Posted at 8:28 AM on September 26, 2011
by Paul Huttner
The UARS satellite tumbled to earth late Friday night. The question is, where did it break up and land?
According to one report on spaceweather.com, the last credible intact UARS sighting may have been over Minnesota around 9:45pm Friday night.
After that the spacecraft would have orbited around the globe and tracked from near Africa over the Indian and Pacific Ocean to Canada.
There were some sketchy but unconfirmed reports of possible sightings of debris coming down south of Calgary. This turned out to be a hoax according to local officials.
The latest NASA statement basically says they don't precisely know where UARS came down, but that if likely broke up between 10:23pm and 12:09am CDT Friday night into Saturday morning.
NASA's UARS Re-enters Earth's Atmosphere
"NASA's decommissioned Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite (UARS) fell back to Earth between 11:23 p.m. EDT Friday, Sept. 23 and 1:09 a.m. Sept. 24, 20 years and nine days after its launch on a 14-year mission that produced some of the first long-term records of chemicals in the atmosphere.
The precise re-entry time and location of debris impacts have not been determined. During the re-entry period, the satellite passed from the east coast of Africa over the Indian Ocean, then the Pacific Ocean, then across northern Canada, then across the northern Atlantic Ocean, to a point over West Africa. The vast majority of the orbital transit was over water, with some flight over northern Canada and West Africa."
Let's see if anyone can produce (real) debris this week.
If you're out in the wee hours or up before the dawn this week and skies are clear, you may want to check for northern lights.
Powerful X-Class solar flares over the weekend sent blasts solar of energy earthward.
Sunspot 1302 is active, and may trigger more Coronal Mass Ejections (CME's) this week.
The details from spaceweather.com.
"STRONG SOLAR ACTIVITY: Having already unleashed two X-flares since Sept. 22nd, sunspot AR1302 appears ready for more. The active region has a complex "beta-gamma-delta" magnetic field that harbors energy for strong M- and X-class eruptions. Flares from AR1302 will become increasingly geoeffective as the sunspot turns toward Earth in the days ahead."
Cut-Off low hangs tough: One day warm up Wednesday, nicer weekend ahead
It's a tale of two forecasts with sun & 70 in western Minnesota and clouds, cool breezy conditions and showers in the southeast.
Look for a one day warm up this week in eastern Minnesota on Wednesday when temps should manage to reach 70 degrees. For a day...before the next low brings showers and cooler weather Thursday.
The low produced some amazing watersputs over Lake Michigan near Milwaukee Saturday.
There are signs of a more sustained warm up this weekend into early next week, when temps could surge onto the 70s, with a possible shot at 80 by Sunday or Monday.
The long range maps are hinting at a possible rain event late next week, around October 6th or 7th.
Hang in there, the sun should return by Wednesday!