On Tuesday, July 12, 2022, Montanans saw something out of the ordinary in the night sky. Unfortunately, it wasn't a UFO—like many would hope. Fiery balls of space junk entered the atmosphere from an old Russian fuel tank. The tank had been in orbit since 2012, and recent solar activity sped its descent back to Earth.
The amount of space junk orbiting Earth is more than most would expect. At least one piece of space junk falls to Earth daily. Most debris burns upon reentry into the atmosphere, but larger equipment will make it to impact. NASA is tracking 23,000 pieces of space debris larger than a softball. There are currently 2,000 active satellites and 3,000 dead satellites orbiting Earth currently.
Montanans reported seeing the debris in multiple cities around the state. So far, there have been no reports of the debris making it to Earth's surface. Did you see the space debris as well? Where were you in the state? Did you have a clearer view? Let us know in the comments!
Watch the video below!
A video that I took on 7/12/22 of a Russian fuel tank re-entry.