Sentinel-1A spots potential oil slick from missing EgyptAir plane

Sentinel-1A spots potential oil slick from missing EgyptAir plane
The Sentinel-1A radar satellite detected a slick in the eastern Mediterranean Sea – in the same area that EgyptAir flight MS804 disappeared early morning of 19 May 2016 on its way from Paris to Cairo. Sentinel-1A acquired this image later in the day at 16:00 GMT (18:00 CEST) in ‘extra-wide swath mode’ of 400 km with horizontal polarisation. ESA provided it to the relevant authorities to support the search operations. The 2 km-long slick is located at 33°32' N / 29°13' E – about 40 km southeast of the last known location of the aircraft. Although there is no guarantee that the slick is from the missing airplane, this information could be helpful for the search. Credit: Copernicus Sentinel data [2016], processed by ESA & Sentinel-1 Mission Performance Centre

The Sentinel-1A radar satellite has detected a potential oil slick in the eastern Mediterranean Sea – in the same area where EgyptAir flight MS804 disappeared early yesterday morning on its way from Paris to Cairo.

The image was acquired by Sentinel-1A yesterday at 16:00 GMT (18:00 CEST).

ESA has given information related to the image to the relevant authorities to support the search operations.

Since the plane disappeared, ESA and experts have been scrutinising to see if anything could be found to indicate wreckage or oil floating on the sea.

According to the , the slick was at 33°32' N / 29°13' E – about 40 km southeast of the last known location of the aircraft. The slick is about 2 km long.

There is, however, no guarantee that the slick is from the missing aircraft.

A second image from this morning at 04:00 GMT (06:00 CEST) shows that the slick has drifted by about 5 km.

The Sentinel-2A satellite will pass above the same area on 22 May, and experts will continue to study the images returned for further clues.

Both Sentinel satellites were launched as part of Europe's environmental monitoring Copernicus programme, led by the European Commission.

ESA and the European Commission have released this information in parallel.

Sentinel-1A spots potential oil slick from missing EgyptAir plane
The Sentinel-1A radar satellite detected a slick in the eastern Mediterranean Sea – in the same area that EgyptAir flight MS804 disappeared early morning of 19 May 2016 on its way from Paris to Cairo. Sentinel-1A acquired this image later in the day at 16:00 GMT (18:00 CEST) in ‘extra-wide swath mode’ of 400 km with horizontal polarisation. ESA provided it to the relevant authorities to support the search operations. The 2 km-long slick is located at 33°32' N / 29°13' E – about 40 km southeast of the last known location of the aircraft. Although there is no guarantee that the slick is from the missing airplane, this information could be helpful for the search. Credit: Copernicus Sentinel data [2016], processed by ESA & Sentinel-1 Mission Performance Centre

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May 22, 2016
Apart from the weird coincidence between MH370 and MS804 being exactly 804 days, there are three theories that I can think of which would explain the event, two are commonly known, one has not been mentioned as yet:
1) A Bomb. I immediately noticed, and others have since commented, that the interval between the beginning of the trouble and loss of the aircraft was too long for it to have been a bomb. Further, the problem starts in the wrong end of the plane for it to be a bomb;
2) An Electrical Fire. The interval between the first smoke detection and the loss of control is too quick. Smoke sets off alarms long before fire takes hold. All electrical circuits have circuit breakers that slow the spread of fire in the case of a short circuit, so individual system failures are quickly isolated.
3) Striking an object. At their cruising altitude there are no small planes and I don't think military drones can get up to that altitude. It is way too low for satellites and orbiting space junk.

May 22, 2016
But space junk coming out of orbit that doesn't burn up in the atmosphere could strike a plane. It would be a very small but very hot mass (as they burn up) that could strike the plane but the speed would be in the order of 10,000 kmh or higher. A hot coin sized object striking a plane would be catastrophic at that speed.. This would quickly cause failures and fires explosively fast.

The other possibility is a small meteor. Meteor strikes are common but they rarely get through the atmosphere, but they do occasionally get through and so striking a plane is possible. It would be more likely that a strike would be a glancing blow to the plane so penetration is even a lower probability.

However, although the probability is extremely low, it is not zero. A strike on the right hand side below the cockpit and penetrating the avionics below the cockpit would account for all of the thus far reported conditions.

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