The truth is out there. And in this article.
Victoria got to witness a stellar display of fire and light in the night sky Thursday evening.
Shortly after 9 p.m., eyewitnesses looked up and saw streaks of orange and red tracing overhead, visible as far as Seattle and right here over Vancouver Island.
It was not an alien craft bombarding the surface. It was also not, as some theorized, a meteorite breaking up overhead.
In this case, it was all manmade, a falling part of a Starlink satellite. Specifically, a Falcon 9 second stage rocket that failed to make a deorbit burn.
Starlinks are broadband internet satellites created and operated by U.S. aerospace manufacturer SpaceX, one of billionaire Elon Musk’s companies.
Please note: this video contains elicit language.
The sighting was unofficially confirmed by the U.S. National Weather Service (NWS) shortly after 9:30 p.m.
While the Service said they were still awaiting official word, they said observations of eyewitness video match the pattern of a deorbiting satellite.
“This looks more likely than a bolide meteor or similar object as they would be moving far faster on impact with our atmosphere,” the NWS stated on Twitter.
“There are NO expected impacts on the ground in our region at this time. More info will be posted as it becomes available.”
While we await further confirmation on the details, here’s the unofficial information we have so far. The widely reported bright objects in the sky were the debris from a Falcon 9 rocket 2nd stage that did not successfully have a deorbit burn.
— NWS Seattle (@NWSSeattle) March 26, 2021
Jonathan McDowell, an astrophysicist with the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, concurred with the assessment.
He said in a tweet Thursday evening that it was unlikely much of the debris would reach the ground.
“Once the deorbit burn failed, there was no way to control where it would come down, land vs ocean,” McDowell tweeted.
The Falcon 9 second stage from the Mar 4 Starlink launch failed to make a deorbit burn and is now reentering after 22 days in orbit. Its reentry was observed from the Seattle area at about 0400 UTC Mar 26. pic.twitter.com/FQrBrUoBHh
— Jonathan McDowell (@planet4589) March 26, 2021