Mir reentry video

From: Thomas A. Troszak (tom@bullhammer.com)
Date: Fri Mar 23 2001 - 06:44:22 PST

  • Next message: Matthew.Fawcett@eastriding.gov.uk: "re: MIR rentry speed"

    Having seen the Mir reentry video on CNN last night, it becomes apparent
    that the debris passed across the entire field of view in about 15
    seconds (I didn't actually time it yet), MUCH faster than a typical
    "fast satellite" pass.
    I have seen a fireball which took 4 - 6 seconds to cover half of the
    visible sky, and was told by many people that it "was too fast for a
    satellite reentry". I guess when reeaally big pieces such as Mir get
    down below 60 km altitude they are still going several km/sec and would
    be VERY similar in appearance (transit speed-wise) to a smaller, higher,
    and much faster meteors.
    I guess now the only way to tell a natural fireball from a man-made one
    will be a careful scrutiny of the possible reentry candidates for the
    location and time and direction, but to me it will no longer be possible
    to dismiss all "fast fireball" reports as natural phenomenon.
    Tom Troszak, Asheville, NC, USA
    35.601 N, -82.554 W
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