Canaveral Launch Success! (see comment 649)

By: LowerCal , 10:19 PM GMT on August 15, 2011

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On the east side of the Sea of Cortez (Gulf of California) is a circular area of low clouds rotating counterclockwise. High clouds above it are moving clockwise. Deep convection is bursting near the center.

UPDATE: A satellite loop of the system described is in comment 1. Similar systems continue to appear. Below I've added self updating satellite images and surface maps of the area.

I'll add loops of similar systems that I see to the comments. Currently there are loops in comments 1 and 7.

Click on image for loop.


Click on image for loop.




Click on image for loop.







Locations of Visitors from the Past 24 Hours
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Grail Moonbound (Skyepony)
Last launch of a Delta II after 22 years. It was a Heavy so the sound rolled on a while. It is carrying twin satellites that are headed to survey The Moon. Beautiful launch NASA!
Grail Moonbound
Grail Moonbound on the last Delta II (Skyepony)
Last launch of a Delta II after 22 years. It was a Heavy so the sound rolled on a while. It is carrying twin satellites that are headed to survey The Moon. Beautiful launch NASA!
Grail Moonbound on the last Delta II
Precision (anvilhead)
A Super Scooper Fixed Wing Aircraft Makes A Water Drop Directly Behind A Home At The Wagon Fire.
Precision
Sunset Allure (anvilhead)
Sunset Allure
Development Of A Severe Thunderstorm (anvilhead)
I watched this storm develop for about an hour before it slowly bled off the mountains and turned severe in the Santa Clarita Valley. 60+ mph winds and dime sized hail. Wild weather day here !
Development Of A Severe Thunderstorm
Waxing Gibbous Moon (Ralfo)
Full Moon on 10,11,11
Waxing Gibbous Moon
Cagtripodi Sun Spots (Ralfo)
Mr. Cagtripodi discovered these sunspots on the Sun today from Italy as shown here earlier before on this site. This is a picture angled from Yonkers, N. Y. USA. All credit and thanks Must go to Mr. Cagtripodi for making us aware of the phenomena
Cagtripodi Sun Spots
Port St. John Fl. (joebed)
Atlas 5
Port St. John Fl.
Longs Peak beneath the lunar eclipse (PCG)
The moon is nearing entirely in the Earth's shadow as Longs Peak sits below.
Longs Peak beneath the lunar eclipse
()
Moonset (mcgino)
Another near infrared image. The bright part of the mountain is bright because it is covered in snow still.
Moonset
Almost Gone (MikePic)
Almost Gone
From the NW (kippic)
The clouds moved in and covered the moon just after I took this shot. Everett, WA
From the NW
Full Lunar Eclipse (catilac)
I had to bundle up this morning as temps were in the teens..
Full Lunar Eclipse
éclipse lunaire (anvilhead)
Over the Santa Clarita Valley
éclipse lunaire
Winter Solstice – The Shortest day of the Year (Ralfo)
Every Year on the Winter Solstice for many years now I have taken the Sunrise. It is always in the same spot behind that Evergreen Tree. This year there are some clouds but you can still see the Sun Blazing through. Today is the shortage amount daylight. The Good News! We will start picking up daylight from now on! Happy Holidays, Make it The Best Ever! P.S. In the Northern Hemisphere the Winter Solstice starts: Dec. 22, 12:30 A.M. EDT (05:30 UT*), Sun enters sign of Capricorn; winter begins.
Winter Solstice – The Shortest day of the Year
Quadrantid meteor (LaddObservatory)
A very bright meteor from the Quadrantids at 3:00:08 am EST captured by the wide field sky camera on the roof of Ladd Observatory.
Quadrantid meteor
Delta 4 Rocket Launch (Skyepony)
Delta 4 rocket launching the Air Force's Wideband Global SATCOM 4 military communications satellite.
Delta 4 Rocket Launch
Because the night belongs to lovers. (Altred)
Because the night belongs to lovers.
Natures night lite. (johngomes)
Not the best due to all the local light pollution but still better than a black sky. It was approximately 5 below with a slight wind while waiting for the lights to appear.
Natures night lite.
Green and clean. (Altred)
Green and clean.
Final Shuttle Launch (Skyepony)
I did this in Charcoal. It is ~6"X8". It should be the first in a series of three.
Final Shuttle Launch
Discovery Launch STS-120 (Skyepony)
I did this in pen & ink it is STS-120 Discovery, launched on October 23, 2007. It's ~6
Discovery Launch STS-120
Tonights Moon (Ralfo)
Full Moon Tomorrow. 2/7/12.
Tonights Moon
STS-1 (Skyepony)
I did this in pencil.
STS-1
Atlas V (Skyepony)
Atlas 5 rocket launching the Navy's MUOS 1 mobile communications satellite.
Atlas V

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Missed us here by, we'll, this much I'd say.

