The NASA satellite that is falling to earth and is expected to hit the planet Friday was recently caught on video by amateur astronomy photographer and videographer Thierry Legault.
NASA lost control of its Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite (UARS) and they say it is set to hit the Earth’s orbit on September 23rd, United States Time.
Legault used his 14-inch telescope to watch UARS as it continues to descend on a crash course to Earth. The UARS comes in at a total weight of 6.5 tons.
"The satellite appears to be tumbling, perhaps because a collision with satellite debris a few years ago," Legault told spaceweather.com. "The variations in brightness are rapid and easily visible to the human eye."
Some skywatchers have even reported seeing brilliant flashes of light from the UARS satellite.
NASA recently gave an update on the falling satellite on their website, stating:
"As of Sept. 21, 2011, the orbit of UARS was 120 mi by 130 mi (195 km by 210 km). Re-entry is expected Sept. 23, United States time. The time reference does not mean that the satellite is expected to re-enter over the United States. It is simply a time reference. Although it is still too early to predict the time and location of re-entry, predictions of the time period are becoming more refined."
The people of planet Earth have nothing to worry about though. The falling satellite will break into pieces as it continues to fall. NASA says the chances of someone somewhere getting hit with the debris are just 1-in-3,200. They still have no specific location as to where the satellite will finally land.
NASA has warned those who may come across the remains of the satellite to refrain from touching it. There may be sharp edges along the debris. It is also forbidden to interact with the satellite since it is government property. NASA has advised anyone that comes into contact with the satellite to call the authorities as soon as possible.