The Russian satellite fell into the atmosphere and became a fireball. Many Americans saw it
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October 20, 2021, Astronomer Chris Johnson captured a picture of a Russian abandoned satellite turning into a fireball after entering the atmosphere from Fort greotte, Michigan
Jonathan McDowell, an astronomer and satellite tracker at the Harvard Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, said: “At 12:43 a.m., kosmos-2551 passed over my area, which was within the re-entry time window given by the space force, so I concluded that the fireball was kosmos-2551.”
kosmos-2551 is a reconnaissance satellite launched by Russia on September 9, but its deployment failed shortly after liftoff. The satellite has not adjusted its orbit since launch. Kosmos-2551 was expected to re-enter the earth’s atmosphere on October 20, which proved to be less than an hour short of the prediction.
kosmos-2551’s fall into the earth may not threaten any people on the ground McDowell tweeted that the satellite “is thought to weigh only 500 kilograms and no debris is expected to reach the ground” 。
on October 20, 2021, the schematic diagram of kosmos-2551 orbit and return point provided by satellite tracker
although the scene of space garbage falling into the earth’s atmosphere and turning into a fireball is spectacular, it is not particularly rare. Last year, during the launch of a Russian military satellite, the United Nations The third stage re-entry of the Soyuz rocket can see huge fireballs in the sky in some parts of Australia.
such events will become more and more common as humans put more and more satellites into orbit. This satellite boom has worried many experts, who stressed the need to take action to ensure that the problem of space garbage will not get out of control. (small)