...yeah, datz da ticket.



Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 424 Comments: 128347
Karen Thanks for the heads up on Plastiki. The marine layer hasn't shown any sign of cracking here yet. :^/

ycd The NASA audio briefing on UARS satellite reentry is live now.
Member Since: July 26, 2006 Posts: 58 Comments: 9172
A commenter on CBC online news says: southern Alberta. Who knows yet
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Glad I didn't wait up for anything. We watched a so-so movie instead. It's drizzly this morning, but I'm heading to the pool anyway. Hope to ride over to see the Plastiki ship which is moored off the Long Beach shore next to the Belmont Pier. Hope we get a least a little less marine layer so pictures turn out. It's very, very gloomy here now!
Member Since: February 21, 2005 Posts: 195 Comments: 14560
UARS Mission Updates
Update #15
Sat, 24 Sep 2011 12:46:42 AM PDT

NASA’s decommissioned Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite fell back to Earth between 11:23 p.m. EDT Friday, Sept. 23 and 1:09 a.m. EDT Sept. 24. The Joint Space Operations Center at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California said the satellite penetrated the atmosphere over the Pacific Ocean. The precise re-entry time and location are not yet known with certainty.
....
Member Since: July 26, 2006 Posts: 58 Comments: 9172
sp No, I haven't looked for Trusty Comet Garradd yet but it's close to New Moon now so I will on the first clear night. It's certainly worth a try although easier from a dark sky site. Find its info in "Current comet magnitudes ...." at the BAA Comet section.
Member Since: July 26, 2006 Posts: 58 Comments: 9172
Spaceflight Now | Breaking News | UARS Re-entry Updates
0720 GMT (3:20 a.m. EDT)
NASA just announced that the Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite has fallen out of orbit, but the space agency still doesn't know exactly when or where.

"NASA's decommissioned Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite fell back to Earth between 11:23 p.m. EDT Friday, Sept. 23 and 1:09 a.m. EDT Sept. 24. The satellite was passing eastward over Canada and Africa as well as vast portions of the Pacific, Atlantic and Indian oceans during that period. The precise re-entry time and location are not yet known with certainty."

0706 GMT (3:06 a.m. EDT)
A NASA spokesman just tweeted: "As we thought, a lot of hoax data and false info going viral. We'll have an official update soon."
....
Member Since: July 26, 2006 Posts: 58 Comments: 9172
Hmm, using Heavens-Above I don't find any near passes of Calgary or Alberta around the time of supposed reentry.

I'm going to read Finn's neutrino article and check up on the visibilty of Comet Garrod? for sp while I wait for more news.
Member Since: July 26, 2006 Posts: 58 Comments: 9172
Finn Pleasant dreams. 3^)
Member Since: July 26, 2006 Posts: 58 Comments: 9172
OK, thanks :) Hope it fell in the woods... Good night!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Finn I don't see anything in that loop but a brief false echo to the SW.
Member Since: July 26, 2006 Posts: 58 Comments: 9172
Can you see if it was caught on radar HERE if you animate it. I don't understand the radar function
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Tweets say it it came down in Calgary, Canada.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
"We expect that the debris has landed by now," NASA said on its Facebook page at about 1:30am ET. "We're just waiting to get confirmation of where from the U.S. Strategic Command that keeps an eye on space debris."
Member Since: July 26, 2006 Posts: 58 Comments: 9172
Finn I just checked CNN with sound off and the closed captions on. They're just replaying Anderson Cooper 360.
Member Since: July 26, 2006 Posts: 58 Comments: 9172
At the moment the top news out of Edmonton is... hockey.
Member Since: July 26, 2006 Posts: 58 Comments: 9172
They said 2 hours ago that NASA would confirm "shortly" if it's still up or down. I can't find updates and don't want to open CNN to wake up hubby...
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Finn That's where it would be if it is still in orbit. It seems that NASA is implying that UARS is not in orbit and they are just trying to pin down the reentry location but I'm not sure of that.

