Some B.C. residents got to see a fiery light show in the sky on Thursday night.
So what was it?
According to the U.S. National Weather Service in Seattle, Wash., it was likely debris from a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket burning up in the atmosphere.
“Based on the observed video, this looks more likely than a bolide meteor or similar object as they would be moving far faster on impact with our atmosphere,” the National Weather Service said on social media, adding that there were no “expected impacts” on the ground.
This particular rocket launched on March 4 and failed to make a “deorbit burn” upon re-entering the Earth’s atmosphere.
“Typical manmade objects obtain low Earth orbit at speeds around 17,500 mph,” The National Weather Service said. “As they re-enter the Earth’s atmosphere, the angle must be just right. If it’s too steep, they burn up.”
“If the angle is too small, they risk ‘skimming’ the atmosphere like a stone on water. Meteors, on the contrary, can easily reach the top of atmosphere at speeds greater than 45,000 mph. In addition, the angle of impact can be very steep … which can incinerate the object quickly.”
So far there are no confirmed reports of debris landing in British Columbia.
The light show was also spotted in Oregon and Washington state.