Breaking: Extraordinary video continues to emerge of a huge ball of space debris entering and breaking up in the atmosphere over Australia tonight.
Just after sundown May 22, 2020, people across Victoria, as well as Tasmania and parts of New South Wales, witnesses a line of burning debris in the sky.
Dozens of people were able to capture the moment on their smartphone cameras, as the field of debris broke up high in the sky.
At first people were worried they were witnessing a plane crash, with dozens of people contacting authorities to report a possible aircraft incident.
Soon it emerged that the fireball and atrophying object in the early evening heavens was actually part of a Russian space rocket.
Astronomers and space enthusiasts noted the ball of flames was almost certainly the third stage payload of a rocket launched by the Russian space agency.
According to NASA Space Flight website, Russia’s Aerospace Forces launched a Soyuz-2-1b rocket Friday, carrying a satellite designed to give the Moscow advance warning of missile attacks.
The Soyuz lifted off from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome at about 10:46 Moscow Time (07:46 UTC).
Tracking imagery showed the third stage of the rocket was heading for reentry in the Earth’s atmosphere over South East Australia, according to an Astrophysicist monitoring the launch.
A few hours later, one of the boosters used to launch the satellite crashed back to Earth.
The booster rockets came back down over Tasmania and the Bass Straight, right over Victoria and moving toward the South Australian border.
It’s not known if any of the space junk survived re-entry.
Some incredible footage has been captured of the rocket falling in the sky.
Great Ocean Road shared this footage from the street.
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Ryan is Contributing Editor