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Old 09-23-2011, 12:09 AM   #1
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Default Autumn is Falling in the September 23rd Chat Thread

A dead climate satellite that has been gradually falling toward Earth is expected to plummet down within days, making it the most massive NASA satellite to make an uncontrolled re-entry into Earth's atmosphere in over three decades, agency officials say. A dead hulk of a NASA satellite the size of a bus is skimming the top of the atmosphere, and as air molecules bounce off, its orbit is decaying until gravity finally pulls it down as a fiery meteor. To be specific, 26 large pieces of the Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite, the heaviest about 330 pounds, are expected to survive all the way and hit the surface. The debris will stretch along a 500-mile path. NASA has calculated a 1-in-3,200 chance of anyone on Earth being hurt by its satellite’s death plunge.

What are the risks to everyday life?
The risks are extremely small. To date, no incidents of human injury or significant property damage from reentering debris have been reported throughout the entire Space Age.

What makes a satellite spin out of control and head toward Earth?
Every satellite is gradually falling back to Earth due to atmospheric drag and solar radiation pressure. Many operational spacecraft, like the International Space Station, must periodically make small maneuvers to return to their original altitudes. UARS was decommissioned in December 2005, and its altitude has been slowly decreasing ever since.
(thanks to NASA for that info)

Today is the first day of Autumn. We'll get roughly 12 hours of day and night, it's the last time we'll see that much sunlight until March 21(ish), 2012.
What else have I learned about fall? According to National Geographic:

* The equinoxes in spring and fall are the only two days of the year where the sun rises due east, and sets due west. This is consistent for the entire globe.
* The equinox, and all seasonal changes, happen at a goofy time each year because it's measured when the sun crosses the "celestial equator." This year, the suns rays will be directly over the Earth's equator at 4:05 a.m. CDT on Sept. 23. Factoring in time changes and daylight savings, that puts solar noon and the equinox directly overhead of in the Gulf of Guinea, just south of the African nation of Ghana.
* It's a myth that the globe sees 12 hours of day and night on the equinoxes. While it's close, the sun takes longer to rise and set in places further from the equator. In Minnesota, the net result is actually more daylight. In fact, tomorrow, the sun will rise at 7:01 a.m. and set at 7:09 p.m. giving them 12 hours and 8 minutes of daylight.


So enjoy this first day Autumn (or Spring for the Southern Hemisphere) and watch out for that falling satellite!
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Old 09-23-2011, 12:11 AM   #2
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Default Re: Autumn is Falling in the September 23rd Chat Thread

hey hey hey everyone!
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Old 09-23-2011, 12:12 AM   #3
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Default Re: Autumn is Falling in the September 23rd Chat Thread

second post?
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Old 09-23-2011, 12:12 AM   #4
speak urself
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Default Re: Autumn is Falling in the September 23rd Chat Thread

ooh, good timing ^3^
heyyoo :]

ooh, third?
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Old 09-23-2011, 12:13 AM   #5
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Default Re: Autumn is Falling in the September 23rd Chat Thread

hoiiiiiiiiiiiiii

DANG! stupid freezing computer
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Old 09-23-2011, 12:13 AM   #6
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Default Re: Autumn is Falling in the September 23rd Chat Thread

yes I've always wanted one of the first posts on my birthday dct <3
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Old 09-23-2011, 12:14 AM   #7
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Default Re: Autumn is Falling in the September 23rd Chat Thread

View Post Originally Posted by iheartlucy
hey hey hey everyone!
congrats on first
View Post Originally Posted by Midnightstars33
second post?
congrats on 2nd and Happy birthday
View Post Originally Posted by KinzUser2523
ooh, good timing ^3^
heyyoo :]

ooh, third?
congrats on 3rd
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Old 09-23-2011, 12:14 AM   #8
speak urself
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Default Re: Autumn is Falling in the September 23rd Chat Thread

View Post Originally Posted by Midnightstars33
yes I've always wanted one of the first posts on my birthday dct <3
epiccc x3 congrats : D
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Old 09-23-2011, 12:15 AM   #9
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Default Re: Autumn is Falling in the September 23rd Chat Thread

oh there you guys are!
I was beginning to think y'all left or somethin'

View Post Originally Posted by Midnightstars33
yes I've always wanted one of the first posts on my birthday dct <3
Congrats! ^_^
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Old 09-23-2011, 12:15 AM   #10
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Default Re: Autumn is Falling in the September 23rd Chat Thread

View Post Originally Posted by iheartlucy
oh there you guys are!
I was beginning to think y'all left or somethin'

no, sorry, I was reading something was all
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