|Bolt of light: Scientists and individuals alike were initially|
baffled as to whether the blaze was space junk or a comet
- A mysterious bar of light shot through the night sky on Christmas Eve leaving many Europeans perplexed.
- Captured on videos throughout Germany, France, Belgium and Luxembourg the light moved much slower than a normal shooting star, was far brighter and more detailed
- It quickly became a popular topic on Twitter with people baffled as to whether it was a comet, meteor or space junk.
The leading edge of the streak looks round and white, while the tail has an amber tone in some images.Andreas Schutz of the German Aerospace Centre, the country's national aerospace research, told MailOnline that it was space junk from the Russian Soyuz rocket.
Confusion: It is thought to be a piece of debris from the
Russian Soyuz rocket but this has not been confirmedIt was the upper-state part of the rocket lost on the re-entry of the atmosphere, he said.The re-entry was seen over Germany for 30-35 seconds, he said.'The last part of the flight of the re-entry, this upper stage burnt out with red fire,' he said.'This is what we seem know in this moment.'He added: 'we need to wait for other results next week or the start of the new year from our colleagues in the US and Russia'.A couple of days before the German authority had had a very different interpretation with Mr Schutz telling a newspaper the organisation was '99.9 per cent' certain that the blaze was a meteor.The Royal Observatory of Belgium said in a statement: 'The fireball observed above Belgium, the Netherlands, France and Germany on December 24 around 17h30, was the re-entry of the third stage of the Soyuz rocket that transported the Dutch astronaut André Kuipers to the ISS.' (International Space Station)
Blast off: The Russian Soyuz rocket booster lifting off last week to carry three astronauts to the International Space Station. However, the launch was not successful and the upper-stage was lost as debris