Confusion reigns over flash in skies above Kyiv

The local military administration rules out the possibility of a Russian attack as NASA offers a denial and Ukrainians joke of an alien invasion.

A flash in the sky above the Ukrainian capital on Wednesday evening has caused confusion.

The Kyiv city military administration on Thursday dismissed the possibility that the “bright glow” was the result of a Russian military attack, while the United States space agency NASA denied reports claiming one of its aircraft was involved.

The administration said it had recorded the “fall of an unknown aerial object” on Wednesday at about 10pm (19:00 GMT).

“After verification and clarification, the information regarding the possible use of enemy aircraft or an air strike with missile weapons was not confirmed,” it said on its Telegram channel.

“But the very bright glow from the fall of an unknown object caused excitement and concern among the people of Kyiv,” it added.

“It was not a missile attack, our anti-aircraft defence did not use the available weapons.”

Previous reports suggested that the object was a NASA satellite, but the administration quoted the space agency denying that it was their spacecraft.

“What exactly it was – only experts should find out,” the administration said.

In a statement published on Thursday, NASA said one of its spacecraft, the Reuven Ramaty High Energy Solar Spectroscopic Imager, was being retired and was expected to re-enter the Earth’s atmosphere in April more than 20 years after the launch.

“NASA expects most of the spacecraft to burn up as it travels through the atmosphere, but some components are expected to survive re-entry. The risk of harm coming to anyone on Earth is low – approximately 1 in 2,467,” the US agency said.

A NASA spokesperson told reporters on Wednesday that the satellite in question was still in orbit at the time the flash was observed.

Ukrainians on social media, meanwhile, joked about a new chapter in the war – an alien invasion.

Source: Al Jazeera