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From Sichuan to Sydney: Chinese long-range rocket soars over Australian skies

What some mistook for UFO, astrophysicists confirmed to be Chinese Long March 3B rocket

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A Long March-5 rocket.

A Long March-5 rocket. (AP photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — A boomerang-shaped flare that was filmed shooting through the skies above Sydney at around 6:30 p.m. local time on Tuesday (Sept. 28), has been identified as belonging to a Long March 3B rocket that blasted off from China earlier that day.

Many observers on the ground mistook it for a UFO or a missile attack before astrophysicist Brad Tucker identified the plume as coming from a Long March 3B long-range Chinese rocket, according to a NewsHub report.

“The plume is like exhaust, gas coming out during launch of the rocket,” Tucker explained.

The rocket was launched from China’s Xichang Satellite Launch Centre in Sichuan Province, taking it from central China down past Southeast Asia and through north and eastern Australia.

From Sichuan to Sydney: Chinese long-range rocket soars over Australian skiesFlight path of the Long March 3B rocket.

It was rumored to carry a new generation of navigation satellite, per reports.

"It most definitely could be in the realm of spy or military satellites," Tucker told Australia’s 7 News. The sighting comes after multiple statements this month from Chinese policy advisors and state media, threatening that Australia could become a target of nuclear attacks in the future.