The Starlink satellite disintegrated over the Caribbean

Watch this video, which shows three different angles during the disintegration of the Starlink satellite near Puerto Rico.

The Starlink satellite disintegrated over the Caribbean

Witnesses in Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic witnessed a spectacular satellite re-entry at approximately 7:25 p.m. local time (23:25 UTC) on September 6, 2023. Observers reported that the re-entry appeared across the sky from horizon to horizon, blazing a trail from the southwest. to the northeast. According to the re-entry forecast, the object was Starlink-30167, a satellite in SpaceX’s Starlink constellation, launched on July 28, 2023. Although the new Starlinks are called “V2 mini,” when the solar panels are deployed, they are Each spacecraft is 100 feet (30 ft) long. m) wide.

Starlink-30167 was part of a constellation of 22 internet satellites launched on a Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral Space Station in Florida. However, this satellite failed to reach its intended orbit. It gradually lost altitude and eventually re-entered Earth’s atmosphere.

This still frame from the video shows the Starlink satellite disintegrating over Puerto Rico. Image via Sociedad de Astronomía del Caribe (SAC).

How to tell a meteorite from space debris

Although some observers may initially think they are seeing a meteor, there are two main characteristics that will allow you to tell if it is space debris.

  1. The space debris appears as a very slow “meteor”, sometimes lasting a minute or two. A normal meteor (space rock) takes only a few seconds to move across the sky. In fact, the space debris appears so slow that some people are able to trigger their phone cameras to take photos or video of the event.
  2. Another clear indication that the observed object is space debris in our atmosphere is that it will have very noticeable fragmentation. You’ll be able to see some of the little things are separate from the main object, with some driving the main event and other parts falling behind.

This isn’t the first time observers have seen Starlink satellites disintegrate in our skies. On February 7, 2022, a group of satellites that had just been launched re-entered the atmosphere when a geomagnetic storm from the Sun prevented the satellites from reaching their intended orbit. Geomagnetic storms cause the atmosphere to warm and affect the density of the atmosphere, increasing clouds and causing low-altitude satellites to reenter.

Bottom line: Watch the disintegration of the Starlink satellite on video over the Caribbean on September 6, 2023. Watch 3 angles of the satellite as it burns here.

through airspace

(Signs for translation) Earth

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