Latest update from the German Aerospace Centre: (Oct. 22, 10:45 p.m. EDT)
“On Sunday, 23 October 2011, between 1:45 UTC (3:45 CEST) and 2:15 UTC (4:15 CEST) the german ROentgen SATellite ROSAT has re-entered Earth’s atmosphere. There is currently no confirmation if pieces of debris have reached Earth’s surface.”
Where in the world is ROSAT?
It’s coming to a town near you this weekend!
Apparently, the defunct German satellite is due to fall to earth sometime this weekend. I love this paragraph: “The probability of someone in Germany being harmed is much lower: about one injury for every 700,000 de-orbit events.”
So now you know what to do… Get to Germany this weekend, fast 😀
If you want to see it up close and personal, click on this link to track ROSAT’s path online but don’t put your hopes on it being able to tell you where it will land. Just like the previous UARS satellite last month, nobody seems to know!
If like me you are in Cyprus – that path line is a little bit too close for comfort 😦
Latest Update Today (Sunday): It looks like Europe is safe from debris landing.
More photos on the Skywatcher website. Click through the photo above to visit their pages. There’s a fab statistical video on what’s likely to happen as ROSAT hits earth’s atmosphere!
The 2.4-ton Röntgensatellit, or ROSAT, has been spinning aimlessly through space for 12 years since it was switched off in 1999 after its guidance system broke.
It is now believed that pieces of space junk weighing between 300 – 400kg will smash into the planet’s surface by the end of October 2011.
ROSAT’s pieces are almost three times heavier than the biggest chunk of UARS that fell to earth on 24 September 2011.
The German Aerospace Center puts the odds of its falling satellite’s parts hurting anyone on the planet at 1-in-2,000, a bit more dangerous than the UARS 1-in-3,500 odds offered up by NASA last month.
So, get your hard hats out again and keep looking up 😀
Look out below!