Strange light: sky
A truly peculiar spectacle lighted up the sky on Friday night. (Representation image) Baac3nes/Gettyimages

A truly peculiar spectacle lighted up the sky on Friday night.

Footage provided to FOX 2 in San Francisco reveals a procession of "strange lights" moving slowly across the sky.

A video taken from above Vallejo and shared with KTVU shows the phenomenon very evidently.

It was posted to Twitter. The caption says it was spotted at roughly 9:30 p.m., said reports.

The narrator from the video, posted by @Tnez111, simply says "dude" in astonishment. Not much more could be said.

Another video taken from Vacaville, roughly 25 miles to the northeast, shows four distinct objects that resemble comets or asteroid fragments moving over the night sky. That video was posted by @KalzYoung at 9:46 p.m.

One witness who uploaded footage reported seeing the lights over San Ramon at about 9:30 p.m. for about 40 seconds before they vanished from view, New York Post reported.

Jonathan McDowell, a well-known astronomer, believes that the lights that several people saw were probably space junk.

In a tweet, McDowell claimed that object 45265, space trash that has been orbiting the Planet for the past three years, was most likely the object in question.

Debris that falls at night with clear skies can create a captivating light display for observers, said Moriba Jah, an associate professor of aerospace engineering and engineering mechanics at the University of Texas at Austin.

But as the equipment burns, it can pollute the upper layers of the atmosphere, he said. Upon reaching Earth's surface, the equipment can also contaminate oceans and land — and even injure people, though that scenario happens infrequently.

Privateer, a company co-founded by Dr. Jah, tracks about 48,000 human-made objects, ranging in size from a cellphone to the International Space Station itself.

But only about 10 percent of those are functional, he said.

Space junk (also known as space debris, space pollution, space waste, space trash, space garbage, or cosmic debris) are defunct human-made objects in space, principally in Earth orbit, which no longer serve a useful function.

These include derelict spacecraft—nonfunctional spacecraft and abandoned launch vehicle stages—mission-related debris, and particularly numerous in Earth orbit, fragmentation debris from the breakup of derelict rocket bodies and spacecraft.

In addition to derelict human-made objects left in orbit, other examples of space junk include fragments from their disintegration, erosion, and collisions, or even paint flecks, solidified liquids expelled from spacecraft, and unburned particles from solid rocket motors.

Space debris represents a risk to spacecraft.

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