Watch: Space junk’s stunning light show across Qld night sky
Chinese space junk has put on a spectacular light show over central Queensland as it re-entered the atmosphere on Thursday night.
The defunct Long March 3B rocket – used by Chinese company Beidou to launch a GPS satellite on November 4, 2019 – resembled three meteorites as it broke up in the sky about 10.30pm.
The display sparked a flurry of social media activity, with posters sharing pictures and video from the Capricorn and Fraser Coast regions.
“Several units from Blackwater, Duaringa and Yeppoon reported seeing a fireball in sky that broke into three,” a social media user said.
Another user said it was “awesome” to see.
University of Southern Queensland professor of astrophysics Jonti Horner said the debris would have come in at 7km per second which is a very high speed and however it wouldn’t have caused much impact.
“On a global scale, space debris falling from the sky happens more often than you think in Australia; most of the things we launch are nearer to the equator,” he said.
“It would have all broken up into the air. Very little would have made it to the ground.”