Reentry seen

From: Rick Baldridge (
Date: Thu Jul 06 2000 - 10:44:29 PDT

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    Here's a brief compilation of observations of the reentry seen by many Peninsula
    Astronomical Society Members and others on Saturday evening, July 1st. form
    California.  The culprit was very likely the Raduga 26 Rocket Motor, an almost 2
    ton piece of "debris".
    If anyone has any additional details (times, altitude, azimuth or stars the
    object passed, etc.) please send me an E-mail.  Was anyone lucky enough to
    photograph or video tape it?
    Rick Baldridge
    July 1, 2000
    Hi all:
    earlier tonight at 10:30pm PDT (Saturday night) all of us at Henry Coe State
    Park , (approx. 37.19, -121.49, -7 from GMT) watched a large piece of space
    debris go from one end of the sky to the other, with pieces breaking off behind
    it. There was also another straggler flying a few degrees farther back. The
    wildest stuff any of us had seen. 
    Paul Mortfield
    Went to Grant Ranch last night (37.34, -121.72), and caught a ring-side seat for
    the same show from the other side (we figured it would be visible from Coe, and
    probably the Peak... glad some other folks saw it, as I'm sure lots of folks
    won't believe it went slowly from horizon to horizon..)
    Does anyone have any idea what it was yet? Absolutely the most spectacular thing
    of that sort I've ever watched... and watched ... and watched...
    Akkana caught it in the eyepiece of her 13.1-inch, and said it was
    fragmenting off the front piece all the way, which was the naked-eye
    impression too.
    Dave North (President, San Jose Astronomical Association)
    We were up at Oakridge Observatory (37.2039, -122.0539)and saw the same object
    with at least one large piece fall off. It was absolutely fantastic! Due to its
    relatively slow speed, we thought it might be a rocket that was 
    staging from an airborne launch. Happened around 10:22 PM PDT. Perhaps 
    Rick B. can enlighten us on this when he gets back.
    Ken Lum
    Mojo and I were at Yosemite National Park with the San Francisco Amateur
    Astronomers and got to watch the horizon to horizon "fire-works" with a large
    crowd of stargazers at Glacier Point (37.71, -119.57). Mojo was lucky to have
    binoculars at the time and watched it - watched while the pieces blew off, and
    watched until the show was over.  We were of the opinion at the time that it was
    a re-entry of some man-made object.   It was way cool, that's for sure!
    Jane Houston Jones
    San Rafael, CA
    Annette and I were camped east of Mono Lake near Adobe Valley (37.93, -118.64)
    and saw it too. It was still considerably to the east of us and (I'm guessing)
    about 45 degrees up at highest pass. It appeared to go SSW to NNE. Maybe we can
    roughly calculate how high and where? My jaw dropped when I saw it!!....
    Bill Feiereisen
    On further investigation, it appears that some of you saw the Raduga 26 aux
    motor re-enter, a piece of space junk weighing 2000 kg which had been up
    there for 10 years, which re-entered a few days earlier than predicted.
    Space junk catalog or "US Space Command ID" #21025 (sounds official, doesn't
    it!), which some of you might have even seen it when it used to be an ordinary
    Fred Sammartino, PAS Member
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