SEATTLE — The National Weather Service in Seattle says burning debris from a rocket lit up Pacific Northwest skies Thursday night.
“The widely reported bright objects in the sky were debris from a Falcon 9 rocket 2nd stage that did not successfully have a deorbit burn,” the service says in a tweet about the astral occurrence that the Seattle Times reports was seen shortly after 9 p.m. There were no reports of damage or other impacts on the ground.
As a follow up to the debris observed earlier. Here's some more info on atmospheric re-entry. Typical manmade objects obtain low Earth orbit at speeds around 17,500 mph. As they re-enter the Earth's atmosphere, the angle must be just right. If it's too steep, they burn up.— NWS Seattle (@NWSSeattle) March 26, 2021
The Times reports the rocket delivered Starlink satellites, built in Redmond, Washington, into orbit earlier this week. SpaceX says the Falcon 9’s first stage returned to Earth and landed as planned on its ocean-going barge off the coast of Florida.