Member Since: July 26, 2006 Posts: 58 Comments: 9172
Now it's heading towards Africa... The Cape Verde Islands must have seen a great show :)
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Yeah, you don't disregard Einstein lightly :)

I'm watching UARS LIVE, looks like it's over Canada... ???
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Finn It's been speculated for years that that might be possible. A lot more physicists are going to have to check that for themselves though. ;^)

CybrTeddy So it might be a sighting first after all. If so there's probably video too. :^)
Member Since: July 26, 2006 Posts: 58 Comments: 9172
It appears at this time UARS has indeed re-entered the Earth's atmosphere, awaiting official conformation. FWIW, UARS was deployed by Discovery on STS-48, so yet another piece of the shuttle program gone.

RT @SpaceflightNow: NASA says the agency is working to confirm the #UARS satellite re-entry location and time. http://t.co/KK9C6xEs
NaN days ago
RT @SPACEFLIGHT101: Indications are that UARS is down following its last perigee. Waiting for official words. #UARS


Reports that Edmonton, Canada witnessed a breakup around the time UARS would have passed over them.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Hi Cal, check this out, really cool stuff. I've been waiting for the results for months...
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
NASA - UARS
Update #13
Fri, 23 Sep 2011 09:55:17 PM PDT

As of 10:30 p.m. EDT on Sept. 23, 2011, the orbit of UARS was 85 miles by 90 miles (135 km by 140 km). Re-entry was expected between 11:45 p.m. Friday, Sept. 23, and 12:45 a.m., Sept. 24, Eastern Daylight Time (3:45 a.m. to 4:45 a.m. GMT). During that time period, the satellite was passing over Canada and Africa, as well as vast areas of the Pacific, Atlantic and Indian oceans. The risk to public safety was very remote. NASA is working to confirm the re-entry location and time and will provide an update shortly.
....
Member Since: July 26, 2006 Posts: 58 Comments: 9172
Pat Now I'm going to have to see if Blockbuster has it. Quite a cast.
Member Since: July 26, 2006 Posts: 58 Comments: 9172
No word of a reentry sighting (and there may never be any). First confirmation of reentry will most likely come from the Joint Space Operations Center of U.S. Strategic Command at Vandenberg Air Force Base, California that UARS just isn't up there anymore.
Member Since: July 26, 2006 Posts: 58 Comments: 9172
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 424 Comments: 128347
..with a really big ear too LC.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 424 Comments: 128347
Pat That's how you look really, really hard. LOL
Member Since: July 26, 2006 Posts: 58 Comments: 9172
shore It's a complex shape with it's orientation uncontrolled virtually impossible to model with any precision.

In the infancy of our space age no thought was given to bringing satellites back down much less in a controlled manner. SkyePony commented on her blog, "Pre-Columbia accident there was plans to use a Shuttle to pluck it out of space & bring UARS home without crashing back to earth."
Member Since: July 26, 2006 Posts: 58 Comments: 9172
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 424 Comments: 128347
You know what's funny about this? Usually the space-related events talked about here are models of precision. Of course things go wrong and launches are aborted, etc, but for the most part everything ticks along like....uh..clockwork.

Anyway - this is quite different. "We've got this satellite that's going to fall out of the sky, and we're not sure quite where, or how much debris there will be, but you all keep looking really, really hard, and maybe YOU can see it!"

It just seems funny. ;-)
Member Since: October 4, 2004 Posts: 205 Comments: 15288
If UARS hasn't reentered over the Pacific it is approaching the coast of British Columbia now.
Member Since: July 26, 2006 Posts: 58 Comments: 9172
UPDATE

Here are the information and graphics again but updated for the latest reentry prediction. The central time of the prediction is an hour later than the previous prediction. The total predicted window now spans only 4 hours.


Where over the world is the 6.5 ton Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite (UARS)?

Reload to update image.

Image credit: Heavens-Above


Where on the world will it land (and when)?

Predicted Reentry Time: 24 SEP 2011 @ 05:10 UTC ± 2 hours

Legend
Yellow Icon - location of object at predicted reentry time
Orange Line - area of visibility at the predicted reentry time for a ground observer
Blue Line - ground track uncertainty prior to predicted reentry time (ticks at 5-minute intervals)
Yellow Line - ground track uncertainty after predicted reentry time (ticks at 5-minute intervals)
White Line - day/night divider at predicted reentry time (Sun location shown by White Icon)
Note: Possible reentry locations lie anywhere along the blue and yellow ground track.

