On Friday evening, residents of Sacramento, California, could see bright streaks of fire in the sky.
What is known
The reason for the appearance of fiery stripes in the sky abovethe capital of California was not aliens. The strokes appeared as a result of the completion of the life cycle of space debris. In particular, the ICS-EF antenna module, which was once installed on the International Space Station (ISS).
This was announced by astronomer Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics Jonathan McDowell (Jonathan McDowell). According to the scientist, the ICS-EF communication module burned up in the atmosphere of our planet.
An antenna weighing 310 kg was used to provide communication between the Tsukuba Space Center and the Kibo module. ICS-EF was sent to the ISS in 2009, and 11 years later it was dropped into a descending orbit.
Scientists believe that fiery strokes will becomemore frequent occurrence. This is due to the increase in the amount of space debris. In particular, the US Department of Defense and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) track approximately 27,000 pieces of debris, and aerospace companies continue to send more satellites into orbit. SpaceX, for example, has deployed about 4,000 Starlinks and will soon be joined by Amazon. The company received permission to launch more than 3,000 satellites of the Kuiper project.
The probability that one of the fragmentsspace debris will fall to Earth, still remains low. At the same time, there is a risk that debris will threaten existing space objects. For example, the same ISS, which a few days ago was forced to evade the satellite.