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2012 Slow Green Fireball Train in UK: Satellite or Meteor Break-Up?
event September 22, 2012 comment 11 Comments

I hate being dragged into these “modern” reports, since the Tusk specializes about this kind of stuff in the ancient past. But the UK event yesterday was really, really cool and I have posted before on these slow greenish fireballs.

Because of the unusually long duration and slow movement, some people have suggested the possibility of a satellite reentry. For various reasons, this is however very unlikely.

Multiple reports make clear the object was moving from east to west. A report of observers from Bussloo Observatory, the Netherlands, for examples states that the fireball appeared in the north, moving from Perseus  to Bootes, almost horizontally from east to west. Similar reports (e.g. hereand here) come from Ireland.

Almost all non-polar satellites move prograde,  from west to east (or northsouthand v.v. for a polar orbit). An east to west movement would necessitate the object to have a retrograde orbit (meaning that it moves counter to the earth’s direction of rotation). Such objects are extremely rare: they literally amount to only a handful of objects (including the US FIA Radar satellites, and the Israeli Ofeq/Shavit satellites/rb). For this reason, it is extremely unlikely that this fireball was a reentering satellite. —

 2012 UK Green Fireball Train, September 21, 2012


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UK Fireball Again


Only from the Tusk: Edward Teller and the anomalous nature of Green Fireballs


Bad Astronomy fireball green fireballs meteor satellite UK United Kingdom