Prediction, image and legend credit: Center for Orbital and Reentry Debris Studies


Huge Defunct Satellite to Plunge to Earth Soon, NASA Says | UARS Satellite Falling From Space & NASA Space Debris | Space Junk & Orbital Debris | Space.com
....
One analysis of re-entry survivability for UARS components was performed several years ago with a software program called Object Re-entry Survival Analysis Tool, or ORSAT for short.

That computer analysis showed that about 150 component types, including the parent body of the satellite, will demise during re-entry, and 12 types (26 counting multiple components) would endure the fiery fall to Earth.

That appraisal indicated a surviving mass of 1,170 pounds (532 kilograms) falling within a debris footprint length of some 500 miles (800 kilometers).
....
Member Since: July 26, 2006 Posts: 58 Comments: 9172
shore Good evening! :^) The UARS didn't reenter within my sight.

Apparently it is still up. The center time of the reentry prediction has been pushed back another hour and the window has narrowed to 4 hours. I'll have updated graphics and info up shortly. The window starts very soon so the UARS will probably burn up within the next 4 hours.
Member Since: July 26, 2006 Posts: 58 Comments: 9172
Nope. No fireballs here. Lots of clouds, though, lol
I did see some lightning flashes from over my shoulder so not a total loss, by any means :)

LC - separately... have you seen the comet (Garrod or something) yet? I think it's behind clouds right now, too, but I was going to do a binocular search for it soon, if it's worth it.
Member Since: January 27, 2007 Posts: 82 Comments: 4307
Well, good - all the SoCals are present and accounted for. (Anyone seen WxWyz? LOL)

It would be so cool if you guys got a peek at something - be back later to check.
Member Since: October 4, 2004 Posts: 205 Comments: 15288
Karen I'm taking my camera phone up on the roof with me.

sp You're welcome and thanks. I'm headed up right now.
Member Since: July 26, 2006 Posts: 58 Comments: 9172
Just came in to check the heights on those gorgeous clouds to my east and north - glad I checked the blog list, too! Heavensabove tells me no passes (even under 'all passes') here but I am inside the circle that you posted. I think the altitude limit is 10 degrees but that looks like a bit more than that. Dunno, but will go see what I can see.
Thanks for the heads up, LC and happy hunting :)
Member Since: January 27, 2007 Posts: 82 Comments: 4307
Well, I just went up on our deck and we are completely socked in. It's actually a tad clearer over the ocean than it is over us. We are a south facing beach, and if I look southeast right now, all I see is cloud cover. If anyone is able to see anything, I sure hope they get a picture.
Member Since: February 21, 2005 Posts: 195 Comments: 14560
Karen It has mostly cleared here now. I think the serious clouds will be over the mountains this evening.

We were on the edge of the rain train this morning passing to the WSW of us. We had on and off cloud cover all day though. Kept the temps in the mid 80s and not low 100s as was forecast.
Member Since: July 26, 2006 Posts: 58 Comments: 9172
You got rain? A marine layer came in, then went out, and now I can't tell what it is going to do. I'll head up there in about 45 minutes and give it a look see.

We had rain sometime this morning. We saw rain drops in the dirt across the street where we walk the dog. The streets weren't wet, but we could see individual drops. Must have happened sometime this morning. It did clear to a pretty warm day though!
Member Since: February 21, 2005 Posts: 195 Comments: 14560
Pat Thanks for the update. It's true that a member of the public has better odds of winning the lottery.

Karen It will be in the Earth's shadow (meaning the Sun won't be shining on it) so you won't see it unless it's reentering the atmosphere. If it is you'll see bright sparkling trails like a bunch of bright slow moving meteors close together.

It does look iffy on the clouds I just came off my roof because it was sprinkling.
Member Since: July 26, 2006 Posts: 58 Comments: 9172
Thanks LC, I'll take a gander. I'll have my laptop up and looking for updates from you. Will it look like the ISS when it passes over? Just a bright light going across the sky?

