View Full Version : Space Junk!

2002-Nov-29, 04:21 AM
I don't know if anyone caught this (I'm sure a lot of you did), and I don't even know if this really fits "General Astronomy" though you'd have to be looking up to have caught this event.. As CNN (http://www.cnn.com/2002/TECH/space/11/28/space.junk.ap/index.html) reported (though I heard it elsewhere first), it streaked across the sky and was seen by people in the northwest States and southwest Canada. In another story, NORAD was tracking a vapor cloud in the eastern States today, eventually seen near the Carribean. They haven't figured out what caused it. Does anyone here think it could be somehow related to the re-entry of the space junk?

2002-Nov-29, 11:31 AM
Possilbly, I saw it but i did'nt know jack-squat about astronomy then. huh. Well... Im not sure. Does re-entery cause a vapor cloud? I don't see how it could of entered. it's like shooting a dart at a target without putting any effort into it. I'd say if it is space junk re-entering it was luck.

2002-Nov-29, 02:48 PM
In '99 I actually did catch a spectacular sight similar to the one that happened the other day. A couple friends of mine and I were actually on our way to a field to stargaze when we saw it. We thought, at first, "cool, fireworks" because of all the colours. But it kept moving across the sky, something fireworks simply don't do. We were stunned. Turned out to be parts of an old Russian satellite.

2002-Nov-29, 07:57 PM
Anything that creates disturbances in the atmosphere can cause a vapor trail. It's like wingtips on an aircraft. As it passes through the air, water vapor starts to condense and eventually forms ice which we see as a vapor cloud. AKA contrails.

2002-Nov-29, 08:17 PM
Jet, so what you're saying is I may actually be right in thinking that the two were related? I figured the same thing regarding the contrails. If the jetstream could carry them from the west to the east in about 18 hours, that's likely what happened. I wonder if NORAD has thought of it yet.. hehe

2002-Nov-29, 08:47 PM
I would certainly hope so. *S* Although, I don't really see why they'd want to track a vapor cloud. There's so much crap orbiting earth now that I'm sure it's not all catalogued. So, the chances of something that hasn't been noticed yet falling into the atmosphere is probably pretty high.

2002-Nov-29, 09:42 PM
Yeah I don't know why NORAD would be so curious about one vapor trail either, but then again it was over the US and so they probably ASSUMED it may have come from an unauthorized plane. Perhaps it was one hell of a large trail? Needless to say the two events seemed to happen within a certain timeframe, and if they were to look at the meteorological patterns over North America that day, they would likely notice where the jetstream was directing everything over N. America.

2002-Nov-30, 04:54 AM
Yeah, NORAD wants to make sure its not a contrail of an unauthorized plane. From what I have heard, they launched interceptors on a "report" of a contrail. According to the article, they can't even trace the original source of this report!

Also, the article in today's Chicago tribune reported the contrail was first reported in the Turks and Caicos Islands (the Bahamas) and later moving over Florida and up to Indiana. From this report, the contrail was moving the wrong way for it to be associated with the reentry the night before.

Strange, but there seems to be a lot of missing info on this one that we are not getting or that they don't know.


2002-Nov-30, 09:26 AM