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21st June 2022, 14:23

Rocket re-entering atmosphere results in impressive light show

An impressive aeronautical event took many by surprise last night, with a number of bright lights seemingly flying across the night sky in unison. Some observers mistook the lights for a meteorite, although it seems to have been a scheduled rocket re-entry.


The lights appeared in the early hours of this morning, around half past midnight. Seemingly a series of fireballs streaking across the sky above in formation, perhaps unsurprisingly prompting excitement in some of the observers who were lucky enough to capture the event on camera.

However, a somewhat less fantastical explanation followed, with William Recagno, President of the Astronomical Society, telling GBC this was a “Chang Zheng 2F” – a Chinese rocket breaking up upon re-entry into Earth’s atmosphere.

He told us this particular rocket had been used to take three ‘taikonauts’, as Chinese astronauts are known, up to their space station on the 5th of June, with last night’s light show very much an expected, and controlled event, as the rocket burnt up on its way back down. No less impressive however, especially for those who caught the spectacle unawares.