Re: East coast US Fireball

Alan Pickup (
Thu, 20 Nov 1997 21:15:19 +0000

In message <>, Wayne T Hally
<> writes
>Greetings Satellite gurus;
>       A large number of reports have been received in meteor land regarding 
>a Fireball visible in the Northeast US at about 2047 LST Monday Nov 17th. 
>(0147 UT Nov 18). The descriptions could be consistent with a  
>satellite/space junk reentry. Is anyone aware of anything that might have 
>come down around this time? It was seen in Ottawa, Canada, Vermont, New 
>Hampshire, Mass, NY and NJ, and as far as I have been able to determine so 
>far was heading generally toward the south.  I'm just trying to determine 
>whether it was a natural fireball, or man made.

The Usenet reports I saw of this event implied a steep descending
trajectory in the WNW as viewed from Cambridge, MA, and a very quick
motion - hardly promising characteristics for a re-entry.

In fact, I can identify no known unclassified objects with decays within
a few hours of this time. The closest significant decay was #24749, the
Centaur 2nd stage of the Atlas 2a from the Tempo-2 launch (not "Tempo-1"
as stated incorrectly in my current SatEvo decay list), which decayed on
the 18th at around 18h UTC. Decaying on the 17th UT (well before the
fireball) were #24999 (Pegasus debris) and #25015 (Foton N11 debris),
while #23902 (Mir debris) re-entered on the 18th, I think shortly after
the Centaur.

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