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Debris from Russian space rocket seen falling to earth over Johannesburg

06 June 2022 - 10:19
'Space junk' fell to Earth over Johannesburg late on Sunday night.
'Space junk' fell to Earth over Johannesburg late on Sunday night.
Image: Astronomy - ASSA Johannesburg Centre

Johannesburg residents witnessed debris believed to be from a Russian space rocket falling to earth on Sunday night.

Carmel Ives, vice-chairperson of the Astronomical Society of SA (Assa), said she spotted the “space junk” deorbiting from Midrand at 10.56pm.

Ives said it was from a Russian SL-4 rocket upper stage.

“You can tell it is space junk because of the speed at which it moves.

“It is space junk rather than a meteor as it is moving slowly, at 20,000 to 30,000km/h, and breaks up into several pieces. Meteors travel at 70,000 to 80,000km/h and appear as a single streak,” she said.

Some space junk falling to Earth over Johannesburg at 22:56 5 June 2022.

Posted by Astronomy - ASSA Johannesburg Centre on Sunday, June 5, 2022

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