If you live in the U.S. Pacific Northwest, you may have seen a strange meteor streaking across the sky Thursday night (March 25). But that was no chunk of asteroid or comet — it was likely SpaceX debris falling and burning up in Earth’s atmosphere, experts say.
On March 4, SpaceX launched a batch of 60 Starlink internet satellites to orbit aboard a two-stage Falcon 9 rocket. Experts think the re-entering upper stage of that rocket is what caused last night’s sky show, which speckled the sky with bright glowing dots that moved across the sky. Local reports pegged the event at just after midnight EDT (0400 GMT) on Friday (March 26), or about 9 p.m. local time Thursday on the U.S. West Coast.
“While we await further confirmation on the details, here’s the unofficial information we have so far. The widely reported bright objects in the sky were the debris from a Falcon 9 rocket 2nd stage that did not successfully have a deorbit burn,” the National Weather Service (NWS) Seattle tweeted. They added in a follow up tweet that “there are NO expected impacts on the ground in our region at this time.”