Tool bag dropped in space is orbiting Earth at 17,000mph and will be visible this week

You can see it this week.
  • The tool bag was lost by two astronauts working on the ISS
  • The tool bag is now orbiting Earth at 17,000 mph
  • Experts say amateur astronomers should be able to spot the bag using binoculars or a telescope

Published on Nov 20, 2023 at 8:31PM (UTC+4)

Last updated on Nov 21, 2023 at 1:51PM (UTC+4)

Edited by Alessandro Renesis
Tool bag dropped in space is orbiting Earth at 17,000mph and will be visible this week

Catching a spectacular view of a planet, meteor shower or eclipse are the usual reasons people turn their gaze to the sky.

Tomorrow, however, will see an even more unusual sight, as a stray tool bag will be seen flying in the sky above the UK.

As much as this sounds like a joke, it’s not – two NASA astronauts dropped the tool bag in space earlier this month.

READ MORE! SpaceX launches most powerful rocket in the world to success… and then failure

The story goes, Jasmin Moghbeli and Loral O’Hara were trying to fix a solar panel on the International Space Station (ISS) when they lost the bag.

Clearly, it was an accident – but it turned out to be an expensive one at that, as supposedly the tool bag’s worth $100,000.

Anyhow, the stray tool bag has been spotted by astronomers who say that because the bit of kit is so bright, it should be visible to people on the ground.

As long as the weather doesn’t obscure the view, the bag can been seen between 18:24 and 18:34 GMT tomorrow.

But, to stand a chance of seeing it, you’ll need a pair of binoculars or a telescope.

Apparently, people in the south of the UK are likely to have the best chance of spotting it.

According to the Met office, the forecast suggests it shouldn’t be too cloudy at that time.

That being said, the best time to see it will be on November 24 between 17:30 and 17:41 GMT.

The tool bag, orbiting Earth at 17,000 mph around five minutes ahead of the ISS, was classified as space junk and given the ID number 58229/1998-067WC.

The funny thing is, this isn’t the first time a bag has been lost in space by an astronaut.

Back in 2008, astronaut Heidemarie Stefanyshyn-Piper mislaid hers as she cleaned a leaking grease gun while working on one of space shuttle Endeavour’s solar panels.

Amateur astronomers even held ‘tool-watching parties’ to keep up with the bag as it circled Earth for months.

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