UPDATE: Sky sight seen from West Seattle, explained – rocket re-entry

9:19 PM: Did you see that too? Chris tweeted the video, and we’ve had multiple messages from people who saw those lights in the sky looking southward around 9 pm. We’re looking into it …

(Added – video from Matt Bridge)

9:26 PM: Thanks to a caller who mentioned this – here’s the explanation, via astronomer Jonathan McDowell on Twitter: “The Falcon 9 second stage from the Mar 4 Starlink launch failed to make a deorbit burn and is now reentering after 22 days in orbit. Its reentry was observed from the Seattle area at about 0400 UTC Mar 26.” Here’s more on the Falcon 9. (added) And here’s more on Starlink.

(Added – texted photo)

10:03 PM: Added more of the visuals we’ve received from readers (thanks!).

(Video from Rudy Willingham)

Here’s coverage of the March 4th launch from which this originated.

(Video from Jessica Tulloch)
ADDED FRIDAY MORNING: In case you wondered too:

37 Replies to "UPDATE: Sky sight seen from West Seattle, explained - rocket re-entry"

  • Z March 25, 2021 (9:24 pm)

    Spotted this from High Point as well, but wasn’t quick enough to pull out my camera

    • Sherry March 25, 2021 (10:33 pm)

      Yes I saw it over shady lake Renton wa

    • Samantha Earll March 26, 2021 (5:49 am)

      Spotted this while crossing Mercer floating bridge seriously looked as if it was like in a time worp or something crazy definitely  didnt look like some satellite  coming back down to earth that failed after 22 days …. looked way crazy I could hardly believe what I was watching and kept trying to get a good look while driving  lol I was so upset I didnt get video glad some people did no one believed me when I told them what I had seen!

  • StopCuttingDownTrees March 25, 2021 (9:25 pm)

    H U G E meteor or something came across the eastern sky at Alki at 9pm. Lasted about 40 seconds. I saw it after my run at Don Armeni Park.

  • K March 25, 2021 (9:26 pm)

    Yes! I saw it but it went behind the trees and was gone before I could get it on video!!! My daughter thought she saw a shooting star but it was definitely this! 

  • Harmony March 25, 2021 (9:26 pm)

    I saw it too. I was standing in the Super Deli parking lot. Couldn’t believe what I was seeing. 

  • Regan Murphy March 25, 2021 (9:26 pm)

    We saw this as well! Crazy!!! 

  • Lyla & Arlie March 25, 2021 (9:27 pm)

    We saw it too, so crazy!! Looked way closer, it was gold and orange.

  • Luke March 25, 2021 (9:28 pm)

    Yup, I saw it from my south-facing bedroom window near Genesee Hill.  Freaky!

  • Delia M March 25, 2021 (9:29 pm)

    Yes! We saw them too, down in Fauntleroy. I got a video, too, but not as clear as Chris’! 

  • Lamont March 25, 2021 (9:31 pm)

    Looks like it was a Falcon 9 second stage:https://twitter.com/planet4589/status/1375301028514500615

  • Brandi Bigford March 25, 2021 (9:31 pm)

    My mom went to drop a friend off in the West Seattle Junction at this time and she thought a plane was getting ready to crash. But whatever it was, was able to hover.. it was going very slow. She said whatever it was, she could see between 8 and 10 lights and they were white and bright. It was flying very low and headed from the west to the east. She honestly thought it wasn’t going to clear the top of the buildings.

    • Lamont March 25, 2021 (10:51 pm)

      It actually went directly overhead Cornelius, Oregon and headed towards Yakima/Ellensburg.  It was probably about 100 miles away from Seattle and 60 miles up in the atmosphere traveling in excess of 17,000 miles per hour.

  • West Seattle UFO Spotter March 25, 2021 (9:32 pm)

    Yes!!!  Weirdest freaking thing ever, like a long long long spaceship with a million blinking lights low in the southern sky headed north for nearly a minute right about 9pm.  Satellite breaking up?  Meteors?  Waiting to hear what it was!

