The night of Monday, Nov. 8, a photographer in Zurich, Switzerland, using the Twitter handle @Eavix1Eavix, wanted to click the SpaceX's Endeavour spacecraft, but instead tweeted a (now deleted) image of a blue-doughnut like object floating in the night sky.
The blue doughnut
The confusion occurred when the blue object was seen in the sky, around the same time as the reentry of Elon Musks’ SpaceX's Endeavour spacecraft. It was said to return to Earth with four astronauts, after a 200-day stint on the International Space Station.
The Endeavour spacecraft touched down in the Gulf of Mexico a little after 3h30 GMT that night, more than 8,000 kilometres from Zurich.
Langbroek, an academic researcher at Leiden University 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 deorbit burn, prior to reentry, was over the Indian Ocean, so also not visible from Switzerland.
Rocket, star or a UFO?
Speculations continued for a week over what the unidentified object really was, and was it really an alien-spaceship hovering over at the same time as the reentry of Musk’s spaceship. We can’t say.
I am pretty certain that the 'doughnut UFO' on the Swiss images is an out-of-focus image of a bright star. It quite looks like it.
Still, additional photographs taken that night appear to show a zigzagging trail of light behind the object, indicating that it was moving.
Astrophysicists further speculate that it could be the rocket’s upper stage, which is the tiny, uppermost component of a rocket which sends the vessel into orbit. It burns up and looks similar to a ‘doughnut UFO.’