IRAS & GGSE Potential Collision

The astronomy community is all in a tizzy over the possibility of two derelict satellites in high orbit might collide. The odds are 1 in 20 according to LeoLab that an impact will occur. As it was clear I grabbed my camera and set-up camp to capture the potential disastrous (for orbiting satellites) collision.

Astro vLog of my Evening of trying to capture a satellite collision and comet.

Hear there was a potential satellite collision between IRAS and GGSE-4 were estimated by LeoLabs to have a 1 in 20 odds of impact.

So I took my fastest lens out to see if I could catch the potential impact. Afterwards I spent the rest of the night imaging the Comet Panstarr C/2017 as it passes close by the double cluster.

IRAS = Infrared Astronomical Satellite

GGSE-4 = Gravity Gradient Stabilization Experiment

Both are dead satellites in a 900km orbit, uncontrollable and tumbling. In the video I was a bit above the crossing so you can see IRAS first heading down and the GGSE-4 a second later moving upwards (assuming that the second streak is GGSE – there are a lot of satellites up in the night sky these days).

At the end of it all they appeared to pass in the night without any earth shattering kaboom (although you wouldn’t hear anything) and I turned my attention to the Comet PanStarr C/2017.

Comet PanStarr C/2017 (arrow pointing at green tail of the comet) passing by the Double Cluster
Close-up of the Comet

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