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Ukraine's space agency announces "most likely" cause of bright flash in Kyiv sky

The peak of the starfall is still ahead.

Ukraine's space agency announces "most likely" cause of bright flash in Kyiv sky
Possible fall area of the satellite
Photo: State Space Agency

The most likely cause of yesterday's bright flash in the Kyiv sky was a meteorite falling from the Lyrid meteorite stream. The Main Centre for Special Control of the State Space Agency of Ukraine recorded a high-energy acoustic event at 21:57 local time.

The estimated epicentre of the explosion is in Kyiv Region, the State Space Agency said.

"Every year in April, the Earth passes through the plume of Comet Thatcher, which leaves behind the Lyrid meteor shower. The Lyrids are very fast and bright meteors caused by the Thatcher comet's plume," the agency said.

They added that the Lyrids do not leave long burning trails when they pass through the Earth's atmosphere. They are known for bright flashes, or so-called fireballs. The Lyrid meteor shower is one of the oldest known to mankind.

The agency warned that the peak of the meteor shower would be on 21 April. The Earth entered the plume of Comet Thatcher on 15 April and will leave it on 29 April. The peak of the shower is on 21 April. A similar phenomenon occurred in France this February, when a meteor fell there and burned up in the atmosphere.

Yesterday, at around 22:00, the sky over Kyiv and the suburbs was lit up with green light, and some social media users said they heard an explosion. The air alert went off then. The Air Force reported that the light could have been caused by a satellite or meteorite. However, Rob Margetta of NASA's Communications Directorate told the BBC that their satellite was still in orbit at the time of the flash, and that the fall should have occurred at night.

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