Observers in Europe witnessed the second stage de-orbit burn from a SpaceX rocket on the evening of April 21, 2022. It created quite a stir to the early evening European stargazers, as most were caught by surprise of this event. The Falcon 9 rocket launched from the Kennedy Space Center at 1:51 EDT carrying 53 new Starlink satellites. The de-orbit of the second stage occurred two hours after launch when the rocket booster was orbiting over Europe.
At this writing (2 a.m. central on April 22, 2022), the International Meteor Organization has received 24 reports of the event with these witnesses believing they had witnessed a fireball, a very bright but natural meteor.
Witnesses also provided several interesting videos and photographs of the resulting plume created by the rocket exhaust.
Robert has been interested in the stars as far back as he can recall. His first experience with meteors was a biggie, the 1966 Leonid shower. In 1980, a major awaking occurred. He received a sample copy of Meteor News. He was amazed to learn there was a group actually devoted strictly to meteor observing! He joined the group, also started to view some of the minor showers list among the pages of Meteor News. Lastly, he was contracted by Springer Publishing in 2007 to write a book on observing meteors. The book is now available and hopefully will be a useful guide to all interested in the enjoyable field of meteor observing.