(Kyiv) A glow seen in Kyiv’s sky on Wednesday sparked confusion over its origin, with the city’s administration first attributing it to the downing of a NASA satellite, before the US space agency claims that it had not yet entered the atmosphere at that time.
“Around 10 p.m. (3 p.m. Eastern Time), the glow of an aerial object was observed in the sky of Kyiv,” the head of the military administration of the Ukrainian capital, Sergiy Popko, said on Telegram.
“According to initial information, this phenomenon is the consequence of the fall of a NASA satellite on Earth,” he added.
Shortly after, the Ukrainian Air Force also claimed that the glow was “related to the fall of a satellite/meteorite”, while stating that this was yet to be clarified.
The US space agency announced earlier in the week that the Rhessi satellite, weighing some 300 kg, would return to the atmosphere at an undetermined time on Wednesday.
But in a statement to AFP, NASA said its Rhessi satellite had not yet entered the atmosphere at the time of the light flash seen over Kyiv.
The Pentagon predicts that Rhessi “will re-enter Earth’s atmosphere at approximately 8:50 p.m. Wednesday with a window of plus or minus an hour,” NASA said Wednesday.
“No other NASA satellites re-entered the atmosphere earlier today (Wednesday),” the agency also said.
An AFP journalist saw a flash in the sky which was followed by no sound.
The air alert was activated, Mr. Popko stressed, while specifying that “the air defense did not come into action”.
“Social media is having fun spreading flying saucer memes, but please don’t use the official Air Force logo to make memes,” the force added.