Revealed: what lit up UAE, Oman skies last night?

'Spectacular' show was not a meteor but parts of Russian cargo spacecraft, say experts
By Staff writer
Tue 17 Oct 2017 05:07 PM

A flying object observed over the UAE skies on Monday night was not a meteor, as previously thought, but falling space debris from a Russian cargo spacecraft, the Dubai Astronomy Group has said.

At around 7.30pm UAE time, many people witnessed and captured images of falling space debris of the Progress module which is used to supply the international space station (ISS).

The group said in a statement that the view was spectacular and lasted for almost 80 seconds. The space craft disintegrated in the upper atmosphere and broke up into smaller chunks and burned like fireworks, it added.

The trajectory of the debris was over Arabian Peninsula crossing UAE and Oman to finally over the Indian Ocean, the group noted.

The Progress is a Russian expendable cargo spacecraft. Its purpose is to deliver supplies needed to sustain human presence in orbit. While it does not carry a crew it can be boarded by astronauts when docked with a space station. Each year there are between three and four Progress flights to the ISS.

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