This is the moment a huge fireball was seen soaring through the skies of South America on Saturday.
But far from being a UFO or a planet-destroying asteroid, the Peruvian Air Force confirmed that the burning object was an old piece of satellite that burnt up after entering the earth’s orbit.
The remaining parts of the satellite were discovered by peasants in southeastern Peru, who immediately contacted the Peruvian Air Force.
Air Force officials quickly released images of the space debris in a bid to dispel potential conspiracy theories.
The satellite’s descent to earth comes after 60 years of space exploration – which has led to the atmosphere being clogged with pieces of debris from various crafts and satellites.
‘When the debris enters the atmosphere it comes under intense friction and this causes it to set on fire. That is what could have happened’, Meteorologist Alejandro Fonesca said.
The spectacular images of the fireball were captured in the skies above the Peruvian cities of Tinga Maria and Pucallpa in southern Peru, located about 115 miles apart from each other.
A 2016 count by the United States Strategic Command found that there was a staggering 17,852 artificial objects in the earth’s orbit, including 1,419 operational satellites.