A bunch of space junk just lit up the skies over Australia
• A massive fireball appeared in the skies above Australia on Thursday night, prompting many witnesses to believe they were witnessing a meteorite entering Earth’s atmosphere.
• After a closer look by experts, the object was declared to be nothing more than a heap of space junk left by a Russian rocket launch earlier in the day.
• Roscosmos, Russia’s space agency, launched a military satellite on Thursday and the object seen by witnesses is believed to have been a discarded rocket stage.
For Australians in some parts of the continent, Thursday night brought with it a light show of cosmic proportions. Multiple reports from Victoria to Tasmania claimed that a meteorite could be seen streaking across the sky, leaving a long, bright tail in its wake as it burned up in Earth’s atmosphere.
Witnesses believed they were seeing a chunk of space rock meet its end right before their eyes. Unfortunately, the reality is a little bit less awesome: It was probably just a bunch of Russian space junk.
Humans tend to leave trash behind wherever they go. You can find it in forests, remote islands, and even in the middle of the ocean. Unfortunately, you can also find it in space.
There’s a whole lot of manmade trash floating around above our heads. This junk ranges from bits and pieces of rocket stages and assorted components to large satellites that have long since died. It’s all up there, just waiting for Earth to eventually yank it back down.
As Gizmodo notes ...
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