Trump Accidentally Revealed The Amazing Resolution Of U.S. Spy Satellites
President Trump is known for his somewhat erratic tweeting, but he likely didn’t realize the implications of releasing a classified image from a U.S. satellite the other day.
On Friday, August 30, Trump tweeted what appeared to be a satellite image of the Semnan Launch Site One in Iran, the location of a suspected rocket failure recently, which Trump says the U.S. was not involved in despite the tensions between the two countries.
“The United States of America was not involved in the catastrophic accident during final launch preparations for the Safir SLV Launch at Semnan Launch Site One in Iran,” Trump said. “I wish Iran best wishes and good luck in determining what happened at Site One.”
While that might all seem rather innocuous, by tweeting this image Trump has actually potentially caused a huge security risk. The U.S. government is notoriously secretive about its surveillance satellites, but with just this image experts have already been able to work out a number of key and interesting details.
First and foremost, experts such as astronomer Marco Langbroek were able to use the angle of the image to work out which satellite took the image. From these calculations and the suspected time of the photo, 9.44 A.M. UTC on Thursday, August 29, the satellite appears to be USA 224, an optical reconnaissance satellite.
“It is a very good match so there is no doubt in my mind that it is an image taken by USA 224,” tweeted Langbroek.
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