Rocket Burns Up Over BC-Alberta Border Feb 24

Bright Slow-moving Disintegrating Object:

23 Feb 2015 at 10:56pm MST/9:56 PST

Shown above is an animated GIF of the rocket stage disintegrating as it passed over the Cranbrook, BC meteor-cam site. The Kelowna BC meteor-cam site caught a glimpse of it as well. The video frames displayed are 2 seconds apart over a 33 second period. It took a total of 83 seconds to pass overhead, coming in low like a comet over the Southeastern horizon, and leaving in four trailing chunks over the Northeastern horizon.

It was a highly visible fireball, with a long glowing tail with dozens of pieces sparkling and falling off. Many people in Cranbrook reported seeing it, phoning the radio station and enquiring at the airport. At first some wondered if it was a burning jet aircraft.

Neil Zeller in Calgary caught some good photos of it there. Check out this link here: Global News Article 24Feb2015

Rick Nowell


Reply-To: Ted Molczan
Re-entry of 2014-088B seen from U.S.A. and Canada

I awoke to a message from Joseph Remis with news that the re-entry of 2014-088B / 40363 had been seen from the western U.S. and Canada. It was stage 3 of the CZ-4B rocket that launched Yaogan Weixing 26 on 2014 Dec 27 UTC.

USSTRATCOM’s apparently final TIP message, issued at 11:15 UTC, reports the decay at 5:54 UTC +/- 7 min, near 42.3 N, 111.6 W. That corresponds to descent to 10 km, the approximate toe of the debris footprint (should any have survived to impact Earth). Based on the sightings, the final descent was farther north, well into Canada, but within the stated time uncertainty.

As I write, more than 140 observations have been reported to the AMS site:

The object was north-bound, descending from a 97.3 deg orbit. There are confirmed sightings from Arizona, Utah, Nevada, Wyoming, Idaho, Oregon, Washington, Montana, British Columbia, Alberta. The most southerly observation I have noted so far was from Scottsdale, Arizona; the most northerly from Didsbury, Alberta. That spans nearly 3000 km of the descent.

Map of Rocket Path_cropped
Map of Rocket Re-entry Path

I have plotted a large sample of the AMS sighting locations, along with the ground track of 14088B:

The underlying Google Earth kmz file is here:

Joseph provided a link to a video here: KSL 5 News in Utah

Report from Ted Molczan