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长征七号运载火箭 Chang Zheng 7 Chinese Rocket Re enters earth's atmosphere giving US firework display



A giant piece of a recently launched Chinese rocket fell to Earth last wednesday night (July 27), blazing a spectacular sky trail that left observers across parts of the western United States slack-jawed.

The dazzling fireball, which you can see in this awesome video by observer Matt Holt, lit up skies over Utah, Nevada, Colorado, Idaho and California about 9:40 p.m. local time Wednesday (12:40 a.m. EDT and 0440 GMT today, July 28), breaking into many bright pieces as it went.






The sky show occurred around the peak of the annual Delta Aquarid meteor shower, but it wasn't caused by bits of comet dust. Rather, experts say, the culprit Wednesday night was the second stage of China's Long March 7 rocket, which launched on its maiden flight June 25. [Biggest Spacecraft to Fall Uncontrolled From Space]


The second stage indicated in photo is what burnt up as in entered earth atmosphere over southern zones of US 


Long March 7 


The 6-ton rocket stage hit Earth's atmosphere at about 18,000 mph (29,000 km/h), said astronomer Jonathan McDowell of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, also an assiduous satellite tracker.


"So far in 2016 there have been 25 re-entries of objects massing 1 ton or more. But objects of 5 ton+ class like this are rare," McDowell said last night via his Twitter account, @planet4589.




"Only bigger re-entry so far this year was a Russian Zenit rocket stage that came down over Vietnam on New Year's Day," he said in another tweet.

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