Chinese rocket body CZ-5B R/B: observation from Rome – 8 May 2021

We observed the CZ-5B R/B rocket body from Rome and could see it by naked eye, clearly flashing because it is tumbling. Here it is our image.

The Chinese CZ-5B R/B rocket body: Rome, 8 May 2021.

The Chinese CZ-5B R/B rocket body: Rome, 8 May 2021.

The image above comes from the combination of ten, 8-second frames, taken back to back with a Canon 5DmIV DSLR and a 41mm-f/3.2 lens. The brightest object visible is planet Jupiter.

The rocket is visible on the right side of the picture. As we can see from its trail, the luminosity of the CZ-5B R/B body was rapidly varying, I could easily see it flashing with my own eye. Our guess from the image is that the body flashes every 2.5 seconds or so. The rocket moved from the upper right to the bottom.

These images were obtained from Rome, where I live; unfortunately, in Ceccano – 100 km South – the sky was cloudy and we could not image and share live the rocked with our telescope.

While I write this, the re-entry is expected on 9 May 2021, at 02:52 UTC +/- 6 hours, so it is still too early to say where it will re-enter.

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