Burnett residents watched in awe as space junk reentered the atmosphere over south-east Queensland. Photo.Chris Andrew.
Burnett residents watched in awe as space junk reentered the atmosphere over south-east Queensland. Photo.Chris Andrew.

Suspected space junk lights up the Burnett night sky

Burnett residents watched in awe last night as a mysterious streak of light made its way across the night sky.

Onlookers stretching from the South Burnett all the way to Brisbane reported witnessing the suspected space junk re-enter the atmosphere at around 10.30pm last night (February 26).

Suspected space junk lights up the Burnett night sky: Space junk from a Chinese rocket flew across the night sky last night, witnessed by South Burnett residents.
Suspected space junk lights up the Burnett night sky: Space junk from a Chinese rocket flew across the night sky last night, witnessed by South Burnett residents.

The debris is believed to be from the Chinese Long March 3B Rocket, which was launched in November 2019, with spectacular footage and photographs of the event being shared across various social media platforms.

While the sight was something to behold, Kingaroy astronomer James Barclay said this is a reminder of the problems created by space junk for the future of space exploration.

“It’s just one big junk yard and it is a concern for aerospace engineers,” he said, adding that trying to return to the moon will soon be like “driving back to Brisbane blindfolded”.

“Nothing lasts forever and the lower the orbit, the higher the chance of re-entry.”

Hervey Bay man captures incredible moment space debris re-entered the atmosphere: Chris Andrew capture the awe-inspiring moment suspected Chinese rocket debris re-entered the atmosphere.
Hervey Bay man captures incredible moment space debris re-entered the atmosphere: Chris Andrew capture the awe-inspiring moment suspected Chinese rocket debris re-entered the atmosphere.

While the mysterious light was originally believed by many to be a meteor, Mr Barclay said if it’s burning in the sky for more than five seconds, it’s typically space junk.

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