North Korea’s newest satellite passed over Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, California, just an hour after the the Denver Broncos beat the Carolina Panthers 24-10 to win the Super Bowl 50 Sunday, the Associated Press reported.
"It passed almost directly overhead Silicon Valley, which is where I am and where the stadium is," tech watcher Martyn Williams said in an email to AP. "The pass happened at 8:26 p.m., after the game. I would put it down to nothing more than a coincidence, but an interesting one."
North Korea’s launched a rocket on Sunday, and claimed it was carrying an Earth observation satellite. The launch gave rise to concerns that the type of rocket used to launch the satellite could also carry a nuclear warhead. Pyongyang called the launch of the satellite, called Kwangmyongsong-4, or "Shining Star" — named after the late Kim Jong Il — a “complete success.”
It was the fourth satellite that the east Asian country — ruled by dictator Kim Jong Un — claimed to have launched. The first two of those satellites were reportedly never confirmed. However, experts confirmed that one satellite, the third according to North Korea, got into orbit in 2012. Kwangmyongsong-4 has the NORAD catalog number 41332 and Kwangmyongsong 3-2, launched in 2012, has 39026, AP reported.
According to Pyongyang, the satellites are used to monitor the weather, map natural resources and forest distributions, and provide data that might help farmers improve their crops, AP reported, adding that no communication signals from the new satellite had been detected.
"I have no idea when the end of the Super Bowl was, not a sports fan," Jonathan McDowell, an astrophysicist working at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, told AP. "But KMS-4 did pass over that part of California at 8:27 p.m. PST at an altitude of 480 kilometers [300 miles]. I calculate it was 35 miles west and 300 miles up as it passed overhead heading almost due north."
Meanwhile, American astranaut Scott Kelly said the International Space Station got a quick look at this year’s Super Bowl.
— Scott Kelly (@StationCDRKelly) February 8, 2016