Friday, February 15, 2008

Satellite renetry will produce spectacular fireball

Malfunctioning spy satellite USA 193 has been in the

news lately because of expectations that it will reenter

Earth's atmosphere in March and turn into a spectacular

fireball. Reentry has not yet begun, but sky watchers are

already noticing the satellite as it zips over Europe and the

United States shining as brightly as a first or second magnitude

star. Typical photos are shown on today's edition of

In fact, USA 193 may never reenter--at least not in one piece.

Today, the Pentagon announced it will attempt to blast the satellite

with a missile before its orbit decays. This would lessen the chances

of dangerous satellite debris and fuel reaching the ground while increasing

the population of space junk in low-Earth orbit.

Would you like to see USA 193 with your own eyes? It is about to make

a series of evening appearances over many US towns and cities, beginning

this weekend and continuing until the Pentagon intervenes. Flyby timetables

may be found at Heavens Above ( You can also

receive telephone and email alerts when the satellite is about to fly over your

backyard by subscribing to Spaceweather PHONE: .