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Srgt. Hulka 09-22-2011 05:01 PM

Falling NASA Satellite Could Spark Stunning Light Show
by Joe Rao, Skywatching Columnist
Date: 21 September 2011 Time: 01:09 PM ET

A NASA satellite the size of a school bus is just days away from taking a fiery plunge into Earth’s atmosphere and could set off a dazzling display when it does … if anyone is able to see it.

NASA's 6 ½-ton Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite is due to fall somewhere on Earth Friday (Sept. 23), though exactly where and when remains a mystery.

If you happened to be lucky enough to be within viewing range of a satellite that is re-entering the atmosphere, the sight, put simply, would amount to a short-lived but spectacular fireworks display. Unlike a fireball meteor, whose flight across the sky might take no more than a few seconds, a re-entering satellite’s path usually lasts much longer.

Falling NASA Satellite Could Spark Stunning Light Show | Falling NASA Satellite & Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite, UARS | Fireballs & Satellite Skywatching Tips |

If you get a chance to see this, especially at night, don't miss it. I watched a satellite re-enter the Earth's atmosphere in, I think 1986. It was the most spectacular thing I have ever seen. It went right overhead and I watched it from horizon to horizon. I watched it break apart. I watced it tumble while leaving plasma trails all the way across the sky. It was sooooooooo cooooooool! Don't miss it if it falls in your part of the world!

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