Experts revealed the source of mysterious ‘space debris’ that lit up California’s sky

A meteor shower? Nope
  • South California’s skies lit up by mysterious space debris
  • Some thought it was a UFO or an alien spacecraft
  • Later, experts revealed the truth

Published on Apr 6, 2024 at 10:05PM (UTC+4)

Last updated on Apr 8, 2024 at 7:34PM (UTC+4)

Edited by Nalin Rawat

Southern California’s skies lit up with space debris, not long after SpaceX launched its Falcon 9 rocket on Tuesday morning (April 2nd).

However, it turns out that SpaceX didn’t have anything to do with the lights in the sky.

It was quite a show for the observers, as it looked like an incredible meteor shower.

However, it was just space junk that entered the Earth’s orbit.

READ MORE: US aircraft developer starts tests for autonomous supersonic fighter jet

The space debris, which has now been dubbed the ‘flying fireball’, could be seen from the Sacramento area to San Diego.

As unusual as it was, the people reported their sightings all across social media and even to the authorities.

At first, everyone tried guessing what they had just seen.

Was it a UFO? Alien spaceship? Spy drones?

If not that, then what?

However, only a few hours later, experts were able to figure out what the space debris was.

According to the Aerospace Corporation, it was the orbital module of China’s Shenzhou 15 spacecraft that was re-entering the Earth’s atmosphere.

They used tracking data from the USSF 18th Space Defense Squadron to reveal the mysterious junk’s identity.

The timing of the light show following SpaceX’s launch was unusual.

The space debris was visible almost six hours after the Falcon 9 rocket’s launch.

Some even thought that the debris was due to the SpaceX launch failing.

SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rockets often make it into the headlines for dazzling take-offs and landings.

However, those do sometimes go wrong.

The Falcon 9 rocket was carrying 22 Starlink internet satellites that the company had to deploy in space.

Elon Musk’s Starlink has been constantly launching internet satellites into space for a while now.

The satellite internet company has also recently launched unique direct-to-cell satellites for direct internet connectivity.

From a general perspective, space debris is nothing new.

While we’re filling up space with endless satellites and rocket debris, the Earth’s orbit may fill up soon.

However, space debris won’t necessarily hit the Earth — it would mostly burn on re-entry and cause a bizarre light show, as this one did.

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