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September 23, 2011

Real-Time UARS Satellite Tracker

Update 4: Fixed! Sort of. Ustream has live coverage... with an obnoxiously heavy music track! So exciting. Player embedded below the fold. (Thanks to commenter "RokShox.")

Update 3: Never mind. Sometimes it works; sometimes it doesn't. Go to the Fox link below or use the InfoSatellites.com tracker. (Thanks to commenter "t-bird.")

Update 2: It did work. I added it back. Wait a few minutes for the data to load.

Update: It looks like the plugin works here, but the tracking data doesn't load, so I deleted it. You can see it at Fox News.

The Google Earth plugin is required to see the tracker below the fold. There is a short wait for the tracking data to load. Depending upon the time, you may have to spin the Earth around with your cursor to see the track. Give it a few moments.

Re-entry estimates are updated here. Here is the latest:

As of 10:30 a.m. EDT on Sept. 23, 2011, the orbit of UARS was 100 miles by 105 miles (160 km by 170 km). Re-entry is expected late Friday, Sept. 23, or early Saturday, Sept. 24, Eastern Daylight Time. Solar activity is no longer the major factor in the satellite’s rate of descent. The satellite’s orientation or configuration apparently has changed, and that is now slowing its descent. There is a low probability any debris that survives re-entry will land in the United States, but the possibility cannot be discounted because of this changing rate of descent. It is still too early to predict the time and location of re-entry with any certainty, but predictions will become more refined in the next 12 to 18 hours.

Last night, it wasn't expected to be a threat to the United States at all. Now it is again, which goes to show how difficult it is to estimate guess when and where it will fall. Regardless, chances are greatest it will hit an ocean or an uninhabited part of the planet.

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If you can't see that, here it is on Ustream.

Maetenloch sends this helpful video:

digg this
posted by rdbrewer at 01:30 PM

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