroek: "Re: Decay seen from Chippenham, England"

    That is very late at night.  Only satellites very high would be sunlit but 
    only satellites very low can "hit" the atmosphere.  So whatever it was 
    emitted light due to heating and not by being sunlit.  It still could be a 
    It couldn't have been phobos-grunt as it wasn't very close to england at the 
    time.  But the description is amazingly close to Phobos-Grunt's next pass 20 
    minutes later.  And objects in a lower orbit tend to show up sooner.  But to 
    be in the same orbit 20 minutes sooner the object would have had to 
    disconnect from P-G recently.
    Nothing else is "on the list" right now:
    But if it was as slow moving as the description sounds then it seems it had 
    been orbiting earth just before entry (whether it was a rock or space junk).
    - George Roberts
    -----Original Message----- 
    From: Bruce MacDonald
    Sent: Saturday, January 14, 2012 6:08 AM
    Subject: Decay seen from Chippenham, England
    Hello list, long time, no post!
    My friend Andy Burns in Chippenham, England (lat. 51.460 N, long. 2.122 W
    according to Heavens Above) has sent me this decay report for 20:55 UTC on
    Friday 13 January 2012:
    >Although not due to be seen tonight, at 8:55 something come in to the
    atmosphere and broke up in a shower of particles. Basic west to east
    >Mag -2 at start, up to nine parts at end. Slightly faster than ISS,
    started 35degrees up in South West went all across Southern sky max
    altitude 60degrees when due South then began to >break up, into two, then 3
    then nine. Leaving trail.
    >Could it have been reentry of Grunt???
    >Did anyone else catch this.
    Did anyone on this list in NW Europe see a decay at around this time?  This
    is a report from a credible witness (Andy is the chairman of the Wiltshire
    Astronomical Society).
    Devizes, England
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