A man recording himself was shocked when two streaks lit up the sky in Phitsanulok province, Thailand, on Jan. 2.
What he thought were meteors were actually debris left over from a Russian rocket launch in early December.
The Russian space agency, Roscosmos, launched Elektro-L2, a weather satellite on Dec. 11.
As with all rockets, there are various stages that are discarded after launch. These stages burn up as they re-enter the atmosphere (depending on the altitude from which they separate). In this case, the body was predicted to re-enter the Earth’s atmosphere on Jan. 2 over India.
Some debris left over from rocket launches, working in space or are left in orbit around Earth. The European Space Agency estimates that there are roughly 29,000 objects larger than 10 cm orbiting Earth.
Since the space age began in the 1950s, no one has ever been injured or killed by space debris.
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