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Atlas V Rocket DeOrbit Burn


Nightspore
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Atlas V: Rocket launch creates strange lights in UK sky

 

Amateur stargazers in the UK were sent rushing for their cameras by strange cone-shaped lights in the sky created by a US rocket.

 

The Atlas V, carrying Nasa's Landsat-9 satellite, launched at about 20:00 BST on Monday.

About two hours later it performed a reversing manoeuvre, releasing two glowing clouds of vapour.

 

Clear skies made for an out-of-this-world view of the stellar spectacle, visible above large parts of UK.

Photographer Simon Woodley "couldn't believe his eyes" when he snapped the launch from South Shields.

 

Mr Woodley was out taking photos of the moonrise when he saw the unknown bright light for "three or four minutes".

 

"I went through the possibilities of comet or aircraft or even a laser beam. It was only when I got home I found out what it was," he said.

Education charity UK Astronomy said the light was the rocket's deorbit burn, created as it fires its engines to commence its re-entry into Earth's atmosphere before burning up.

 

Astronomer and science writer Will Gater said the glowing, tear drop-shaped clouds were a result of sunlight scattering off material released into space.

 

op cit ~ BBC News

 

oR1mpRI.jpg

Picture from BBC News

 

I went out Monday with my 72ED between 20:30 and 23:30. I actually saw this in the north. I thought it was an aeroplane or a helicopter light distorted by the humidity. The picture above is not dissimilar to what I observed. I even saw it at 105x through a 4mm TS Planetary HR for a few moments. I can't remember the time but I'd say it was around 21:00. After less than a minute or so it seemed to move north west and slightly upwards before disappearing.

Edited by Nightspore
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1 hour ago, Bino-viewer said:

I wish i'd seen it, but an early night was underway as i've been up at silly o'clock all week.

 

 

At first I was a tad puzzled at what I was seeing. I'd been looking for some doubles in Draco and I'd stood up to change eyepieces. I assumed it was a helicopter, well, after ruling out Zeta Reticulan attack cruisers lol. It was only until I saw the BBC article that I realised I'd witnessed the Atlas rocket de-orbit burn. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

I was on the road and saw it....I had no clue as to what it was...almost crashed the car looking at it.....then I heard on the news that there were hundreds of UFO reports but turned out to be this. Was an incredible sight.

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1 hour ago, Peter Shah said:

I was on the road and saw it....I had no clue as to what it was...almost crashed the car looking at it.....then I heard on the news that there were hundreds of UFO reports but turned out to be this. Was an incredible sight.

 

I just remember staring at it for a while thinking that it just couldn't be a comet as I'd have known about it. Then coming to the conclusion that it was probably the searchlight from a police helicopter or something. Except that there was no noise and it's fairly quiet where I live.

 

 

The UFO reports don't surprise me lol.

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