Russian Satellite Will Hit Earth On Sunday (But No One Knows Where)

Russian Satellite May Hit Earth On Sunday (But No One Knows Where)
File photo
File photo
Konstantin Inozemtsev via Getty Images

UPDATE 16/02 22:55 Russian TV states the entire satellite burned up in re-entry, will confirm when more reports come through.

A defunct Russian satellite is set to smash into Earth on Sunday - but no one is quite sure where.

The Kosmos-1220 is expected to breakup during re-entry but officials have said they expect portions to survive.

Russian Colonel Alexei Zolotukhin, said: "As of February 7, 2014 the fragments are expected to fall on February 16.

"The exact impact time and location of the fragments from the Kosmos-1220 satellite may change due to external factors."

Chances are the satellite will land in the ocean like the European Space Agency’s GOCE satellite last year but this can't be known for certain.

David Eicher, editor of Astronomy magazine, told "Much of it will burn up in Earth’s atmosphere, but no doubt fragments of Kosmos-1220 will reach Earth.

"What we have going for us is that most of the planet is covered with water, and highly populated areas are in the minority of our planet’s surface area. So it is unlikely that satellite debris will cause injuries or major damage. Still, with such a reentry, we are playing the odds."

"This is a very real danger, given that a decaying orbit will carry this satellite down onto the planet."

At the time of writing the satellite was passing the southern tip of Argentina - you can track it live here.

Kosmos-1220 was launched in 1980 to conduct naval reconnaissance but was declared defunct the same year.


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