Hundreds of concerned residents of northern Israel, southern Lebanon and parts of Jordan called police to report seeing a glowing light that streaked across the night sky shortly before 9 p.m. on Thursday, sparking speculation over a UFO.
Astronomical experts conjectured that the object was a satellite that had exploded in orbit. A Lebanese report suggested that what appeared in the heavens was the remains of a meteorite, with its smashed pieces creating a dust trail that glowed behind it.
Later, however, the mystery appeared to have been solved when Russian media reported a Defense Ministry announcement of a successful test launch of a Topol intercontinental ballistic missile from the Astrakhan region in southern Russia.
The successful test was conducted to confirm the stability of the missile’s performance, the ministry said, and to help toward developing the means for it to overcome missile defense systems.