MARS PROBE PHOTOGRAPHED: Phobos-Grunt, a Russian Mars probe stuck in Earth orbit since November, is sinking back into the atmosphere. Best estimates suggest re-entry will occur on Jan. 15th or 16th. Meanwhile, citizen scientists can see the probe moving through the night sky sometimes shining as brightly as a first-magnitude star. French astrophotographer Thierry Legault recently photographed Phobos-Grunt through a 14-inch telescope, revealing its outlines and perhaps a clue as to why the probe has had difficulty communicating with Earth. His images and video are highlighted on today's edition of http://spaceweather.com .
Local flyby times for Phobos-Grunt may be found using SpaceWeather's online satellite tracker (http://spaceweather.com/