Seeking 14013B re-entry sighting reports from Europe

From: Ted Molczan <ssl3molcz_at_rogers.com>
Date: Fri, 28 Mar 2014 08:42:24 -0400
USSTRATCOM reports that 14013B / 39623 (rocket body that launched Soyuz TMA-12M) re-entered today (2014 Mar 28) at 05:32
UTC, over Libya, near 31 N, 23 E. USSTRATCOM's re-entry times correspond to descent to 10 km altitude, the approximate
"toe" of any debris footprint. The visible portion of the descent will have extended several thousand kilometres prior
to that point.

14013B was on a descending pass that was visible from the western part of France and the eastern part of Spain near
05:27 UTC, just before dawn. The object may already have become incandescent, but may not yet have descended to the
altitude of final breakup, typically within several km of 78 km. So, it may have appeared as a single brilliant object,
with a meteor-like tail.

Judging by weather satellite imagery several hours later, there may have been considerable cloud in the region. I have
not seen any news reports of sightings.

A realistic evaluation of the zone of visibility could be obtained using this TLE, which has been propagated to the time
of passage over Europe, and set to ~90 km altitude:

1 70000U          14087.22777778  .00000000  00000-0  00000-0 0    07
2 70000  51.6249 139.5148 0017811  75.2753  40.4120 16.66000000    04

Ted Molczan


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Received on Fri Mar 28 2014 - 07:43:45 UTC

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