Mystery Solved: Kyiv Flash Was Probably Caused by Meteor20th Apr 2023
On the 19th of April, Kyiv saw a threat from the air that might not have been part of the Russian invasion. A huge flash of light was seen over the city in the evening as an object fell from the sky. It led to widespread confusion and concern among the city’s residents. According to reports, the flash was observed at around 10:00 PM local time and lasted for several seconds. It was so intense that it was visible from some neighbouring cities and towns.
For a brief moment, a blinding white light tore through the sky over war-time Kyiv, with everything from a crashing satellite and a meteor to aliens being blamed. So, what did happen?
Once the “bright glow” was observed over Kyiv, an air raid alert was activated. Later, the head of Kyiv’s military administration Sergiy Popko said that “air defence was not in operation”.
Shortly after, Ukrainian officials initially suggested it was a NASA satellite based on preliminary evidence.
The thing is that this week, NASA announced it was retiring the Reuven Ramaty High Energy Solar Spectroscopic Imager (RHESSI) spacecraft, a hefty satellite used to observe solar flares launched in 2002.
But Rob Margetta from Nasa’s Office of Communications clarified to news outlets that the satellite-tracking website Satflare indicated that RHESSI was nowhere near Ukraine at the time and was still orbiting the planet at the time of the flash.
While the blinding flash over Kyiv may have initially caused alarm and confusion, it appears that it was most likely caused by a natural phenomenon – a meteor entering the Earth’s atmosphere. Later, air force spokesman Yuri Ihnat said on Ukrainian TV that the flash had also been seen over neighbouring Belarus to the north and Ukraine’s space agency claimed it was probably a high-altitude bolide (fireball) meteor.
Twitter has already been awash with memes about it .Ukrainians have exhibited the sense of humor that’s carried them throughout the defense of their land: