RE: [Feedback] Screen Capture of radar image of UARS re entry

From: Ted Molczan (
Date: Sun Sep 25 2011 - 04:07:56 UTC

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    Chip Sufitchi wrote:
    > Someone sent me this image:
    > Any thoughts are welcome.
    It is a frame from the display of an Environment Canada weather radar, located in Southern Alberta, near Calgary. Here
    is a better reproduction:
    Some folks have speculated that the streak on that frame is related to the final descent of UARS. I disagree for two
    The first problem is the time, 05:30 UTC. Had UARS survived past USSTRATCOM's predicted decay time of 04:16 UTC, then it
    would have passed through the area near 04:18 UTC. Had it survived for another revolution, its next pass over N. America
    would have begun near 05:47 UTC, on a track far to the north of the area covered by the radar in question. There is no
    way to place UARS in that location at 05:30 UTC. Anyone wishing to claim that the streak on the radar was from a
    break-up on a pass at 04:18 UTC, would need to explain why it was detected only on a single frame, as well as the lack
    of witnesses, which is my second point of disagreement.
    Decays are visually spectacular, and there are millions of potential witnesses in the area, many of whom would have been
    out and about, late on a Friday evening, before midnight. For example, had the pass occurred at the typical break-up
    altitude - about 80 km, Calgary - population 1 million - would have had about a 60 deg elevation pass, and Seattle -
    pop. 3.7 million - would have had a 40 deg pass. To my knowledge, there has not been a single confirmed sighting.
    SeeSat-L received at least three reports from observers in the area, who knew where to look (I know, because I
    communicated with two of them directly), and they saw nothing.
    Ted Molczan
    Seesat-l mailing list

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