Unidentified fiery objects caught on video streaking across the night sky

Skywatchers in Northern California were in awe of the unidentified fiery objects entering Earth's atmosphere and streaking across the night sky.

Unidentified fiery objects caught on video streaking across the night sky
1 minute & 58 seconds read time

Northern California skywatchers were shocked to see a group of fiery objects enter Earth's atmosphere and illuminate the night sky, but an explanation has been put forward about their origin.

Residents in the area, and as spotted by Aaron, who took to his personal Twitter account with the above video, saw the group of objects on Friday night when they began burning across the night sky. Aaron, like many of the residents that saw the event, was confused about its origin, suggesting that it could be a meteorite breaking up throughout its entry, aliens, or even China. None of these suggestions ended up being accurate, but they are warranted considering the slew of UFO detection in North American airspace over the past several weeks.

As you can probably imagine, between the time of the sighting and the explanation being posted online there was rampant speculation about the origin of the objects. Some individuals wrote that it was a meteor shower, while others suggested it was space debris, such as a defunct satellite reentering Earth's atmosphere. The latter was closer to the truth, as outlined by Jonathan McDowell, a renowned astrophysicist at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, who took to Twitter with an in-depth explanation that points to space junk that was jettisoned from the International Space Station (ISS).

According to McDowell, the group of fiery objects can be traced back to a piece of defunct communications equipment that was jettisoned from the space station in 2020. This piece of Japanese communications equipment is called ICS-EF and was hewn from ISS with the Canadarm-2 robot arm due to its mass of more than 700 pounds. Once cut from the ISS, it was discarded into Earth's orbit, where it rotated the planet for three years before making its reentry into Earth's atmosphere over California on Friday evening.

McDowell notes that given the size of the communications package, it most likely completely burnt up during reentry, but if there were any surviving debris, they would have landed in the Yosemite area. For those wondering what this system was used for, according to McDowell, ICS-EF stood for Inter-orbit Communications System - Exposed Facility and was used to relay data to Mission Control back on Earth between 2009 and 2020.

In other news, OpenAI was forced to temporarily shut down ChatGPT following the discovery of a bug that exposed user chat histories to other AI chatbot users. Notably, the exposure didn't stop there, as some users reported seeing sensitive contact information such as mobile phone numbers. To read more about that story, check out the below link.

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NEWS SOURCE:twitter.com

Jak joined the TweakTown team in 2017 and has since reviewed 100s of new tech products and kept us informed daily on the latest science, space, and artificial intelligence news. Jak's love for science, space, and technology, and, more specifically, PC gaming, began at 10 years old. It was the day his dad showed him how to play Age of Empires on an old Compaq PC. Ever since that day, Jak fell in love with games and the progression of the technology industry in all its forms. Instead of typical FPS, Jak holds a very special spot in his heart for RTS games.

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