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Video: Spectacular breakup of WT1190F seen by team of Airborne Astronomers

13 November 2015 02:34 pm - 1     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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Clouds hampered observations from the ground in Sri Lanka during the re-entry of WT1190F overnight, but a team of astronomers captured spectacular images of the object from a high-flying plane over the Indian Ocean very close to the predicted time of arrival.

The International Astronomical Center (IAC) and the United Arab Emirates Space Agency hosted a rapid response team to study the re-entry of what was almost certainly an old rocket stage. In an airplane window high above the clouds, the crew, which included Peter Jenniskens, Mike Koop and Jim Albers of the SETI Institute along with German, UK and United Arab Emirates astronomers, took still images, video and gathered high-resolution spectra of the breakup.

The group of seven astronomers hoped to study the WT1190F’s re-entry as a  test case for future asteroid entries as well as improve our understanding of space debris behavior. Photos and video show the object breaking up into multiple pieces in a swift but brief fireball. From the spectra, the team should be able to better determine the object’s nature — whether natural or manmade.

The group of seven astronomers hoped to study the WT1190F’s re-entry as a  test case for future asteroid entries as well as improve our understanding of space debris behavior. Photos and video show the object breaking up into multiple pieces in a swift but brief fireball. From the spectra, the team should be able to better determine the object’s nature — whether natural or manmade.  (Universe Today)







 

  Comments - 1

  • Nihal Amarasekera Saturday, 14 November 2015 09:47 AM

    Oh man! We asteroid.


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