posted on Dec, 25 2011 @ 05:51 PM
Originally posted by Human_Alien
Hard to get an accurate idea of how fast it was traveling but it looked like it was moving mighty slow for a meteor. It actually reminded me of the SS
slow for a natural
meteor, and you are quite right that it is hard to get an accurate idea of the actual speed, but...
Objects in orbit around us (earth) are limited to a certain speed, or else they will no longer remain in orbit, so when something reenters it will
almost always be much
slower than natural meteoroids which orbit the sun.
I say "almost always" since there is some overlap, and due to parallax/perspective a fast natural meteor could actually appear to be slow or even
stationary, depending on the position of the observer in relation to the meteor, but fast natural meteors "burn up" or ablate much quicker than a
satellite reentry, which is always going to be a low angle of reentry anyway. Basically low angle and low velocity mean a prolonged meteor/reentry, so
we can rule out short lived natural meteors.
To put that into context, the velocity of orbital reentries never exceeds 10 or 11 km/s, where as natural meteoroids in solar orbits enter the
atmosphere at relative velocities of between 10 and 73 km/s.
It can be hard to tell the difference between natural and artificial based on appearance alone in the borderline cases (including this case and most
satellite/junk reentries IMO), but since we have an actual candidate in this case (a verified Soyuz rocket launch) for the origin of the meteor, and
the apparently slow moving meteor in the footage, which crucially fits with the failed launch in terms of apparent velocity, timing and
location/heading, that certainly makes the failed launch the obvious source of the meteor and resulting sightings.