Videos from the breakup of NASA’s 6.5-ton Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite (UARS) are starting to pop up online, as debris from the old satellite have been spotted crashing down to over North America and in the Pacific Ocean, “sometime between 11:23 p.m. EDT on Friday and 1:09 a.m. EDT on Saturday” according to NASA.
The early videos have mostly been fakes and hoaxes, like this one and this one, that were both widely passed around on Twitter. Some early photos on SpaceWeather.com are up, like this one from David Bainbridge in Northern Minnesota.
UARS was launched aboard the Space Shuttle Discovery in 1991, and served until 2005 when it was decommissioned. Some reports are citing a 1-in-3,200 chance of a piece of debris hitting someone, even with NASA saying up to 90% of it would have burned up upon re-entry.
Latest update from NASA:
NASA’s decommissioned Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite fell back to Earth between 11:23 p.m. EDT Friday, Sept. 23 and 1:09 a.m. EDT Sept. 24. The Joint Space Operations Center at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California said the satellite penetrated the atmosphere over the Pacific Ocean. The precise re-entry time and location are not yet known with certainty.