North Carolinians took to social media after a mysterious light streaked across the sky the evening of Saturday, Sept. 24.
Photos and videos show a white and yellow beacon of light trailing through the sky. Others show trails of smoke disappearing into a treeline.
So, what was the source of the light? A SpaceX launch.
The Falcon 9 rocket launched from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida around 7:30 p.m. Saturday, according to SpaceX. The rocket was topped with 52 Starlink satellites and could be seen from the North Carolina coast as it shot into outer space.
“Was something to see. Even caught what looked like a fireball or something coming from it near the tree line. Watched it fall from the sky,” Anessa Shaffer wrote in a Facebook post.
About nine minutes after take off, the Falcon 9 booster returned to Earth, landing on a SpaceX droneship, named “A Shortfall from Gravitas,” in the Atlantic Ocean, according to reporting from Space.com.
The Starlink satellites will be added to SpaceX’s growing internet service, Space.com reported.
This was SpaceX’s 43rd orbital mission of 2022, a livestream of the launch says.