European satellite burns up after plunging into Earth’s atmosphere

True colour satellite image of the Earth centred on Asia and Oceania with cloud coverage, during summer solstice at 6 a.m GMT. This image in orthographic projection was compiled from data acquired by LANDSAT 5 & 7 satellites., Globe Centred On Asia And Oceania, True Colour Satellite Image (Photo by Planet Observer/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)
True colour satellite image of the Earth centred on Asia and Oceania with cloud coverage, during summer solstice at 6 a.m GMT. This image in orthographic projection was compiled from data acquired by LANDSAT 5 & 7 satellites., Globe Centred On Asia And Oceania. Credit: Getty Images

A 1-ton European science satellite plunged back into Earth’s atmosphere and incinerated with debris most likely landing in the southern regions of the Atlantic Ocean, officials said on Monday.

The last contact by ground tracking stations with Europe’s Gravity field and steady-state Ocean Circulation Explorer, known as GOCE, was at 5:42 p.m. EST  on Sunday as the spacecraft flew just 75 miles above Antarctica, the European Space Agency said.

Extrapolating from computer models, officials believe GOCE hit the upper atmosphere about 50 miles above the planet’s surface no later than 7:16 p.m. EST Sunday near the Falkland Islands.

“This would put the main area over which any possible GOCE remnants fell to the southernmost regions of the Atlantic Ocean,” the space agency wrote in a status report on its website.

“No damage to property has been reported from any debris,” the report said.

About 25 percent of the car-sized satellite was expected to have survived re-entry.

GOCE was launched in 2009 to map variations in Earth’s gravity. Scientists assembled the data into the first detailed global maps of the boundary between the planet’s crust and mantle, among other projects.

The satellite ran out of fuel on Oct. 21 and had been steadily losing altitude since, tugged by Earth’s gravity.

The 1.2-ton GOCE satellite is small in comparison to other spacecraft that recently crashed back into the atmosphere.

In January 2012, Russia’s failed 14-ton Phobos-Grunt Mars probe returned. In 2011, NASA’s 6.5-ton Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite and Germany’s 2.4-ton  X-ray ROSAT telescope re-entered the atmosphere.

 



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Humans should thank ancient Scottish fish fossils for…

By Kate KellandLONDON (Reuters) - Scientists studying fossils have discovered that the intimate act of sexual intercourse used by humans was pioneered by ancient armored…

National

Comet makes rare close pass by Mars as…

By Irene KlotzNEW YORK (Reuters) - A comet from the outer reaches of the solar system on Sunday made a rare, close pass by Mars…

Local

NYPD: Man found hanging in Brooklyn subway station

A man was found hanging inside a Brooklyn subway station on Saturday morning, police said. The man, who still had not been identified on Sunday,…

Local

Only church destroyed in 9/11 set to rebuild

St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church, the only house of worship destroyed during the terrorist attacks on 9/11, held a groundbreaking ceremony Saturday to start the…

Television

9 things we learned about 'Hannibal' Season 3…

There’s plenty of fall television to be excited about, but the crowd inside the Paley Center for Media on Saturday night only wanted one thing:…

Going Out

Watch home cooks try to impress Tom Colicchio…

Is what you’re making for dinner tonight good enough to serve “Top Chef” judge Tom Colicchio? That’s the standard that some of the city’s best…

Television

‘Homeland’ recap: Season 4, Episode 4 ‘Iron in…

Carrie Mathison, what are you doing?! Don’t seduce virgins! More on that later: Lots of crazy stuff went down on the "Iron in the Fire" ep of "Homeland"!

Movies

Box office: Brad Pitt kills Nazis, also Nicholas…

This weekend, Brad Pitt's second WWII movie, "Fury," rolled into the lead, while the latest Nicholas Sparks movie, "The Best of Me," got little love.

College

College football AP Top 25 rankings: Mississippi State…

College football AP Top 25 rankings: Mississippi State holds off FSU

NHL

NHL Power Rankings: Sharks, Canadiens, Blackhawks out in…

NHL Power Rankings: Sharks, Canadiens, Blackhawks out in front

NFL

DeMarco Murray carries Cowboys to win over Giants

The Giants knew they would need to stop DeMarco Murray if they were going to leave Dallas with a win. It didn't matter.

NFL

Jets trade for wide receiver Percy Harvin: Report

According to Fox Sports' Jay Glazer, the Jets have sent a conditional draft pick to the Seahawks for wide receiver Percy Harvin.

Wellbeing

Gabby Bernstein: The 3 questions I always get

For the last decade, I’ve been writing self-help books and preaching the Gospel of Gabby to audiences throughout the world. And no matter what country…

Wellbeing

Health News: 5K for lung cancer, free yoga,…

Get some fresh air to benefit lung cancer research On Friday, the first-ever Brooklyn Free to Breathe Run/Walk will take place Oct. 26 at Cadman Plaza…

Education

Can these two college students come up with…

Two Atlanta college students say they have an idea for a simple test that would quickly diagnosis the Ebola virus - and it all started…

Education

Chances are, the average college student isn't taking…

As a bachelor’s degree becomes more expensive than ever, one new report is criticizing colleges for the content of those pricey educations. The American Council…