Russian Rocket Reentry On Tuesday Lights Up Southern California Night Sky

A Russian rocket streaked across the Southern California sky Tuesday night, creating a fireball that plummeted in a gradual downward arc that remained visible for a half of a minute.
Initially identified as a meteor by astronomers, the object was subsequently disclosed to be the booster of an SL-4 rocket re-entering the earth’s atmosphere after powering a payload put into orbit by the Russians following a launch on Monday, December 21.
The white-hot streak followed by a tail raining illuminated debris appeared out of the north and moved in a southerly direction with a calculated terminus somewhere in the neighborhood of the Gulf of California in Baja California.
Reports were that it was also visible, from varying angles of perspective, in Nevada and Arizona.
According to the U.S. Strategic Command, the rocket body reentered the atmosphere over Arizona at 7:08 p.m. Atmospheric drag and aerodynamic heating resulted in the progressive disintegration of the rocket and its accompanying bright glow.

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