Two Satellites Might Collide Hours From Now – IRAS vs GGSE-4

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Edit: no giant flashes were observed so it looks like a narrow miss was the result.
Based on information from satellite tracker LeoLabs there’s a significant chance that two old satellites might collide at a speed of 14.7km/sec over the US tonight (January 29th, 2020). The odds are still small, but the consequences are big so amateur astronomers are setting up to monitor this event.

LeoLabs visualization:

The thumbnail uses an image from FlightClub:

  1. Elliot D

    Thanks Scott Manley for the video hopefully more of the public will awaken to space debris now

  2. Brian Merz

    Aaahhh! It looks like V’ger!

  3. Ganiscol

    More space debris – yay! 🎈

  4. David Kelly

    Thank for the heads-up.

  5. nitehawk86

    I went out to look and it was cloudy, as always. Other astronomers in the area were able to view, but nothing happened.

  6. NeverTalkToCops1

    Third satellite will interpret the collision as an ICBM launch. Game Over!

  7. thatjokerperson

    Who would win
    A piece of history *some classified boi*

  8. Charlie Schuck

    very exciting, im a pittsburgh native!

  9. Filip Skotnica

    *the Scott Manley side of me:* IRAS is such a historic icon, it would be a shame for it to blow up.
    *the space pirate side of me:* After all it’s years of servis – *its time to go out with a bang!!* :)

  10. Duran

    Part of me wants starlink junk to collide. 😈

  11. F0X SlN

    Congratulations on 1 million subs

  12. cryptout

    Man that classic satellite looks awesome!

  13. Wzrd

    getting the popcorn some one better do a live stream. So can we get a half section yet?

  14. LordVikron

    Never been so early…

  15. bralexAIR

    man, I just want to know what your shirt says

  16. Al Mirria

    And could be the beginning of a Kessler Effect

  17. 2cycle

    The beginning of the end.

  18. BaumeisterJac k

    Nice just finished you last video about 3 seconds before the notification came up…

  19. Jamal Howard.

    have your eyebrows always been so dark??🤔

  20. UntrueWalrus

    Keppler Syndrome: ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)

  21. Peter Ells

    GGSE-4 reminds me of bar shot or chain shot from fighting ships in the days of sail.

  22. Ronda Riley

    Does your shirt stand for some type of travel velocity

  23. Sam Ferguson

    If it happens, I’m just gonna unironically quote the line from Gravity. And then crawl in a hole.

  24. Dan Gamble

    I need to know what your t-shirt means! NEED!

  25. Enfield of Ui Maine

    Anyone know the meaning of Scott’s shirt in this one? It looks neat

  26. TraitorVek

    Just in time for the two ‘New’ ones (plus spares) from the NRO

  27. iamzid

    it’s good to hear that i’m one launch closer to getting starlink.

  28. Delicious DeBlair

    Okee…time’s up…did they hit each other? ~( ‘w’)/

  29. Deem

    Thanks for the heads up Scott, I live in north NJ and will be looking

  30. Zeta Net

    It’s impressive to see such a bright group of satelites like starilks, and it was so easy to look for them… Thanks for the advice

  31. Shortsircut1

    Hey Scott, congrats on surpassing 1 million subscribers!

  32. Mateusz Urbaniak

    Oh no, more space junk

  33. Maldus Alver

    I take it they missed each other.

  34. Adam W.

    Where’s the 1M subs video?! Congratulations!!!! 🤩🥳

  35. Dylan Brown

    So if they didn’t collide, then should we try to do something about them so they don’t collide in the future?

  36. Alex Landherr

    Now this is Breaking(apart) news!

  37. guringai

    Could this be the collision which rapidly escalates the chain reaction of fragmentation that makes safe orbital flight impossible?

  38. Nate Contarino

    I’ve got $50 on GGSE-4

  39. Shermanium

    Dave Matthews Band is loving this!

  40. Ben Johnson

    I live near Pittsburgh!!! But saw this video literally 2 hours late ):

  41. Dominik Hanak

    1M subs celebration party. When & where? Cg Mr. Manley, I learned so much from you. Thanks for spreading knowledge. :)

  42. ujean56

    Aerospace industry: Doh!

  43. The Simple Animator

    I love in philly so it’s like a e hours drive to Pittsburgh from here

  44. aullik

    Some quick and dirty calculations tell me that IRAS will naturally decay in “just” 20 thousand years…
    We really need more strikt rules for everything above 600 km and we need to cleanup whats there

  45. Mick Wilson

    Yay! Thanks for the thanks to IRAS, its breakthrough view of The Big Thing, and being the Australopithicus to the James Webb!

  46. Kevin Street

    Thanks for doing this video! I hope they don’t collide, though… We don’t need any more debris up there.

  47. Overtime123

    I used IRAS data during my PhD :))

  48. antichris

    Just added the estimated time of the event to the Wikipedia article on IRAS.

  49. Geronimo Tudor

    Scott, you are the best! Like TLC in the early 1990’s. Informative without any bullshit whatsoever- I look to you when I want REAL details of scientific space goings on. Thank you! AND YES, I know, I know… but…I kinda want them to collide as well….BOOM!!!

  50. Oliver B

    3:08 in KSP when you try to rendezvous with a satellite but you are accidentally going the wrong way.

  51. Steven True

    *West of Pittsburgh there’s a place called moon*

  52. WildWilly BroCro

    Damn. They must’ve MISSED ea. other 😪💦
    Says the guy < 50 miles from Pgh, PA

  53. Barry Buschl

    Non event. They missed.

