“Is it a fireball?” “Is it a space wall?” No, it is one SpaceX rocket ship.
Some observers along the US East Coast saw a strange sight in the dark, early morning sky on Sunday (March 14): a bright object skimming through the sky, leaving a balloonist, illuminated trail behind. The early morning sky made this spectacle even more striking and the American Meteor Society (AMS) received about 120 reports about ‘a perceived object in the sky’, tweeted the AMSHowever, the sighting was actually of one SpaceX missile, not fireball, the AMS confirmed.
At 6:01 a.m. EDT (1101 GMT) Sunday morning, a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket took off from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, with a new batch of 60 Starlink Internet satellites in low Earth orbit. People all along the East Coast, from Florida to Maine, saw the rocket’s brilliant trajectory through the sky.
Skywatchers sent the AMS photos of the “fireball,” showing the striking image of the missile in flight. Launches like this one in Florida are often visible along the east coast. But this time, as the launch took place in the hours before sunrise, the sun illuminated the rocket’s plume, creating a unique atmospheric effect that only occurs at dawn and dusk, where the light looks like a “space wall” in the sky.
This sighting isn’t the first time skywatchers have mistaken a rocket launch for something strange in the sky. SpaceX launches have led to claims of UFOs, as they sometimes create strange, twisting “clouds” in the air.
Like during the other from SpaceX Falcon 9 launches, the reusable rocket’s first stage fell back to Earth shortly after launch; it landed on SpaceX’s drone ship “Of Course I Still Love You” posted in the Atlantic, the ninth time for this booster.
SpaceX is working to launch the massive constellation of Starlink Internet satellites to create global Internet coverage and provide Internet connectivity to people in rural or remote areas that would otherwise have no access.
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