Bright lights above the UAE caused by Russian spacecraft breaking up upon re-entry

Was it a bird? Was it a plane? Nope, it was a Russian spacecraft, breaking up upon re-entry into the earth’s atmosphere.

If you had your head turned to the sky last night, you’ll have noticed a bright light that seemed to have been shooting its way across the city.

The spacecraft in question? An SL-4, from the launch of cargo spacecraft Progress MS07, which was being used to supply the International Space Station with 2.75 tons of water, food and scientific equipment.

The Dubai Astronomy Group issued a statement saying, “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 burning like fireworks.”

The Progress module made its final pass above earth before reentry into the atmosphere across Afghanistan, Iran and Saudi Arabia, breaking up at around 7.28pm UAE time, the exact time the lights were seen over the UAE.

It was thought initially that the bright lights were due to a meteorite.

“A number of astronomical accounts of social media confirm a sighting of a meteorite the size of a truck, passing just 100km from earth, burning in the atmosphere,” UAE Barq said.

The General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) have said that meteorites are a natural and regular phenomenon at this time of the year, with meteor showers active throughout the month of October.