Photos
Article

By by NANCY ATKINSON, Universe Today

The astronauts on board the International Space Station saw a strange and unexpected view out their windows yesterday. “Saw something launch into space today. Not sure what it was but the cloud it left behind was pretty amazing,” tweeted NASA astronaut Mike Hopkins.

ESA astronaut Luca Parmitano also got a shot of the cloud, as well as another picture of a contrail left from the launch.

So what launched into space? Of course, there was no launch from NASA because of the government shutdown, and I couldn’t find any other launches on the docket anywhere else, so I checked in with Robert Christy at the Zarya.info website, who usually knows of everything going up (or down) in space.

“Without precise date, time and location it’s not possible to say for sure,” Christy replied, “I believe there was a missile launch from Kapustin Yar (Kazakhstan) on October 10 so if the photo was taken over the Eastern Europe or central Asia region than that might be what he saw.”
Doing a search for that, I found a notation on the RussianForces website that said:

Strategic Rocket Forces carried out a successful test launch of a Topol/SS-25 missile on October 10, 2013. The missile was launched at 17:39 MSK (13:39 UTC) from Kapustin Yar to the Sary Shagan test site in Kazakhstan. According to a representative of the Rocket Forces, the test was used to confirm characteristics of the Topol missile, to test the systems of the Sary Shagan test site, and “to test new combat payload for intercontinental ballistic missiles.”

I had thought ICBM’s were a relic of the Cold War, but according to Wikipedia, “As of 2009, all five of the nations with permanent seats on the United Nations Security Council have operational long-range ballistic missile systems: all except China have operational submarine-launched missiles, and Russia, the United States and China also have land-based ICBMs (the US’ missiles are silo-based, China and Russia have both silo and road-mobile missiles).” Additionally, Israel launched an ICBM test in 2008, India test-fired one in 2012 and there was much speculation that a launch by North Korea in December 2012 to put a satellite into orbit was really a way to test an ICBM.

“An immense cloud forms outside the atmosphere after the disintegration,” Parmitano said via Twitter.
Robert Christy noted that at the launch time noted by the RussianForces website, the ISS was over Iran, heading northeast towards Mongolia, and the Sun was about to set at Kapustin Yar.

“The view from the ISS would have been with a low sun angle, shining ‘over the photographer’s shoulder’ – hence the rather striking image against a darkish background with no glare from the Sun,” Christy told Universe Today via email.

Oh, the things you can see out your window in space!


Source: http://www.universetoday.com/105457/missle-launch-creates-weird-cloud-seen-in-space/#ixzz2hkhaWQqt

Comments
Order by: 
Per page: 
 
  • There are no comments yet
The Social Network Buzz - Comment using your Facebook, AOL, Hotmail or Yahoo! account
Info
Administrator
The Black Vault Owner/Operator
10.14.2013 (186 days ago)
Main Space
495 Views
0 Subscribers
All News by Administrator
Share This Article
Rate
0 votes
Related News
Using NASA's Kepler Space Telescope, astronomers have discovered the first Earth-size planet orbiting a star in the "habitable zone"
Main Space
21 hours ago · From Administrator
Pivoting planets that lean one way and then change orientation within a short geological time period might be surprisingly habitable
Main Space
2 days ago · From Administrator
Life took root more than four billion years ago on our nascent Earth, a wetter and harsher place than now, bathed in sizzling ultraviolet rays.
Main Space
3 days ago · From Administrator
Wonder what the lunar eclipse of 4/15/2014 would have looked like if you were standing on the surface of the moon?
Main Space
3 days ago · From Administrator
The United States was in a prime orbital position and time of day to view the eclipse on April 15, 2014.
Main Space
3 days ago · From Administrator
Missile Launch Creates Weird Cloud Seen in Space