From staff reports
If you were stargazing last night, you might have seen something truly bizarre.
People in Washington or Oregon who looked up at the sky at around 9 p.m. were treated to what looked like a flock of comets soaring through the night.
Debris from SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket, tumbling back to Earth, caused the display. The rocket launched about three weeks ago in Florida and delivered 60 satellites into low orbit.
Rocket debris is usually harmless, burning up as it reenters the Earth’s atmosphere. The Falcon 9 debris was about 40 miles high when it soared over the Pacific Northwest.
Falcon 9 can put satellites into orbit and deliver goods and astronauts to the International Space Station. It’s a two-stage rocket. That means it’s made of two pieces that have to separate so the rocket can get into space.
SpaceX is typically able to guide the second stage – the piece broke apart and burned and images went viral Thursday – so that it falls back into the ocean.
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