A fireball past the sky in the Midwestern United States early Wednesday morning was seen by many. This time, it was not a meteorite: the duration of the event was too long.
Is it space junk? Nothing, but it’s almost that. According to the American Meteorological Association, Fireball is a Russian spy satellite that burned itself when it re-entered Earth.
This report is only possible because the recording time was the same as the time the Cosmos-2551 satellite passed through the region.
The spy satellite was launched by Russia on September 9, but did not adjust its orbit once it took off, according to astronomer and satellite observer Jonathan McDowell.
The Cosmos-2551 weighed about 500 kg and may have burned to the ground during re-entry, and no debris was expected to reach the ground.
Space trash fireballs, though often spectacular, are not uncommon.
One of the most sensational films was recorded in 2008, when the spacecraft Jules Verne re-entered the Pacific Ocean. This video was taken especially by a cameraman who was on a plane flying in the area to record the event.
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