Artificial bolide produced by the re-entry of the second stage of Falcon 9 rocket

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A bright and slow-moving artificial bolide — designated SPMN160221ART — was recorded over the Mediterranean Sea at 05:57 UTC on February 16, 2021, by the SPanish Meteor Network (SPMN).

The source of the event was atmospheric re-entry of the second stage of the Falcon 9 rocket used in the Starlink V1 L19 mission, launched at 04:59 UTC on February 16 from Cape Canaveral to put 60 Starlink satellites into orbit.

The fireball overflew the Mediterranean as reconstructed by PhD student Eloy Peña-Asensio (UAB-IEEC) and Prof. Josep M. Trigo-Rodríguez (IEEC-CSIC). 

Image credit: Eloy Peña-Asensio (UAB-IEEC) and Josep M. Trigo-Rodríguez (IEEC-CSIC)

Featured image: SPMN

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