By Kaya 959 Reporter
On Tuesday evening, many Tshwane residents shared photos of what seemed like a large shooting star, with many calling it a UFO (unidentified flying object).
Spectacular footage was filmed by residents of what many presumed to be a meteor shower, some calling it a comet, others saying aliens have arrived, although that’s likely not the case.
— Tida (@lmletsoalo) August 24, 2021
A massive meteor-like object just passed over Pretoria. Holy shit.
Just took this footage from my house.
Never seen anything like it. pic.twitter.com/JFHd3qkOac
— Conscious Caracal 🇿🇦 (@ConCaracal) August 24, 2021
Experts however say this was likely to have been a deorbiting rocket.
Crazy meteor shower over Pretoria a moment ago.
— Zero2Turbo.com (@Zero2Turbo) August 24, 2021
The South African Astronomical Observatory explains mystery behind a large shooting star like object – it was likely to be a rocket.
“It was not a meteor nor a rock. We are confident that it was an upper stage of a Chinese rocket that was launched yesterday (Tuesday) and that rocket was deorbiting meaning coming back on Earth and burning up in the atmosphere,”
According to the CAST website , a rocket named the Long March 2C carrier rocket Yuanzheng-1S, was launched at the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Centre in China at 19:15 on August 24.
China is about six hours ahead of South African time.
Update on the “meteor”, it looks like it was most likely the upper stage of the Chinese Yuanzheng-1S rocket being deorbited.
— Daniel Cunnama (@DanielCunnama) August 25, 2021
At the time it was launched it was 13:15 in SA, and residents spotted it around 18:20 – five hours after its launch in China.