  54. The redReiter

    I remember when IRAS data was first shown. It was so awesome.

  55. Connor Dixon

    Sooo… did it happen?

  56. Crusoe

    1:23 Poppy!
    I launched that in Kerbal Space program few years ago :D Still got the screenshot:)

  57. Neal Swanson

    This is some interesting fantasy 😂

  58. The Scarlet Hanged King In Yellow

    The debris though :(

  59. Lithostheory

    Oh… poor IRAS :’^(

  60. PAL9000

    Over a million subs ! Congratulations, well deserved 👏👏👏

  61. огромная эрекция

    Just like Adam Schiff, missed the target.

  62. penguins4fuel

    I’m a huge fan Scott! Keep up the good work! Fly safe!

  63. Jeff Allen

    In the comments: everyone wishing they collide
    In reality: everyone will be pissed off when their GPS, wifi, etc… satellite is hit from the debris.

  64. Roy Rice

    PS: They didn’t. 😩😩😩

  65. TwoHandUke

    From a fellow countryman, I always look forward to your posts and please keep them coming. Perhaps you could update later if the impact takes place ??? THU

  66. P Visser

    IRAS was a Dutch build telescope in Cooperation with UK and US, and the second Dutch build telescope after ANS

  67. PhyzzFizz

    a collision would be a right pain in the iras ;)

  68. butlertv1

    We need Skynet to catch the debris. 😂😂

  69. Patricio Brum

    Someone warn George Clooney!

  70. wolvenar

    Here is hoping it doesn’t start a runaway mess of collisions

  71. DarqeDestroyer

    Welp, a satellite designed to stabilize itself by becoming tidally locked to the earth. I didn’t think that would work over such small scales and low masses.

  72. Warped Perception

    14km per sec… that’s gonna be Nice.

  73. LG YT

    fastest click in my life <3

  74. Terox

    Everything was clouded over my town when the starlink satellites flew by

  75. Reiner Zufall

    what is the code on his t-shirt?

  76. Jonathan Johnson

    Sad day… I broke the mount on my telescope and I’m from Pittsburgh :(…

  77. Dave O

    They missed each other!

  78. ArchEnema 67

    I’m in Pittsburgh. Stay tuned, I may be selling souvenirs tomorrow. ;)

  79. Jerr Spud

    “Fly Safe” and I’m talking to you IRAS!

  80. MegaAdeny

    I sort of want them to collide so that there’s a higher chance something is done about space debris in the future. You know, shake up those bureaucrats

  81. Taylor Horton

    Okay, I gotta know… What’s that on his shirt mean?

  82. MrPlaneTalk

    Is there a recommended livestream that may be able to show the collision? (If they have the equipment, of course.)

  83. Martin Heermance

    I’ve seen enough Star Trek TOS to know this is likely to create a genocidal machine intelligence.

  84. Mr Fister

    1:19 Looks like one of those Imperial torture droids.

  85. Mark Richards

    Well there’s another cloud of space debris we don’t need.

  86. zero two

    kessler syndrome here we go! lol

  87. Rob

    Gravity gradient stabilization actually does work. You will need a damping mechanism as it tends to oscillate like a pendulum, but that can be as simple as a couple of u-shaped tubes along the edges of the satellite filled with a slushy fluid that will dampen the oscillations (by converting movement into heat).
    It can also help to mount a couple of permanent magnets to orient the satellite in the magnetic field of the earth, or a more advanced method would be to use coils as electromagnets and control them from the onboard computer to actively dampen and stabilize the satellite until the gravity gradient method can take over.
    This method was used on a couple of amateur satellites from University of Surrey and it worked well.

  88. FloatingOer

    I’m calling it now, in the future there will be a new branch of science:
    Space Archeology

  89. William Swenson

    IRAS: Whuff! Did you see that?
    GGSE: (whistling) Uh, nope. You know, we should get together for lunch sometime before one of us de-orbits.
    IRAS: Sure. I’m not doing anything else….

  90. 2312b

    Jeb is probably piloting one of them

  91. Nothing\

    Spoiler alert: Nothing happened…. this time.

  92. Bangersnsmash Uk

    I wonder how many people are looking for the result here :/

  93. Marvin Kitfox

    At 900km circular orbits, a collision would leave a *lot* of debris up at altitudes where the natural decay rate is virtually zero.
    Bad, *bad* mojo.

  94. Michael Gainey

    SpaceX should get into the business of de-orbiting old satellites.

  95. Danny M. Roque

    For anyone scrolling through the comments for an update:
    Leolabs will only be in position for a scan 2 hours after the event.
    (Check their Twitter, when the time comes)
    Edit: latest prediction was a 47 meter miss.

  96. David Maddison

    Update: They missed each other.

  97. Cody'sLab

    If they do collide I hope someone at least manages to capture it on camera. I suspect the flash should be quite visible, right?

  98. Sven Oliver Schäfer

    They should just go to time warp when the sattelites approach each other and they will simply drift through each other. Also, even if they don’t time warp, the sattelites move so fast the the likelyhood that they collide in a frame is very low. Most likely, they will be in front of each other in one frame end behind each other in the next. (Real space does follow the mechanics I learn in Kerbal space program, right?)

  99. KapiteinKaya

    Part of me wants them to collide
    Part of me wants them not to collide..

  100. E. Rose

    SCOTT, the picture you used of the 4 guys in front of the poppy satellite, the one on the far right is my father! He designed the ELINT package!

Comments are closed.