Experts say fireball seen streaking across U.S. skies was from a Russian space rocket

PHOENIX -- The body of a Russian rocket that burned up Tuesday night as it entered the earth's atmosphere set off a wave of excitement on social media and fueled speculation over what caused the flash of light to shoot across western skies.

See Full Article

U.S. and Russian officials declined to discuss what the rocket was used for, but experts outside of the government say it was launched as part of a project to bring materials to a space station. They say they rocket's body likely detached from the craft bringing materials into space and burned up as it started to go out of orbit.

"It's not something people need to worry about," said David Wright, a space-debris expert who is co-director of the Union of Concerned Scientists.

The fireball seen over Arizona, Nevada and California was an SL-4 rocket body booster from Russia that was launched Monday, said U.S. Strategic Command spokeswoman Julie Ziegenhorn.

People who witnessed the burning light across the sky expressed a range of responses on social media.

Some speculated that it was a meteor, while others resorted to humour, punctuating their comments by using a rocket emoji and saying the light across the sky looked Santa's sleigh. Some people also expressed distrust about the U.S. government's comments on the rocket.

"I was kind of freaked out to see something like that blowing up in the air and you don't know what it is," said Gunnar Lindstrom, who saw the streak of light as he exited a car at his Las Vegas apartment complex and initially believed it was an airplane.

Lindstrom, a bartender with a side business as a videographer, said his first instinct was to grab his cellphone camera. "I was upset I couldn't grab my real camera," Lindstrom said.



Advertisements

Latest Tech & Science News

  • Jet lag can adversely affect Major League Baseball players: study

    Tech & Science CBC News
    A new study has found the jet lag that goes with a grinding schedule of Major League Baseball games that takes players from coast to coast and back again can take its toll on performance. Source
  • Paris tests electric driverless minibus to fight air pollution

    Tech & Science CTV News
    PARIS -- In a city hit by chronic pollution and traffic problems, Paris officials are experimenting with a self-driving shuttle linking two train stations in the French capital. Two electric-power EZ10 minibuses, which can carry up to six seated passengers, were put into service Monday and will be tested until early April between the Lyon and Austerlitz stations in Paris. Source
  • Researchers unearth fossils of giant otter in China

    Tech & Science CBC News
    Scientists have unearthed fossils of an intriguingly large otter as big as a wolf that frolicked in rivers and lakes in a lush, warm and humid wetlands region in southwestern China about 6.2 million years ago. Source
  • Xiaomi's Hugo Barra quits China for Silicon Valley

    Tech & Science CTV News
    Hugo Barra, who caused a sensation in 2013 by leaving Google to become a vice president of Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi, announced Monday he was returning to the United States for health reasons. Barra, under whom Xiaomi was for a time China's best-selling brand, described his experience as a "spectacular" journey but said it was time to return home for a "new adventure". Source
  • U.S. states uncertain what Trump victory means for wind and solar power

    Tech & Science CBC News
    President Donald Trump has disputed climate change, pledged a revival of coal and disparaged wind power, and his nominee to head the Energy Department was once highly skeptical of the agency's value. What this means for states' efforts to promote renewable energy is an open question. Source
  • N.S. wildlife park fundraising to save 'Little Bear' from euthanasia

    Tech & Science CTV News
    A wildlife park in Cape Breton, N.S., is appealing for donations to build a new cage for an orphaned black bear cub in their care. The nearly one-year-old black bear, dubbed “Little Bear,” was found wandering alone by a pair of men on a highway near Whycocomagh, N.S. Source
  • China's online population reaches 731 million

    Tech & Science CTV News
    The number of internet users in China -- already the world's highest -- reached 731 million in December, authorities said, as e-commerce drives consumer demand across the Asian giant. Total internet users rose 6.2 per cent from the end of December 2015 and equals the entire population of Europe, the government-linked China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC) said in a statement Sunday on its website. Source
  • Samsung: Batteries only problem with fire-prone Note 7s

    Tech & Science Toronto Sun
    SEOUL, Korea, Republic Of — Samsung Electronics Co. said Monday that problems with the design and manufacturing of batteries in its Galaxy Note 7 smartphones caused them to overheat and burst into fire. The announcement of results from the company’s investigation into one of its worst product fiascos comes three months after the flagship phone was discontinued. Source
  • Ribbon may have finally run out for India's typewriters

    Tech & Science CTV News
    NEW DELHI -- The end is coming, though admittedly it may not look that way at 10 a.m. on a Tuesday morning, when dozens of young Indians have arrived for morning classes at Anand Type, Shorthand and Keypunch College, and every battered Remington is clattering away. Source
  • China cracks down on VPN devices used to access blocked sites

    Tech & Science CTV News
    BEIJING -- A Chinese technology regulator has announced a 14-month campaign to root out services that allow people in the country to circumvent the government's internet censorship. The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology says it forbids the use of virtual private networks (VPNs) or leased lines that allow users and businesses to access blocked overseas websites without permission. Source