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Burning space rocket debris lights up skies in Spain, Portugal

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Guesses as to what the night-time display might be included meteors, alien spaceships and falling satellites.

PHOTO: TWITTER

MADRID (REUTERS) – Remnants of a Chinese space rocket reentering the atmosphere left long shiny trails in the night sky over Spain after midnight on Tuesday (June 21), leaving many onlookers amazed and puzzled.

“I think it was the most spectacular thing I’ve ever seen in the sky,” said Miguel J. Cruz, who shot a video, obtained by Reuters, of several bright objects crossing the sky over the southern province of Granada and multiplying as they burned up.

Cruz had seen a notice about the falling debris from an upper stage of the Chinese rocket CZ-2F and specifically went hunting for images from a balcony.

“I didn’t have high hopes but tonight I was lucky,” he said.

Similar videos from other places posted on Twitter initially provoked a torrent of guesses from users – including meteors, alien spaceships and falling satellites – but ultimately the rocket explanation convinced those in doubt.

Launched on June 5, the rocket delivered three crew members to the Chinese space station.

The spectacle could also be observed in Portugal.

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