Starts With A Bang

No, ISS Astronaut Scott Kelly Did Not Take A Picture Of A UFO

Image credit: The Empire Strikes Back, Star Wars Episode V, of the Super Star Destroyer, Exectuor.

“It’s almost like I feel I’m just moving there, and I’m not coming back.” -Scott Kelly

On his 233rd day in space, ISS astronaut Scott Kelly took a photo that’s since gone viral of the Earth at night, showing a number of cities in India and a star field above the planet’s atmosphere and airglow.

Image credit: ISS astronaut Scott Kelly, via

But in the upper right of the photo, a Star Destroyer-esque light looms. As I explain, however, this is simply light reflecting off of the ISS’s HDEV module, nothing more complex or extraordinary than that.

Image credit: NASA, of ESA’s Columbus module.

Go see how we know, and how easy it is to fool ourselves if we’re not careful.