"The whole city is at a loss, what it was. UFO?"
Flash of Light
An incredibly bright flash of light lit up the skies over Kyiv, Ukraine, late Wednesday evening — and experts are still hunting for an exact explanation.
A video shared by Ukraine's ambassador to Austria Olexander Scherba on Twitter shows the bizarre event.
"Something happened in Kyiv sky tonight," he wrote. "The whole city is at a loss, what it was. UFO?"
Something happened in Kyiv sky tonight. The whole city is at a loss, what it was. UFO? pic.twitter.com/DAic7QHae2
— olexander scherba🇺🇦 (@olex_scherba) April 19, 2023
Not a Satellite
At first, officials suspected it may have been NASA's RHESSI satellite, the BBC reports, which was scheduled to hurtle back down to the surface after spending 21 years in orbit.
NASA quickly confirmed to the broadcaster that it couldn't have been that spacecraft, as it was still in orbit at the time. Besides, it wasn't anywhere near Ukraine during the unusual event.
The Ukrainian air force also ruled out a Russian air attack, despite repeated air offensives that have plagued the city since Russia began its invasion last year.
Oddly enough, other Ukrainian cities were being targeted with exploding drones at the same time, the New York Times reports, with the country's air force saying it had shot down around ten of them in southeastern Ukraine.
So what was it? According to the BBC, the flash was likely the result of a meteor entering the Earth's atmosphere at blistering speeds, a wild coincidence given the circumstances and location.
The flash was even seen over Belarus, leading Ukraine's space agency to believe it was most likely a falling cosmic body.
Ukraine was ready with its air defense forces on full alert. The air raid alert was on for a good hour in Kyiv following the flash, according to the NYT.
In other words, Kyiv was ready, whether it was an incoming missile or decades-old remains of a satellite.
More on comets: If You Go Outside, You May Be Able to See an Awesome Green Comet