“Welcome back IMAGE!” wrote a part-time astronomer on his weblog Tuesday. It was the fruits of his blissful and totally unintentional discovery of a functioning satellite tv for pc as soon as thought useless by its creator, NASA.

Launched in 2000, NASA’s Imager for Magnetopause-to-Aurora Global Exploration (IMAGE) satellite tv for pc was tasked by the U.S. house company to review the earth’s magnetosphere — a job it dutifully did till floor management misplaced contact with the craft in 2005. Having “exceeded all its scientific goals and . . . produced a fire hose of stunning images of the previously invisible region of space in the inner magnetosphere” in response to the company, consultants left it for useless, a metallic corpse floating in house awaiting its eventual deadly plunge into the ambiance.

That all modified earlier this month when beginner astronomer Scott Tilley used his radio telescope in an try to seek out the U.S. authorities spy satellite tv for pc Zuma, which was reported to have failed to succeed in orbit and fallen out of contact after its Jan. eight launch atop a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket. Tilley did not discover Zuma, however, as he wrote on his weblog, he did discover one thing.

“Upon reviewing the data from January 20, 2018,” he wrote, “I noticed a curve consistent with an satellite in High Earth Orbit (HEO) on 2275.905MHz, darn not ZUMA.” He added that he, “set to work to identify the source.”

Slightly sleuthing and a number of evaluation of his findings pointed to the long-lost IMAGE because the almost definitely offender. Nothing if not thorough and conscientious, Tilley knowledgeable NASA, who then teamed with him to verify the invention and — yep — discovered that not solely was the item IMAGE, however that the craft was, at the very least to some extent, nonetheless functioning.

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