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Guam: ‘Atmospheric phenomena’ corresponds with satellite launch

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HAGÅTÑA (The Guam Daily Post) — Around 11 p.m. Friday, DeAndre Barcinas was out by Paseo when he and some friends saw a flash of light streaking across the sky. Officials first called it a meteorite but later noted that a Chinese test launch of a satellite had been reported.

Whatever it was, it had people all over the island focused on the night sky.

It looked like it was going over Sheraton (Laguna Guam Resort),” he said. “It was one long streak, then it broke off, and then started disappearing.”

He said he didn’t hear any sound and couldn’t tell how far away it was.

The video he shared, shows what looks like one large streak that seemed to separate into three bright balls that continued to descend before they disappeared above the horizon.

Satellite launch

A few hours after the event, at nearly 2 a.m., Guam Homeland Security/Office of Civil Defense noted that the “atmospheric phenomena” was likely a commercial space launch of a satellite from China.

The satellite launch posed no threat to the Marianas, officials stated.

Chinese media outlets report that a heavy lift Long March 5 rocket carrying a test satellite payload blasted off from the Wenchang launch site on the southern island of Hainan at 8.45 p.m.,” the release stated.

This commercial space launch occurred at 10:45 ChST and corresponds with an FAA Notice to Airmen that was active from 10:43 p.m. until 2:41 a.m.”

On Saipan

Multiple videos of what many believed was a meteorite were posted on social media by concerned citizens.

But at 2 a.m., the CNMI Emergency Operation Center State Warning Point issued a statement similar to Guam’s:

Chinese media report test launch from China; no threat for the Marianas.”

With Bryan Manabat

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