Last week, SpaceX's Endeavour capsule returned to Earth with four astronauts aboard after they spent 200 days on the International Space Station. It was an exciting moment for spectators in Louisiana, Alabama and other states near where the splashdown occurred in the Gulf of Mexico at 10:30 p.m. ET. However, 5,000 miles away in Zurich, Switzerland, another object was spotted in the sky, and it has absolutely baffled scientists.
A photographer captured a picture of what he called a "doughnut UFO," which is pretty accurate since it looked like a glowing, blue version of the delicious round fried dough. He figured it was probably just the Endeavour capsule landing, and even shared the image on Twitter, joking in his caption, "Hopefully was the SpaceX dragon capsule and not a doughnut ufo invasion." However, it turns out that it would be nearly impossible for someone in Switzerland to have seen the capsule's reentry.
A satellite tracker in the Netherlands told Live Science, "Any passes [of Endeavour] over Switzerland prior to landing that night would have been completely in Earth's shadow, i.e. it would not be illuminated by the sun and hence not visible. Reentry itself was over Mexico and the Gulf of Mexico, and would not have been visible from Switzerland. The de-orbit burn, prior to reentry, was over the Indian Ocean, so also not visible from Switzerland."
So what was it? Well scientists aren't really sure. One suggested it was an "out-of-focus image of a bright star" and isn't moving at all, but the original photos, which strangely have since been removed from Twitter, show light trailing behind the object, making it seem like it was moving.
An astrophysicist at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics suggested the UFO was the upper stage of a rocket reentering the atmosphere and burning up, but without a time frame on when the pictures were taken, he can't tie the object to any known debris in the sky that night.
Currently, the UFO remains unidentified.