space debris pathThe Unidentified Flying Object (UFO) sighted in the skies of Saudi Arabia earlier last week has been identified as space debris entering the earth’s atmosphere.

The bright UFO that was seen over the holy city of Madinah on late Thursday evening was that of a Chinese rocket that launched a communication satellite in 2008, reported Sabq news.

Prominent Saudi astronomer, Mansour Al Mazroui, who is also the astronomy faculty head at the King Abdul Aziz University in Jeddah said that initially incorrect reports were published stating that the sightings over the Saudi skies were that of a meteor.

Mazroui said, “This object was the debris of a Chinese rocket that launched a communication satellite in June 2008 and had been anticipated to enter the atmosphere on January 16 2014 at around 10.57 pm Saudi time.” He added that the object was not a meteorite as they are seen only in one area, whereas Thursday’s sightings were seen in different areas and it also lasted for almost 3 minutes.

When the debris entered the earth’s atmosphere, it exploded into fragments and burned brightly in the night sky. The rocket was equipped with a rocket propeller and was programmed to fall into the ocean.