No, that wasn't a meteorite - expert explains glowing objects flying through the sky on Sunday

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Social media has been abuzz after videos of a flaming object seen on the sky on afternoon were shared on Sunday.
Social media has been abuzz after videos of a flaming object seen on the sky on afternoon were shared on Sunday.
  • A bright object travelling in space was spotted by South Africans on Sunday afternoon.
  • Social media users were stumped as to what it could be.
  • A professor in physics says it is just debris from a Russian rocket.

Social media users were left scratching their heads after videos emerged showing a bright object in the sky on Sunday afternoon.

They speculated it could be a meteorite, an alien body or even South Africa coming under attack.

Professor Andrew Chen of Witwatersrand University's school of physics put people's minds at ease and said it was debris from a Russian rocket.

Chen added: "The object seen on Sunday evening was debris from a Russian SL-4 rocket upper stage, since it breaks up into pieces and burns up in the atmosphere."

The person who captured the video can be heard saying: "What is this, what the hell, this is how they are bombing us and it is getting brighter and brighter… It is falling now, it has separated and it's now two of them."

The two people in the background start to make worrying sounds before the debris disappears.

Chen told News24 people should not be worried as there were systems in place that directed the debris into the ocean.

"Small objects such as this are nothing to worry about, larger satellites de-orbiting nowadays are required to undergo a controlled de-orbit to bring them safely into the ocean."

According to him, such objects were hardly found on land as a large part of the planet was covered in water.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
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