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Thread: Possible Space Junk Collision Over Pittsburgh

  1. #1
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    Possible Space Junk Collision Over Pittsburgh

    http://www.spacedaily.com/m/reports/...llite_999.html
    Two dead satellites, IRAS and a US Navy research satellite are expected to pass each other by 15- 30 meters at 6:39 tonight over Pittsburgh PA. There is a possibility of a collision.

  2. #2
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    Not trivial but now 1 in 20 chance of colliding:

    LeoLabs, Inc. @LeoLabs_Space
    Adjusting our calculations to account for larger object sizes (by increasing our combined Hard Body Radius from 5m to 10m), this yields an updated collision probability closer to 1 in 20.
    Oh, and Scott Manley did a video with descriptions of the satellites in question; one bird for collecting science data (IRAS) and one for collecting classified signals for the USDOD.

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    OK, I'm wondering if this reporter heard the astronomer correctly. A sonic boom from 900 km in space??

    Channel 11′s Danielle Dozier spoke with David Turnshek, director of the Allegheny Observatory. Turnshek said if a collision happened it would be compared to a small shopping cart hitting a car and if it’s clear and you’re away from light pollution, you can look overhead and possibly see a faint light to the unaided eye.

    You might be able to hear a sonic boom, Turnshek said. Otherwise, the collision would result in debris in space.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Superluminal View Post
    http://www.spacedaily.com/m/reports/...llite_999.html
    Two dead satellites, IRAS and a US Navy research satellite are expected to pass each other by 15- 30 meters at 6:39 tonight over Pittsburgh PA. There is a possibility of a collision.
    I guess that is 6:39 tonight local time, in which case it has now passed?
    A: "Things that are equal to the same are equal to each other"
    B: "The two sides of this triangle are things that are equal to the same"
    C: "If A and B are true, Z must be true"
    D: "If A and B and C are true, Z must be true"
    E: "If A and B and C and D are true, Z must be true"

    Therefore, Z: "The two sides of this triangle are equal to each other"

  5. #5
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    LeoLabs says they should know for certain shortly, maybe even by now since it's been two-plus hours since the incident. They either have two solid radar signals or a cloud of fuzz.

    https://twitter.com/LeoLabs_Space/st...47876481511425

    Final update prior to close approach: 47 meter predicted miss distance, w/ increased separation in the cross-track direction. Next scheduled radar passes for both objects to occur approximately two hours after the event.

  6. #6
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    No boom.

    LeoLabs, Inc.
    @LeoLabs_Space
    21m
    Thankfully our latest data following the event shows no evidence of new debris. To be sure, we will perform a further assessment upon the next pass of both objects over Kiwi Space Radar occurring later tonight.

  7. #7
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    I saw IRAS about 2.5 minutes later with binoculars, at its usual magnitude 5 and steady in brightness, which I took to be a good sign.

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    Quote Originally Posted by schlaugh View Post
    No boom.
    Well, that's disappointing. Still, if two satellites collide in space and no one is around to hear, do they make a sound?
    Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by ignorance or stupidity.
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    You know, the very powerful and the very stupid have one thing in common. They donít alter their views to fit the facts. They alter the facts to fit their views.
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  9. #9
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    I'm happy to hear that IRAS survived. Ever since it got equal billing with a couple humans for discovering a comet, it's easy to anthropomorphize. Even though it's no longer functioning, it would be somehow sad to lose it.
    Conserve energy. Commute with the Hamiltonian.

  10. #10
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    If two satellites don't collide, will their fragments still be for sale on eBay?

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grey View Post
    I'm happy to hear that IRAS survived.
    That's the name of the tax authority around here - your comment was quite startling, until I interpreted it correctly.

    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck View Post
    If two satellites don't collide, will their fragments still be for sale on eBay?
    They might have been on sale even before!
    A: "Things that are equal to the same are equal to each other"
    B: "The two sides of this triangle are things that are equal to the same"
    C: "If A and B are true, Z must be true"
    D: "If A and B and C are true, Z must be true"
    E: "If A and B and C and D are true, Z must be true"

    Therefore, Z: "The two sides of this triangle are equal to each other"

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