2.20.2008

The little satellite that couldn't....

Two quick notes for today, there seems to be a lot of activity happening above our heads...

1. In just over half an hour, a total lunar eclipse will begin and will continue for almost four hours. This is the last time a total lunar eclipse will occur until 2010. Don't you love stats like that? When they use it to make the event seem so momentous... The NFL seems to like to use these too, "This is the first time in the history of football that two guys named Steve both dating women named Linda each caught a touchdown pass in the first quarter of a football game." Wowwww.
Anyway, get out there and check out the moon, North America is in the prime viewing area for this one. And, if the light bends through the Earth's atmosphere just right, the moon will turn red...



2. An American spy satellite, named USA 193, has been slowly falling back towards Earth since its launch in late 2006 and the Pentagon has now determined that we must shoot it down to protect people from potential danger (or to keep it from landing in another nation and having the secrets of its imaging equipment discovered, in my opinion). The US Navy has been chosen to make the hit, there are three Aegis ships (not Shoup, unfortunately, but hey, we got the Transformers spot) out there in the pacific right now with modified SM-3 missiles onboard waiting for just the right conditions to shoot the thing down. Its certainly enough to get this ex-Aegis Firecontrolman's blood a pumping! See, missiles can SAVE lives too!!! HA! Oh, also, USA 193's orbit flies directly over the Pacific Northwest and the satellite can be seen at night time, as it is a rather large object (school bus sized) and is flying in a very low orbit. So, tonight is the first night of any possible shootdown attempt and at least one source says debris from the blown up satellite could be seen re-entering the atmosphere, especially from the PNW, COOL, huh? An exploding satellite AND a lunar eclipse all in one evening?

Check out Heavens Above for a special information page with a map showing the current position of USA 193, look like it will be over Seattle sometime in the next couple hours!

1 comment:

dad said...

Yeah! We had a perfectly clear night to look at the eclipse. Cold as hell though so we didn't stand and gawk too long. I've also seen the video of the satellite that was shot down. Direct hit...first shot. Nothing bigger than a football in the debris. Fire Controlman 2nd Class Andrew Jackson aboard the USS Erie made the shot. You should be proud of your fellow Fire Controlman!