NASA denied that a massive flash of light over Ukraine was a satellite that had fallen to Earth, and indicated that it was a meteor.
Serhiy Popko, head of the Kyiv City Military Administration, said the light was seen over the capital Kyiv at 10pm local time and an air raid alert was immediately sounded. “The air defense was not operational,” Popko added.
Popco shared preliminary results that showed ‘This phenomenon was the result of a NASA satellite falling to Earth BBC.
The military official probably assumed the light was the 600-pound craft — about the size of a shipping container — that NASA had warned would re-enter the atmosphere around 9:30 p.m. ET after it was retired by the space agency in 2018 due to a communication failure.
But NASA told the news outlet that the satellite is still in orbit.
NASA officials claimed that the bright light visible from Ukraine was not a fallen satellite. Serhiy Popko, head of the Kyiv City Military Administration, said the light was seen over the capital Kyiv at 10pm local time and an air strike alert was immediately sounded.
The NASA spacecraft that was expected to crash Wednesday night had a 1 in 2,500 chance of harming someone on Earth. The astronomers who predicted the fall had already mapped the likely areas of impact.
NASA said Tuesday that the re-entry location has not been disclosed, given the ongoing uncertainty about when and where it could descend.
But Aerospace, a national security space program, shows that debris that survived a hellish return could fall anywhere in South America, Africa, or Asia.
There is a 75 percent chance that the debris will fall into the ocean, but NASA still acknowledges the “low” risk of impact on Earth.
The military official probably assumed the light was the 600-pound craft — roughly the size of a shipping container — that NASA had warned would re-enter the atmosphere around 9:30 p.m. EDT.
The Aerospace Program, a national security space program, shows that debris that survived a hellish return could fall anywhere in South America, Africa, or Asia. The white lines are potential areas of influence
Professor Hugh Lewis, who studies space sciences at the University of Southampton, UK, shared on Twitter: “Unfortunately, many people live within latitude, which means the chance of injuries is still relatively high.”
While NASA said Monday that the craft could re-enter around 9:30 p.m., some reports show it as early as 7 p.m. — more or less than 16 hours.
Reports appeared online at around 5pm ET about parts of the satellite falling over the Ukrainian city of Kiev.
Several claims city and state officials sent the warning soon after a fireball was launched into the night sky.
However, Jonathan McDowell, an astronomer and astrophysicist at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, told DailyMail.com that the object was “definitely not” a NASA moon nor space debris.
“It could be a natural meteorite or a Russian missile attack,” he said.
The dead rover is NASA’s Reuven Ramati High Energy Spectroscopic Solar Imager (RHESSI), which was assigned to monitor solar flares when it was launched on February 5, 2002.
It was decommissioned in 2018 after NASA failed to communicate with it.
The Aerospace Reentry Project map places RHESSI over the northwestern region of India, indicating that this is where it sits above Earth.
There’s a 75 percent chance the debris will fall into the ocean, but NASA still admits there’s a chance it will impact Earth.
“Thanks to the eccentricity of the orbits and the spherical Earth, the probability of impacting any surviving spacecraft elements on Earth’s surface is greatest at latitudes around 38 degrees north and south,” Lewis said.
“There is no chance of affecting higher latitudes.”
While the chances of the wreck hitting humans don’t sound dire, the risk is higher than hitting someone with a car.
Data from the Centers for Disease Control shows that the odds of being hit by a motor vehicle in the United States are about 1 in 4,292.
Launched aboard a Pegasus XL rocket from Orbital Sciences Corporation, RHESSI aims to image the high-energy electrons that carry a large portion of the energy emitted by solar flares.
He achieved this with his only instrument, the Imaging Spectroradiometer, which records X-rays and gamma rays from the Sun.
Prior to RHESSI, no high-energy gamma-ray or X-ray images of solar flares had ever been taken.
Data from RHESSI provided vital clues about solar flares and associated coronal mass ejections.
These events release energy equivalent to billions of megatons of TNT into the solar atmosphere in a matter of minutes and can have effects on Earth, including disrupting electrical systems. Understanding them has proven challenging.
RHESSI recorded more than 100,000 X-ray events during its mission period, allowing scientists to study energetic particles in solar flares.
The imager helped the researchers determine the particle’s frequency, position, and motion, allowing them to understand where the particles were accelerating.