Chinese Long March rocket reportedly sees fireball in northern Taiwan | Taiwan News

Chinese Long March rocket reportedly sees fireball in northern Taiwan | Taiwan News

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — A fireball that streaked across the night sky over northern Taiwan and Okinawa on Wednesday is believed to be the wreckage of a Chinese rocket burning up in the atmosphere, according to the Ministry of National Defense and Japanese astronomers. .

At 7:30 p.m., people near the Huilong MRT station in New Taipei City saw a fireball soaring into the sky. Taiwanese in Taoyuan City and Nantou County also reported seeing the flying sphere.

Alfin Niones, a 34-year-old factory worker from the Philippines, sent photos and videos of the burning objects. He said he saw the plane fly over the factory of his employer, Far Eastern New Century in Hsinchu County.

Additionally, pilots flying Mirage 2000 fighter jets patrolling over Taiwan also saw the fireball, according to the Air Force. The Defense Ministry said it initially judged the object to be the wreckage of a rocket launched by China.

Astronomers at the Lulin Observatory told PTS News they believe it is an artificial object based on the object’s slow speed and low orbit. Zhang Yongxin, Assistant of the Observatory, said:

“Natural meteors have very different speeds and angles. Judging from these two points, it is a man-made celestial body falling. It is most likely an artificial satellite or a rocket that has been orbiting the earth. Its wreckage should look like this.” Quite large. “

TTV News quoted Xie Xiangyu, a research team technician at the Taipei Astronomical Museum, as saying: “Last night’s incident lasted up to two minutes, and it is likely that a man-made object fell from a high altitude.” Outer space, commonly known as ‘space junk’. “Xie Jiahua said that due to the wide range of visibility, the object is likely to be located at a high altitude.

Meanwhile, people in Japan’s Okinawa prefecture saw the object more clearly, flying west to east for about a minute.

China’s Long March 3B rocket, launched in November 2022, is expected to enter the atmosphere on Wednesday night, NHK said, citing astronomers at Japan’s Ishigaki Island Observatory. The wreckage of the rocket was predicted to fly directly over the main island of Okinawa or slightly to the north.

Nippon TV News quoted Fujii Daichi, director of the Hiratsuka City Museum in Kanagawa Prefecture, as saying that the phenomenon appeared to be caused by the burning of the wreckage of the Long March 3B carrier rocket that was launched in November 2022.

As for why the wreckage of the rocket launched last year did not fall until this year, Fujii said that after the satellite was launched, the rocket would have drifted in space, but would slowly roll out of orbit and eventually fall back. world.

New Taipei saw the fireball. (Photo by Alfin Nyones)


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