Disco Ball Satellite Will Soon Burn Up In Space

Posted: Mar 21 2018, 1:44pm CDT | by , in Latest Science News


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Disco Ball Satellite will Soon Burn Up in Space
Credit: Rocket Lab

The satellite, named the Humanity Star, will burn up and disintegrate in coming days

The giant disco ball satellite will fall back to Earth sooner than expected. The shimmering sphere, named Humanity Star, was launched into space in late January. It was technically the first satellite built and deployed in space by New Zealand.

The satellite was originally designed to stay in Earth’s orbit for nine months but now it is expected to burn up upon its reentry in next few days. Unfortunately, nobody knows exactly when and where it will enter the Earth’s atmosphere.

"In the coming days, the Humanity Star will begin its final descent into the Earth's atmosphere where it will burn up on re-entry, leaving no trace.” New Zealander Peter Beck, the founder of California-based Rocket Lab, who launched the satellite said in a statement.

The satellite that resembles a disco ball is made from carbon-fiber. It has 65 reflective panels that can spin rapidly and reflect the sunlight back to Earth. While traveling at 27 times the speed of sound, the satellite was expected to complete an orbit around Earth every 90 minutes. It was visible from every part of the world at different times. Founder claimed that Humanity Star will be the brightest object in space if someone happens to watch it in the night sky. The purpose of the satellite was to remind people of the vastness of the space and to realize their place in the universe.

“No matter where you are in the world, rich or in poverty, in conflict or at peace, everyone will be able to see the bright, blinking Humanity Star orbiting Earth in the night sky. My hope is that everyone looking up at the Humanity Star will look past it to the expanse of the universe, feel a connection to our place in it and think a little differently about their lives, actions and what is important.” Beck said in an earlier statement.

The launch of the satellite received a mixed reaction from the scientific community. While many praised the satellite launch, some raised their concerns about the plan, arguing that the satellite will create a flashing light and block out the light from stars. Light pollution is already making it hard for researchers to gaze at stars in night sky.

“This is stupid, vandalizes the night sky and corrupts our view of the cosmos.” David Kipping, an astronomer from Columbia University, said.

According to reports, the satellite is losing its altitude and if it continues to drop at this rate, it will return to Earth on Thursday.

“While the Humanity Star was a brief moment in human history, I hope the conversations and ideas it sparked around the world will continue to be explored,” said Beck. “These are the conversations that will play a part in shaping how we collectively manage our planet and work together to solve the challenges facing us all."

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<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/47" rel="author">Hira Bashir</a>
The latest discoveries in science are the passion of Hira Bashir (). With years of experience, she is able to spot the most interesting new achievements of scientists around the world and cover them in easy to understand reporting.




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