Amateur astronomer found, after 13 years, a NASA satellite lost in space!

Published on Feb 01, 2018

Scott Tilley, an amateur astronomer and amateur astronomer of British Columbia, canada, on the 26th of January she intercepted the radio signal of the IMAGE (Imager for Magnetopause-to-Aurora Global Exploration), a NASA satellite lost in space by about 13 years, namely, from December 18, 2005 when she stopped suddenly to communicate with the control center.

During one of his usual nights spent “searching” the space, and to listen to the signals and its equipment to the research of spy satellites, the hobby that the 47-year-old Tilley to his family when he was 8 years old, Scott has intercepted the signal from a source classified as a “2000-017A”, that the skilled astronomer, he well knew to belong to the IMAGE satellite, which had lost the tracks.

NASA lost contact with a satellite 12 years ago. An amateur just found its signal. Actual interview not spambot or copy paste.

— Scott Tilley (@coastal8049) February 1, 2018

Read also: The space probe Voyager 1 turns on the motors after 37 years!

Launched by NASA into orbit in march 2000, for a value of approximately $ 150 million, IMAGE had the task of studying the behaviour of the earth's magnetic field when it is hit by the solar wind, a phenomenon that is responsible for, among others, of the aurora borealis, and of the storms geomagnetic, a position that the satellite had played for over 5 years before becoming unavailable.

Immediately after the announcement of the discovery by Tilley, the former a member of the scientific team that was in charge of the mission have begun to put into operation the equipment and the old control software (now ancient compared to the standard and to the technologies of today), to try to regain control of the satellite, in the hope of being able to turn on all its systems.

If the attempt to make operational again, the IMAGE (at the moment it only outputs the telemetric signal) should be successful, the mission aborted in 2005 may continue, first of all getting all the data that the satellite has captured during the 13 years of solo flight and, in the second place, opening up the possibility to continue to study in depth the aurora borealis, as indicated by Patricia Reiff of the University of california, Berkeley, one of the leaders of the original mission:

IMAGE has a point of view really privileged to study the northern lights!

Source: Sciencemag

The article amateur Astronomer found, after 13 years, a NASA satellite lost in space! comes from Justnerd.en.


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