Rocket debris lights up skies over the Pacific Northwest

People were surprised across the Pacific Northwest to see a fireball light up the night sky at around 9 p.m. on Thursday.

The National Weather Service in Seattle said in a tweet the phenomenon was caused by debris from a Falcon 9 rocket 2nd stage that did not successfully have a “deorbit burn.”

There were no reports of damage or impact on the ground.

The Times reports the rocket delivered Starlink satellites, built in Redmond, Washington, into orbit earlier this week.

SpaceX says the Falcon 9’s first stage returned to Earth and landed as planned on its ocean-going barge off the coast of Florida.

Hundreds of people posted to social media videos of the event, which shows a group of bright objects moving across the night sky.

Have a video or photo of the fireball? You can send it to us at

A map in the tweet showed the route passing northwest of Portland across NW Oregon and southwest Washington, then heading northeast towards Spokane.



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