Space Junk Re-entry over California and Nevada

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December 22th space junk reentry – Youtube Video Screen capture

The American Meteor Society (AMS) received more than 55 reports of a bright object over California, Nevada and Arizona on Tuesday, December 22th around 18:10 PST.

It wasn’t a fireball. The phenomena was Russian space debris – a SL-4 rocket body that reentered the atmosphere somewhere above Arizona.

Below is the approximate trajectory calculted from the reports received by the AMS:

AMS Event#4087-2015 – Space Junk Reentry – Trajectory
Path of the reentering object based on last orbital elements – Credit: Tony Rice

Most of the witnesses speculated that it was a meteor, a fireball or even… Santa.



  • jeff 7 years ago

    I was out looking at the moon last night and seen a brilliant bright streak out of the SW then a burst of green, then it broke up into 3 parts. No fire red just this intense green. I wish i had a picture. Must of been Moore of the Russian rocket debris. .

    Reply to jeff

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