Wednesday, February 25, 2015

UFO or Space Junk - Fireball Filmed Over Idaho

BOISE -- The sight of a large fireball streaking across the sky Monday night left many people wondering what was happening.

The fireball, which was visible just before 11 p.m., sparked a flurry of questions, videos and photos. Many took to social media to hypothesize the event was a meteor, a falling airplane or even a UFO.

The answer? None of the above.

Ben Nickell, NASA's ambassador to Idaho, says the flaming ball was space junk from a rocket used to launch a Chinese satellite falling back into the atmosphere. The rocket body burned up as it fell back to Earth, leaving the fiery trail.

The Chinese launched the rocket in December. The fireball was visible in Idaho, Oregon, Washington, Utah and parts of Canada. Nickell said the object disintegrated into many pieces as it flew across the sky.

" Very exciting to have fireworks, just a little late for the Chinese New Year," he wrote in an email.

Dispatchers for Ada County said they received multiple calls from locals who spotted the fireball.

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