The one-ton GOCE satellite burned up in the atmosphere over the Falkland Islands yesterday in the South Atlantic Ocean some 300 miles east of Argentina. Resident Bill Chater saw it happen and tweeted: “We saw it burn up from the Falklands at about 9.20 pm last night. Came from the South breaking up into bits. ”
“Driving southwards at dusk, it appeared with bright smoke trail and split in 2 before splitting again into more and going on north,” he added. While I’m still waiting on permission to run his photo that doesn’t mean you can’t see it right now.
Scientists at the European Space Agency are studying the photo and everything seems to check out as far as place, time and appearance. The picture shows a long thin contrail with an elongated bright cloud at its center. Any parts and pieces that survived re-entry will only be seen by those who swim in deep waters for a living.