Roberto Gorelli points our attention at a recently published meteor related paper:

Using fireball networks to track more frequent reentries: Falcon 9 upper stage orbit determination from video recordings

This article has been submitted by Eloy Peña-Asensio, Josep M. Trigo-Rodríguez, Marco Langbroek, Albert Rimola, and Antonio J. Robles.


Abstract: On February 16, 2021, an artificial object was recorded by the Spanish Meteor Network (SPMN) moving slowly over the Mediterranean. From the astrometric measurements, we identify this event as the reentry engine burn of a SpaceX Falcon 9 launch vehicle’s upper stage. To study this event in detail, we adapted the plane intersection method for near-straight meteoroid trajectories to analyze slow and curved orbits associated with artificial objects. To corroborate our results, we approximated the orbital elements for the upper stage using four pieces of ”debris” cataloged by the U.S. Government Combined Space Operations Center (CSpOC). Based on these calculations, we also estimated the possible deorbit hazard zone using the MSISE90 model atmosphere. We warn of the interference that these artificial bolides might have in fireball studies. In addition, given that artificial bolides will be probably more frequent in the future, we point out the new role that ground-based detection networks can play in the monitoring of potentially hazardous artificial objects in near-Earth space and determining the strewn field of artificial space debris.

You can download this paper for free: (15 pages).



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