Thousands in east and southeast Asia witnessed the alluring show across the night sky.
Many people took to social media on Saturday to share videos of meteor showers. The videos show stunning hues of red, blue and yellow blazing across the night sky while onlookers take out cameras to capture the moment.
But in fact, the fireworks were burning debris from a Chinese rocket that reentered earth's atmosphere over the Indian Ocean.
"USSPACECOM can confirm the People's Republic of China (PRC) Long March 5B (CZ-5B) re-entered over the Indian Ocean at approx 10:45 am MDT on 7/30. We refer you to the PRC for further details on the reentry's technical aspects such as potential debris dispersal+ impact location," the US Space Command tweeted.
Thousands in east and southeast Asia witnessed the alluring show across the night sky. While many shared clips believing it to be a meteor shower, astronauts and scientists were quick to dispel it and set things straight.
"Looks like that Chinese rocket just burned up over Malaysia. Now wait to hear what big pieces splashed/thumped to Earth," NASA astronaut Chris Hadfield tweeted.
According to the China Manned Space Agency (CMSA), China launched the 23-ton Long March-5B Y3 carrier rocket on July 24.
NASA administrator Bill Nelson came down heavily on China for not handling its rockets reentering earth safely.
"All spacefaring nations should follow established best practices, and do their part to share this type of information in advance," Nelson tweeted, "to allow reliable predictions of potential debris impact risk, especially for heavy-lift vehicles, like the Long March 5B, which carry a significant risk of loss of life and property."
"Doing so is critical to the responsible use of space and to ensure the safety of people here on Earth," he added.