An Elon Musk satellite disintegrated in the sky and caused an impressive fireball
A bright light raised alarms over the sky Spain the weekend when a company satellite Starlink from Elon Musk began to descend. on social networks A video of the moment the device entered the atmosphere turned into a ball of fire went viral. Until now, neither the tycoon nor the company has spoken about it.
The division of SpaceX, which was created as one more company project, has more than 1000 satellites in orbit for a development that is still in its early stages, but offers promising results. Today it provides a connection speed that varies from 50 to 150 megabits per second with a latency between 20 and 40 milliseconds, accessible through a kit of 500 dollars (which includes a support, a router and a terminal) with a monthly subscription of 99 dollars . However, in order to carry out this project, the company had to send these satellites into space, which in some cases re-enter the atmosphere.
That was what happened on January 23 with the Starlink-2200 satellite, that was launched in January 2021 and that was posted on the sky of Spain on his return to Earth. The event happened around 11 p.m. when people were able to observe the ball of fire that was getting closer and closer over Spanish territory and many They thought it was a meteorite. But nevertheless, An expert from the Institute of Astrophysics of Andalusia explained that it was a satellite disintegrating in space.
Jose Maria Madedo, an astrophysicist from that country, analyzed on Twitter the path of the satellite. As reported, it skimmed the atmosphere when it was over northern Morocco, near the border with Algeria, at an altitude of about 100 km. In this form, it became incandescent and fragmented into several balls of fire. In that sense, he indicated that the wake of these fragments crossed the peninsula in a straight line from Almería and Granada, to Asturias. On the other hand, It is believed that the remains of the satellite that have survived the abrasion may have fallen on the Cantabrian Sea.
The Starlink-2200, whose function during the last year was to provide Internet connection from space together with the other thousands of satellites of the South African tycoon’s company, entered the atmosphere at a speed of 27,000 km/h. The astrophysicist revealed that before disintegrating, it had a mass of 260 kg.
“The satellite was fragmenting along its trajectory, so several fireballs could be seen in parallel as these fragments also became incandescent”, indicated the specialist. In addition, he explained that the re-entry of this object and the fireball were recorded by the detectors that the Smart project, coordinated by the Institute of Astrophysics of Andalusia (IAA-CSIC), has in different observatories on the Peninsula.