Strong flash was seen on over the Ukrainian capital
A strong flash detected over Kiev on Wednesday raised ambiguity about its source, as Kiev authorities initially attributed it to a US Space Agency satellite re-entering the atmosphere, before NASA confirmed that the satellite hadn’t entered the atmosphere after flashing occurs.
“At 20:00 (19:00 GMT) on the nineteenth of April, a radioactive glow of an air object was detected in the sky of Kiev,” Sergei Popko, the head of the city’s military administration, wrote on Telegram.
He added, “According to preliminary information, the phenomenon was caused by the fall of a NASA satellite”.
Shortly after, the Ukrainian Air Force, in turn, confirmed that the flash was associated with the fall of a satellite / meteorite, noting that the matter still had to be clarified.
The US space agency announced this week that a 300-kilogram satellite will return to the atmosphere on Wednesday at an unspecified hour.
But NASA confirmed in a statement received by Agence France-Presse that the Reuven Ramati High Energy Solar Spectroscopic Imager (RHESSI) satellite hadn’t yet entered the atmosphere when the flash occurred.
NASA said Wednesday that the Pentagon expects the satellite to enter the atmosphere at about 8:50 pm, Wednesday (00:50 GMT Thursday), with a margin of about an hour.
NASA confirmed that no other NASA satellite entered the atmosphere earlier today.
The spacecraft, which was used to monitor solar flares, was placed in low Earth orbit in 2002 and decommissioned in 2018, according to NASA.
On social networks, speculation circulated after several channels published videos of the flash.
NASA said in a statement issued on Monday that it expects most of the RHESSI parts to burn up upon the vehicle’s return to the atmosphere.
“However, it’s expected that some components will survive re-entry to the atmosphere,” NASA said, adding that the risk of harm to anyone is small, about 1 in 2,467.