Re: Forced reentry of Cosmos 2495

From: Ted Molczan via Seesat-l <seesat-l_at_satobs.org>
Date: Tue, 9 Sep 2014 11:56:22 -0400
Last week, S. Yefimov, an astronomer from Kazakhstan, informed me of what
he suspected were re-entry sightings, including several videos on a space oriented web site. His initial summary:
"2 Sep 2014, 18:14 UT, Western Kazakhstan and Orenburg region (Russia), from S to N".

I saw the videos, which looked like a re-entry or slow meteor. I was unable to correlate the sightings with any objects
known to have re-entered near the date in question or that might have been close to re-entry. I do not normally follow
the Cosmos missions closely, so was unaware that Cosmos 2495 (14025A / 39732) had been due to return over the region.
Lacking other evidence, I concluded it was a slow meteor or uncatalogued orbital debris. I intended to post to
SeeSat-L, but have been busy.

Last night, I spent quite a bit of time on the U.S. fireball suspected of being Cosmos 2495, but it was only within the
past 90 minutes that I made the connection with the above sightings. The following summarizes the sighting reports
received from S. Yefimov.

This is the link to the videos:

http://vk.com/astro.nomy?w=wall-727032_48009

I have been unable to find the thread in which they were reported, probably due to my unfamiliarity with the site. Can
someone help?

In Kazakhstan it was seen at:

Uralsk   51°14? N 51°22? E

Atyrau   47°07' N 51°53' E

Kalamkas 45°20' N 51°54' E

The last known orbit of Cosmos 2495 correlates temporally and spatially with the sightings.

It was while reading the following web page that I recalled the above sightings:

http://www.spaceflight101.com/kosmos-2495-re-entry.html

I see at least the following possible explanations:

1. Cosmos 2495 re-entered normally and the U.S. fireball was a meteor.

2. Cosmos 2495 re-entered normally but left behind some debris that re-entered over the U.S.

3. Cosmos 2495 malfunctioned and made a partial de-orbit, which descended low enough to cause a fireball near perigee,
first seen over Western Kazakhstan and Orenburg region (Russia), and survived for several more revolutions before
falling in the U.S.

Let's see whether we can figure out what actually happenned.

Ted



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Received on Tue Sep 09 2014 - 10:57:09 UTC

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