**Modify again. I just looked at your satellite image above and it sure does look like the clouds are moving back in. I see that outside my window too. Hopefully we'll have a moment of opportunity when and if the time is right!
Member Since: February 21, 2005 Posts: 195 Comments: 14560
UARS Updates
Update #11
Fri, 23 Sep 2011 06:30:46 PM CDT

As of 7 p.m. EDT on Sept. 23, 2011, the orbit of UARS was 90 miles by 95 miles (145 km by 150 km). Re-entry is expected between 11 p.m. Friday, Sept. 23, and 3 a.m., Sept. 24, Eastern Daylight Time (3 a.m. to 7 a.m. GMT). During that time period, the satellite will be passing over Canada, Africa and Australia, as well as vast areas of the Pacific, Atlantic and Indian oceans. The risk to public safety is very remote.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 424 Comments: 128347
Karen If you go up on your deck and scan the SE half of your sky from say 7:40-7:55 you have a *good* chance of seeing it *if* it's reentering at that time.
Member Since: July 26, 2006 Posts: 58 Comments: 9172
You know, rather than trying to decipher all those graphs, just tell me if you think I have a chance of seeing anything and I'll look. By your last graphic, it looks like SD might have a chance, but not us. Do I understand that right?

**Modify - just checked Heavens Above and our pages look identical! Guess from space, SB and WH aren't that far apart!
Member Since: February 21, 2005 Posts: 195 Comments: 14560
If it is still up UAR satellite is due to pass directly over San Diego at 7:47pm PDT just 1½ minutes after passing into the Earth's shadow. If UARS does reenter over the North America during that orbit it will be under dark skies.


The highlighted circle is the region where the satellite is at least 10° above your horizon. The size of the circle depends on the height of the satellite.

Solid part of orbit shows where the satellite is sunlit, and the dashed part where it is in the Earth's shadow and invisible.

Chart credit: Heavens-Above
Member Since: July 26, 2006 Posts: 58 Comments: 9172
Directions for spotting the satellite are in comment 105.

UPDATE

Here are the information and graphics again but updated for the latest reentry prediction. The central time of the prediction is 48 minutes later than the previous prediction. The total predicted window now spans only 6 hours.


Where over the world is the 6.5 ton Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite (UARS)?

Reload to update image.

Image credit: Heavens-Above


Where on the world will it land (and when)?

Predicted Reentry Time: 24 SEP 2011 @ 04:04 UTC ± 3 hours

Legend
Yellow Icon - location of object at predicted reentry time
Orange Line - area of visibility at the predicted reentry time for a ground observer
Blue Line - ground track uncertainty prior to predicted reentry time (ticks at 5-minute intervals)
Yellow Line - ground track uncertainty after predicted reentry time (ticks at 5-minute intervals)
White Line - day/night divider at predicted reentry time (Sun location shown by White Icon)
Note: Possible reentry locations lie anywhere along the blue and yellow ground track.

Prediction, image and legend credit: Center for Orbital and Reentry Debris Studies


Huge Defunct Satellite to Plunge to Earth Soon, NASA Says | UARS Satellite Falling From Space & NASA Space Debris | Space Junk & Orbital Debris | Space.com
....
One analysis of re-entry survivability for UARS components was performed several years ago with a software program called Object Re-entry Survival Analysis Tool, or ORSAT for short.

That computer analysis showed that about 150 component types, including the parent body of the satellite, will demise during re-entry, and 12 types (26 counting multiple components) would endure the fiery fall to Earth.

That appraisal indicated a surviving mass of 1,170 pounds (532 kilograms) falling within a debris footprint length of some 500 miles (800 kilometers).
....
Member Since: July 26, 2006 Posts: 58 Comments: 9172
For those interested judging from the reentry prediction map the UARS satellite should be in the general area of Southern California at roughly 7:45 this evening but not necessarily reentering.
Member Since: July 26, 2006 Posts: 58 Comments: 9172

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APRSWXNET Woodland Hills CA US
Calabasas, CA
Elevation: 984 ft
Temperature: 51.0 °F
Dew Point: 34.0 °F
Humidity: 53%
Wind: Calm
Wind Gust: 2.0 mph
Updated: 5:33 AM PST on December 01, 2013
At Gonzales Drive
Woodland Hills, CA
Elevation: 984 ft
Temperature: 66.1 °F
Dew Point: 46.4 °F
Humidity: 49%
Wind: Calm
Wind Gust: 0.0 mph
Updated: 3:18 AM PDT on August 28, 2014

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