Mysterious streaks of light spotted in the California night sky
Mysterious streaks of light have been spotted burning in the night sky over California and Oregon.
Videos of the startling sight were posted to social media by witnesses on Friday night, including revelers at the King Kong Brewing Company in Sacramento.
“We were mostly in shock, but amazed that we got to witness it,” Jaime Hernandez told The Associated Press. “None of us had ever seen anything like it.”
The lights were also seen as far north as Oregon before going out.
Jonathan McDowell, astronomer at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, explained that the lights were actually space junk burning on re-entry into the Earth’s atmosphere.
Mr McDowell took to Twitter to explain that the debris was actually an ICS-EF, or Inter-Orbit Communication System – Exposed Facility, a Japanese communications package.
It had been used to send data between the ISS Kibo module and Mission Control Tsukuba via the Kodama data relay satellite.
This is ICS-EF, a Japanese communication package for sending data between the ISS Kibo module and Mission Control Tsukuba via the Kodama data relay satellite. It was launched to the ISS by the space shuttle in 2009 and had a mass of 310 kg. pic.twitter.com/ygzHdmfQc0
—Jonathan McDowell (@planet4589) March 18, 2023
Mr McDowell tweeted that the equipment was launched to the International Space Station by the Space Shuttle in 2009.
And it became space junk in 2020, orbiting Earth for three years before reentering Earth’s atmosphere over California at 9:30 p.m. Friday.
The Independent Gt