    • Robin March 25, 2021 (10:43 pm)

      Before it spread out and it was quite large in height and length, I had a quick thought of UFO… it was so strange… then it started to gather and become a brighter long ship, so yeah meteor was definitely on the mind… like a HUGE one… someone posted about it not clearing buildings and it did seem like it could be possible…. felt better as it kept going in a seemingly horizontal direction… but man… thoughts 

  • Brandi Bigford March 25, 2021 (9:36 pm)

    I just saw the above post.. that is so interesting. So did it crash somewhere? Or were they able to maneuver it somewhere safe?

    • Lamont March 25, 2021 (9:51 pm)

      Sounds like it didn’t make its planned reentry burn, so this is it burning up uncontrolled in the atmosphere.   It’ll be at a shallow reentry angle and very high up, though, which will maximize heating and everything should vaporize.

  • cheffy30 March 25, 2021 (9:41 pm)

    thanks WSB for the clarification. lucky sight for those of us who got to see it.any more videos?

    • WSB March 25, 2021 (9:42 pm)

      Will be adding.

  • J. Lardizabal March 25, 2021 (9:44 pm)

    Our son came home from walking the dog and said he saw strange lights in the sky. We knew the WS Blog would have the answer. Thanks!

    • Friend O'Dinghus March 25, 2021 (10:48 pm)

      Your comment sums it all up for me too. Eerie lights in the sky of an extraterrestrial origin? Just check the West Seattle Blog!

  • Howard March 25, 2021 (10:27 pm)

    Thanks Elon 

  • HS March 25, 2021 (10:41 pm)

    SO COOL!! 

  • David March 25, 2021 (10:55 pm)

    I saw this from the Home Depot parking lot on Delridge.

  • Cameo March 25, 2021 (11:46 pm)

    Why does no one realize, they will always try to hide the truth from us. Never are they going to let us know what it really is. We can not handle the truth everyone’s minds would be 🤯🤯🤯🤦🏼‍♀️ Such fragile creatures we are and narrow minded at that.

  • Chief Manipokum March 25, 2021 (11:47 pm)

    After the 5-0 victory, we all saw it shooting through the sky.  I was talking with Pernando about Madonna by the fire and saw the lights over his shoulder.  I was speechless and excited.  It was an amazing experience on a glorious night!  Long live Thursday counseling sessions.  Prost!

  • Brandy March 26, 2021 (2:35 am)

    What is flying over top of debris in this video? 

  • Tp March 26, 2021 (6:24 am)

    Something hit us in kansas last night and shook and made big boom across radius of at least 150 miles. I mean my whole house shook like an earthquake.

  • anonyme March 26, 2021 (7:05 am)

    Really cool, except for the part about burning trash in the atmosphere with debris falling to earth.

    • anonyme March 27, 2021 (2:00 pm)


  • 22blades March 26, 2021 (9:30 am)

    Very cool to see but the reality is, we’re not done polluting the planet so we’re polluting our orbit. That booster stage that burned up left a trail of junk like the Base Camp of Everest. Track stuff in & from space at…  https://heavens-above.com/main.aspx

    • Lamont March 26, 2021 (10:57 am)

      That booster stage de orbited and burned up so it didn’t leave any junk, it is all vaporized now, and that is what we were watching.

      • 22blades March 26, 2021 (9:24 pm)

        What I was referring to was all the associated hardware, other booster stages, spent launch gasses &  myriad of other components that they don’t like to talk about. We are dumping an exponential amount of junk in orbit & it is already a problem looking for an answer.

      • 22blades March 26, 2021 (9:32 pm)

        If you think there’s junk in Puget Sound, here’s “your” orbit.https://www.vox.com/2015/1/20/7558681/space-junk

  • Louisa Eastman March 26, 2021 (5:26 pm)

    Bet Elon Musk is glad it wasn’t his car!

Sorry, comment time is over.