Speculation is running wild right now as to exactly what the mysterious light was that was seen streaking like a fireball over the Las Vegas skies tonight. The fireball was also spotted in Arizona and California. One of the leading theories is that it was the upper stage of a Soyuz Rocket from the International Space Station.
An official with the U.S. Strategic Command has said the light was likely from Russian space debris, although he didn’t elaborate on what type of object could have caused the fireball, NBC News reported.
This has brought more credence to the Soyuz theory. You can read a detailed discussion about the possibility on this Reddit thread. Essentially, a Soyuz rocket launched the Progress MS-01 vehicle to ISS (the International Space Station.) You can see the projected track for the rocket, called SL-4, on Heaven’s Above’s map here. The map shows the upper stage’s path, which would take it directly over California/Arizona, near where the fireball was seen tonight. The stage was projected to re-enter the Earth’s atmosphere within the day, according to Aerospace.org.
This is just one theory about the source of the fireball seen over Las Vegas. Others believe it is space junk of another origin or possibly an actual meteor that really did break up after reentering the Earth’s atmosphere. Of course, there are still some people who are fervently hoping it was a UFO of alien origin. To see more details on other theories about the origins of the meteor, along with videos and photos, please see these articles: