Mystery East Coast Fireball Was a Russian Rocket

Naval Observatory 99% sure explosion was remains of Soyuz booster
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 31, 2009 2:47 AM CDT

(Newser) – The fireball that lit up parts of the East Coast Sunday night was almost certainly the exploding remains of a Russian rocket, a US Naval Observatory official tells The second stage of the Soyuz rocket was slated to enter the atmosphere at the time and place the fireball was reported by residents along the Atlantic coast, according to an observatory computer program that tracks space junk.

The boom and flash of light reported by residents are "entirely consistent with re-entering space junk, especially something this big," said the official, who is "99.4% convinced" it wasn't a meteor.