Kyiv municipal authorities explain bright flash over Kyiv as “NASA satellite crash” — video

20 April, 12:51 AM
An unknown object spotted in the skies above Kyiv on the evening of April 19 (Photo:Ukrainska Pravda / Telegram)

An unknown object spotted in the skies above Kyiv on the evening of April 19 (Photo:Ukrainska Pravda / Telegram)

Kyiv’s air raid sirens normally sound when Russian ballistic missiles are incoming, or fighter jets, or Iranian-made suicide Shahed drones — not NASA space junk.

Such was the case on Wednesday night.

A bright flash in the sky over Kyiv on the evening of April 19 was not the city’s air defenses knocking out enemy missiles, but rather “the result of a NASA satellite crash landing on earth," according to Kyiv City Military Administration chief, Serhiy Popko.

Video of day

“Around 10:00 p.m. on April 19, a bright glow of an air object was observed in the sky within the boundaries of Kyiv,” the Kyiv City Military Administration wrote on Telegram.

“According to preliminary information, this was the result of a NASA satellite crash landing on Earth.”

Popko said that air defense systems were not activated, but an air alarm was declared to avoid any casualties from falling debris.

Presidential chief-of-staff Andriy Yermak initially reported about active air defense on his Telegram channel, but later edited the post and instructed citizens to wait for a statement from the Air Force.

Air Force spokesperson Yuriy Ihnat was unable to confirm information about the satellite in his comments to Ukrainian public broadcaster Suspilne.

In a comment to the BBC, NASA spokesperson Rob Margetta said the RHESSI satellite, which was expected to re-enter Earth atmosphere that day, was "still in orbit" when the phenomenon was visible over Kyiv.

The Alpha Centauri, a popular science channel, reported that the NASA satellite’s orbit did not pass over Ukraine on the evening of April 19 and speculated that the object in the sky was a bolide — a type of meteor.

The Kyiv Oblast Military Administration had previously reported an airborne target in the sky over the region and urged residents to remain in shelters.

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