Siberian Times and other media reported this week (January 9, 2018) on an exceedingly bright flash that “turned night to day” over a wide swath of Russia on Sunday, January 7. Some media reported that the flash caused speculation about a U.S. air strike over North Korea. A next logical assumption might be a meteor, but – as of this writing – there are no reports about the event in the meteor logs for both the International Meteor Organization and the American Meteor Society, suggesting no bright streak of a meteor was seen.
The flash was seen primarily over three regions Bashkortostan, Udmurtia, and Tatarstan. Siberian Times reported:
The black sky suddenly turned momentarily deep blue as if on a bright day – but according to some accounts, the Earth moved too.
Experts insist the phenomenon was not manmade: there were no reports of missile tests or explosions.
Nor were there reports of meteorites striking the Earth.
Witnesses had the feeling something massive had happened – but what?
Looking back, I noticed a story about a similar bright flash over Russia in 2014. In that story, an IFLScience report concluded:
It’s definitely possible that the light wasn’t originating in the sky; it came from the ground and was being reflected off of the clouds.
Other explanations include “dry thunderstorms” to “atmospheric electricity.”
Bottom line: A flash seen over a wide swath of Russia on January 7, 2018 is so far unexplained.