Spectacular reentry of a rocket stage on June 20th 2022

pathLast night of June 20th 2022, at 22:31 UT, the reentry of one of the stages of the Chinese rocket Zheng 2F (CZ-2F) caused beautiful fireworks over the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea in front of the coasts of southern Spain and Portugal, and also west and north coasts of Morocco.

This event was registered with the SMART Project detectors operated at Calar Alto (Almería), Sierra Nevada, La Sagra (Granada), El Aljarafe and La Hita (Toledo) Observatories.

Despite the haze and the clouds, three of the Calar Alto Observatory (Almería) external cameras could also follow this object.

The preliminary analysis carried out by Professor José María Madiedo (Instituto de Astrofísica de Andalucía IAA-CSIC) concludes that this nice object was one of the stages of the Chinese rocket Zheng 2F (CZ-2F) that, in its reentry, flew above Atlantic Ocean, entering into Mediterranean Sea. The stage passed in front of the south coasts of Portugal and Spain, and in front of the west and north coasts of Morocco, during nearly two minutes.

The image above shows the path this object followed from Atlantic Ocean to Mediterranean Sea.

Unfortunately, the haze and the clouds that were at the time of the event have prevented from seeing its full magnitude. In any case, the images are impressive.

Below are the three videos registered with Calar Alto Observatory external cameras.



Calar Alto (CAHA) fireball detection station, together with the one at the Observatory of Sierra Nevada (IAA-CSIC) and others placed at different locations in Spain, are part of the S.M.A.R.T. project led by Professor José María Madiedo (IAA) to track that kind of objects. Specifically, Calar Alto (CAHA) station and the one at Sierra Nevada (IAA-CSIC) constitute a collaboration agreement between the IAA researcher José María Madiedo and both institutions.