On Friday night, revelers in the Sacramento area were shocked to witness mysterious streaks of light in the sky on St. Patrick’s Day celebrations. Videos of the unusual sight quickly surfaced on social media, leaving many people puzzled about what they had seen.
Jaime Hernandez was among those who witnessed the lights while celebrating at King Cong Brewing Company in Sacramento. He captured footage of them that lasted for around 40 seconds, which he later shared online.
According to Jonathan McDowell, an astronomer at Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, it is most likely that burning space debris caused these streaks of light. A Japanese communications package weighing 683 pounds was jettisoned from International Space Station and became obsolete in 2017 when a communication satellite retired.
The equipment burned up completely upon reentry into Earth’s atmosphere and created an unforgettable spectacle visible across much of California.
McDowell estimated that this debris was approximately 40 miles high and traveling thousands of miles per hour before burning up entirely upon hitting Earth’s atmosphere.
The US Space Force confirmed that Inter-Orbit Communication System’s reentry path over California could explain what people saw in the sky during St.Patrick’s day celebrations.
While Hernandez and his group were amazed by their sighting, none had ever seen anything like it before though they were still glad to have witnessed such an extraordinary event firsthand.
Many others posted photos and videos on social media platforms after seeing these strange lights but remained perplexed until McDowell provided his explanation about how this phenomenon occurred.
It may be surprising to learn just how often space debris falls back towards our planet as large pieces can pose serious dangers if not predicted correctly.
Experts are always keeping watchful eyes over everything happening beyond our earth’s orbit so we’ll know if any future events might occur again soon or with greater impact than what happened last Friday night!