Pittsburg residents missed a small version of a meteorite shower.
Humans can do wonderful things using artificial satellites, but artificial satellites have lives, and when their lives are over, they just float in space. People who observe space and sky are saying that there might be a possibility that two defunct satellites floating in the sky may collide with each other. Both the satellites were moving towards each other at a speed of about 33,000 miles per hour and fortunately missed each other. This collision would have been visible to residents of Pittsburg with the help of binoculars.
Out of the two satellites, one was Infrared Astronomical Satellite (IRAS), a space telescope which was the result of a joint mission between the Netherlands, Nasa, and the UK. IRAS became un-operational in November 1983 when it ran out of fuel. Second Satellite was an experimental US payload launched way back in 1967 by US Air Force known by its name GGSE-4. Both the satellites were big, IRAS being 3.6 meters across, and GGSE-4 being 18 meters wide. Leolabs, a company in California, was monitoring the collision course of these two satellites. This collision would have created a thousand debris in space.
New debris would have caused serious difficulties for satellites operating in lower earth orbit. Experts believe that such episodes are dangerous, they may be harmless to humans, but debris clouds from such collisions spread throughout the space and move at extremely high velocity. Such fast-moving debris can harm other satellites and International Space Station. Moreover, such collision could create a chain reaction, in which debris from colliding satellites strikes other satellites, creating more debris that would harm other satellites and create more debris.
Common Phenomenon in the future?
NASA believes that space debris is harmful as this debris creates a danger to all space vehicles, especially to International Space Station. With the increase in the number of satellites, experts fear that such episodes may become commonplace in the future.