A strange luminous phenomenon was seen in the sky of Maranhão and Tocantins, last night (29). According to experts, it was an unwanted re-entry of space into our atmosphere – perhaps a small Starlink satellite, launched in 2020.
Residents of Imperatriz (MA) and Araguaína (TO) were able to record the moment, around 11 p.m. You can see the glowing object slowly falling off, with a bluish trace, sliver and then disappearing.
Evidence that it was space junk was slow motion that lasted more than 20 seconds. The meteor will pass faster. Plane crash – some fear – too.
Jacqueline deletewho witnessed the event in Carolina (Massachusetts), but was unable to photograph it, says “It was very bright, had a larger ball and many small balls together, and it passed slowly, and from the angle I saw it was as if he was giving back to the ground”, It was unbelievable.”
She also reported seeing an orange and yellow glow in her report on exos.
If you also see or photograph this or another shiny object crossing the sky, do the same and contribute to Brazilian and international research.
Back to the atmosphere
Satellites and “falling” pieces of rockets are common in the new age of space exploration and occupy the Earth’s orbit, which is full of man-made objects.
Some of them have an expiration date, others have defects, and in the end they are re-entry – they are more or less controlled.
“With smartphones always at hand, records of objects re-entering the atmosphere, whether natural, like meteors and lightning strikes, have increased as space debris. But it’s still an interesting sight to watch,” believes Giulio Lobo, an astronomer at the Observatory. Municipality of Campinas (SP).
When reaching our atmosphere at a very high speed, they literally burn up, due to friction with the air, which leads to the generation of the phenomenon of illumination as seen yesterday in Brazil. The track colors depend on the configuration, fuel and containment of gases.
During the process, the object disintegrates, evaporates and disintegrates completely (or almost) – if particles are left to hit the ground, they are very small. Rest assured: The risk of injury or destruction from this debris is virtually non-existent.
It is clear that the object that fell over Brazil yesterday was an Internet satellite from the Starlink network, which is owned by SpaceX – the billionaire space company Elon Musk. There were expectations of re-entry last night, around the same time and place:
Satellite No. 1840 was launched on November 25, 2020, from Cape Canaveral Air Force Base, Florida (USA), in the 14th batch of the project. So far, there have been 34 launches, which have put nearly 2,000 Starlink mini-satellites into Earth orbit.
They are small, weighing about 230 kg each, and relatively fragile: a thin metal structure containing tools and solar panels. Given the orbital speed of 27,000 km/h, almost every structure completely disintegrates on re-entry.
“This satellite is very fragile, extremely thin, small and light. Hardly any part can survive the atmospheric passage. It is harmless to people on Earth. It does not have the hydrazine tanks of conventional satellites, which can actually be dangerous,” As Zorita thinks.
The only parts of Starlink that can survive re-entry are thrusters: Three ion batches, each about 10 cm long, to perform the maneuvers, made of more resistant materials. However, it is very small and the chances of falling into an uninhabited area, forest or ocean are much higher.
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