Strange Orbs Streak Across The Northern California Sky UFOs Or Space Junk

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Residents in California reported strange and mysterious lights streaking across the night sky on Friday night, leaving many questioning their origin. It turns out the explanation for the streaking orbs seen across California was fairly simple.

Hundreds of residents in California were able to capture images and video of the lights that were spotted around 9:30pm PST on March 17, 2023. Those watching the light show were puzzled as to what exactly it was. Many questioned if it was possibly a meteor breaking up, while others pondered if it could be alien ships entering the atmosphere. It didn't take long, however, for someone to explain it all via a Twitter post as simply being space junk.

jonathon mcdowell twitter post

Jonathon McDowell, an astronomer and astrophysicist at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, posted that the lights were from an Inter-orbit Communications System Exposed Facility (ICS-EF) re-entering the Earth's atmosphere. ICS-EF is a Japanese communications package for sending data between the ISS Kibo module and Mission Control Tsukuba through the Kodama data relay satellite, according to McDowell's Tweet.

In the video above, ABC 10 shared multiple views of the light show from locals. The news team reported that while it is not rare to see space debris returning to Earth, it is rare to see so much of it together at one time.

McDowell indicated that ICS-EF was launched to the ISS during a Space Shuttle mission in 2009, and had a mass of 310kg. It has been orbiting Earth for the last three years as space junk, before finally re-entering Earth's atmosphere on Friday night. The fiery debris was reported to have been seen from as far north as Eureka and as far south as Sacramento, California.

Kibo, Japanese for "hope," was Japan's first human spaceflight facility. It consisted of six components, which were taken to the ISS over the course of three separate shuttle launches in 2008 and 2009.