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Re-entering Chinese Rocket Sparks California Light Show

This picture of a fireball streaking across the sky was posted by Twitter user @k8tlynn27.

Californians were treated to an unexpected light show late Wednesday when a Chinese rocket re-entered the atmosphere.

U.S. Strategic Command spokeswoman Julie Ziegenhorn told the Associated Press that the Chinese CZ-7 rocket re-entered the atmosphere, but would not comment on whether the rocket ever posed any danger to people on the ground.

She referred further questions to the Chinese government.

Astronomer Jonathan McDowell, of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics in Cambridge, Massachusetts speculated on Twitter the object was debris from a June 15 launch.

He told the Los Angeles Times that the debris likely re-entered over Utah and was traveling at roughly 29,000 kilometers per hour.

Numerous people posted videos of the object streaking through the night sky on social media.

Here are some: