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

Mysterious streaks of light spotted over California were caused by Chinese space debris that returned to Earth, experts said.

Residents from Sacramento to San Diego were dazzled by the light show around 1:30 a.m. Tuesday morning. While speculation ranged from a meteor shower to UFOs, it was ultimately determined that it was just the remains of a Chinese spacecraft re-entering the atmosphere.

The pile of space debris was the orbital module of China’s Shenzhou 15 spacecraft, owned by 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 November 2022 for a six-month mission, according to

A large piece of Chinese space debris crashed to Earth over California early Tuesday morning. meteors
Experts determined the fireball was Chinese space debris re-entering the atmosphere. meteors
The lights were spotted around 1:30 a.m. Tuesday. meteors
The debris came from the Shenzhou 15 spacecraft, launched to the Chinese space station in November 2022. CNS/AFP via Getty Images

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

The Shenzhou orbital craft, which weighs about 3,300 pounds, provides additional space for astronauts in space, according to

It is not designed to return to Earth safely after its mission. Shenzhou’s re-entry module is built to do so with astronauts on board, the outlet reported.

The module was expected to re-enter Earth’s atmosphere early Tuesday morning, according to ABC7.

Many who saw the spectacle initially believed it may have been part of SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket, which launched 22 Starlink satellites from Vandenberg Space Station in Santa Barbara about six months ago. hours earlier.

New York Post

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