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How concerned should I be about the Tiangong-1 satellite?

Author :

Submitted : 2018-06-14 03:32:02    Popularity:     

Tags: concerned  Tiangong  satellite  

We are in Toronto and on the news it mentions Toronto as one of the more likely cities which Tiangong-1 can fall on upon re-entry in early April.

I was wondering if we should move out of its latitude zone for the week it is projected to fall?

Answers:

If that is Toronto Canada, then you are outside its latitude zone by almost one full degree. (42.8° N - 42.8° S) Toronto = 43.6532° N

Not concerned at all, unless you ingest more than 1.4 micrograms of plutonium or parts of the satellite hit you on the head

The way the "news" pick cities is easy: the satellite will fall somewhere between its highest northerly latitude and its highest southerly latitude.
In the case of Tiangong-1, that is anywhere between 42.7 N and 42.7 S.

If you run a Canadian newspaper, you know that you can only impress your readers if you find a Canadian city between these two latitudes. There are not many. Maybe London, certainly Windsor.
But if you want your paper to be impressive to your Toronto readers, you add Toronto (it is very borderline, being located around latitude 43.7 N.
In other words, the satellite NEVER passes directly overhead Toronto.

It COULD, given very special circumstances, fall in such a way that it deviates northward beyond its highest orbiting latitude, but that would be one of those "one-in-a-million" kind of event.

Toronto is already out of "its latitude zone" for the week it is projected to fall. If you decide to move 5 degrees north (for example Thunder Bay), who is to say that you would still not be hit by one of those "one-in-a-trillion" chance that the satellite starts gliding instead of falling, and reaches you in Thunder Bay.

Or, more likely, that you would not be killed by some mundane transportation accident while going from Toronto to Thunder Bay.

To date the only creature known to have been killed by something falling from Space is a Cow

Totally silly. Toronto is perfectly safe. Typical nonsense from scientifically hopeless journalists looking for attention grabbing headlines

Draw a 50 cm by 50 cm box on the ground, then stand inside the box. You fit completely within the box. Now think of the millions of square kilometers of Earth's surface that fall within the orbital footprint of Tiangong. So what do you think are your chances of getting hit by it, or rather by a piece of it, since it will break up into pieces upon reentry? Hint: You have better chance of being the sole winner of the record Powerball jackpot.

Cities are small. The chance of it landing anywhere in Toronto is tiny.

And it's not going to fall in one piece, it'll break up. In the event it *does* look like hitting Toronto there'll be some warning, and pretty much stay indoors and you'll be safe.

the problem with using plutonium powered satellites is eventually they fall back to earth and burn up . one atom of plutonium if breathed in and lodged in your lung will give you cancer . how many atoms are in 10 pounds of the stuff ?

No one knows where it will land as yet. Toronto is only one of hundreds of places where debris may fall.

You will need to wait until the satellite actually begins to enter the atmosphere and slow down more.

At that point, the landing area of the debris can be more accurately calculated. If you do not know that, then you might actually be going to a place where it is more likely to land.

Given that 70% of he surface is water, it is most likely that most of the debris will end up in the ocean.

Canada already got hit by one Russian satellite with plutonium on board; it *could* happen again.... I think the odds of any one place getting hit are millions to one - but.... it’s not zero.



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