Re: Fireball or re-entry?

Bjoern Gimle (
Sun, 21 Nov 1999 13:09:35 +0100

>Still, as I think Bjoern was hinting, I believe meteors hit the atmosphere
>much, much faster than space junk.  And therefore, it seems reasonable to
>think that they would encounter enough friction to start burning at a
>altitude where the air is thinner.  And so would be visible over a wider
>area compared to a space junk re-entry.  But I have no data on it.
>more knowledgeable.  But, it's relatively new to me, i.e., how a meteor can
>be slow moving lasting 10-30 sec.  I've never seen one like that, but
>apparently they do rarely happen, from what I've gathered.
Well, my point was that due to the lower velocity the satellites can be
glowing for many minutes, while they cover 1000-5000 km (at least if they
break into pieces), but a meteor glowing as much as 10 seconds even at 30
km/s covers less than 300 km ground track.

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