GOCE: Picture of the satellite burning up in Earth’s atmosphere.

The Last Moments for GOCE [PIC]

The Last Moments for GOCE [PIC]

Bad Astronomy
The entire universe in blog form
Nov. 13 2013 8:00 AM

The Last Moments for GOCE

Over the weekend, the GOCE scientific satellite burned up in Earth’s atmosphere off the coast of the Falkland Islands.

That’s not exactly downtown Chicago — the Falklands are thinly populated, with only about 3000 people there — so I despaired of seeing an image of the last few moments for GOCE. However, a picture did turn up, taken by Bill Chater:

GOCE burns up
GOCE re-enters Earth's atmosphere.

Photo by Bill Chater / ESA

In a followup tweet, Chater said he has video, so we may yet see a little more of this mission’s noble demise.

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It's always sad to see a mission come to an end, but it helps a lot to know that it was very successful, providing data that scientists will use for many years to come. My congratulations to the GOCE team for their hard work.