Amateurs Could Spot Lost Tool Bag from Space, Experts Say
Amateur astronomers may soon have the chance to spot a lost tool bag floating in space using just binoculars or a telescope, according to experts. The tool bag was inadvertently lost by NASA astronauts Jasmin Moghbeli and Loral O’Hara while they were fixing a solar panel on the International Space Station (ISS) earlier this month.
Astronomers have managed to spot the tool bag, stating that it is bright enough to be visible from the ground as long as one possesses the right equipment. Tomorrow, between 18:24 and 18:34 GMT, the bag can be observed, assuming the weather stays clear. However, the optimal viewing window will be on November 24, from 17:30 to 17:41 GMT.
For those living in the south of the United Kingdom, the chances of spotting the bag are significantly higher. The bag has the identification number 58229/1998-067WC and is categorized as space junk. It is believed to have drifted away from the astronauts during their spacewalk while they were removing insulation.
Astronomy website earthsky.org suggests that the bag should appear approximately two to four minutes ahead of the ISS as it descends. Some amateur astronomers are even planning “tool-watching parties” to track the bag as it orbits the Earth.
If the lost tool bag is similar to one that went missing in 2008, the estimated cost of replacing it could exceed £82,000. This highlights the importance of properly securing equipment during space missions to prevent costly incidents and potential hazards in Earth’s orbit.
As the night sky offers a unique opportunity for stargazers to witness this rare sighting, enthusiasts are encouraged to grab their binoculars or telescopes and try their luck at spotting the lost bag. With a bit of luck and the right equipment, amateurs may soon be able to enjoy their own interstellar treasure hunt.
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