Mysterious light show over California was Chinese space junk falling to earth

US News


Mysterious streaks of light spotted over California were caused by Chinese space junk plummeting back to Earth, experts said.

Residents from Sacramento to San Diego were dazzled by the light show around 1:30 a.m. on Tuesday morning. While speculation ranged from a meteor shower to UFOs, it was ultimately determined that it was nothing more than the remnants of a Chinese spacecraft re-entering the atmosphere.

The heap of space debris was the orbital module of China’s Shenzhou 15 spacecraft, astrophysicist and satellite tracker Jonathan McDowell confirmed in a social media post

The Shenzhou 15 has been floating in orbit for more than a year after launching three astronauts to China’s Tiangong space station in Nov. 2022 for a six-month mission, according to Space.com.

A big piece of Chinese space junk crashed to earth over California early Tuesday morning amsmeteors
Experts determined the fireball was Chinese space junk re-entering the atmosphere. amsmeteors
The lights were spotted around 1:30 a.m. Tuesday. amsmeteors

Videos obtained by ABC7 showed several fireballs in long streaks of light up the night sky.

The Shenzhou orbital craft, which weighs some 3,300 pounds, provides extra room for astronauts in space, according to Space.com.

The debris came from the Shenzhou 15 spacecraft, which launched to China’s space station in Nov. 2022. CNS/AFP via Getty Images

It’s not designed to return to Earth safely after its mission The Shenzhou reentry module is built to do that with astronauts on board, the outlet reported.

The module had been predicted to re-enter the Earth’s atmosphere early Tuesday morning, according to ABC7.

Many who saw the spectacle initally believed it may have been a part of SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket, which had launched 22 Starlink satellites from the Vandenberg Space Force Base in Santa Barbara about six hours earlier.




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