Solar Minimum is a Terrible Time to Blow Up a Satellite

Spaceweather.com

April 3, 2019: Note to space powers: If you’re going to blow a satellite to bits, solar minimum is a terrible time to do it. India is grappling with this important truth today as debris from their March 27th anti-satellite weapons test spreads through space. As many as 6,500 pieces of the Microsat-R Earth observation satellite are now circling Earth, according to a simulation created by Analytical Graphics Inc.:

During solar minimum–happening now!–Earth’s upper atmosphere cools and contracts, sharply reducing aerodynamic drag that causes satellites to decay. Indeed, in 2019 the temperature of the thermosphere is close to a Space Age record low. This could double or triple the time required for fragments of the shattered satellite to sink into the atmosphere and disintegrate. Small fragments in high orbits may remain aloft for years, circling the planet like tiny bullets traveling 17,000 mph.

This event brings to…

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Solar Minimum is a Terrible Time to Blow Up a Satellite

Spaceweather.com

April 3, 2019: Note to space powers: If you’re going to blow a satellite to bits, solar minimum is a terrible time to do it. India is grappling with this important truth today as debris from their March 27th anti-satellite weapons test spreads through space. As many as 6,500 pieces of the Microsat-R Earth observation satellite are now circling Earth, according to a simulation created by Analytical Graphics Inc.:

During solar minimum–happening now!–Earth’s upper atmosphere cools and contracts, sharply reducing aerodynamic drag that causes satellites to decay. Indeed, in 2019 the temperature of the thermosphere is close to a Space Age record low. This could double or triple the time required for fragments of the shattered satellite to sink into the atmosphere and disintegrate. Small fragments in high orbits may remain aloft for years, circling the planet like tiny bullets traveling 17,000 mph.

This event brings to…

View original post 195 more words

Nuke Sensors Detect Asteroid Explosion

Spaceweather.com

June 25, 2019: On June 22nd at 21:25 UT, a small asteroid entered Earth’s atmosphere and exploded in broad daylight south of Puerto Rico. Airwaves recorded by the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty Organization’s infrasound station in Bermuda pegged the blast energy between 3 and 5 kilotons of TNT–a fraction of a WW II atomic bomb. The explosion was clearly visible in images from NOAA’s GOES-16 weather satellite:

bolide_stripThis movie combines data from GOES-16’s Global Lightning Mapper and water vapor infrared spectrometer

Meteor expert Peter Brown of the University of Western Ontario says the infrasound signal is consistent with a “small multi-meter sized near-Earth asteroid.” According to data compiled by NASA’s Center for Near Earth Object Studies, asteroids of this size and energy hit Earth’s atmosphere about once a year. That means it’s rare–but not exceptionally so.

The asteroid fragmented as it ripped through the atmosphere. This infrared image from…

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