Good News! The UFO Just Spotted From the Space Station Was Not Really a UFO

... But also, imagine being an astronaut and waking to find a mystery object outside your window.

This morning, astronaut Chris Cassidy looked out the window of the International Space Station. He saw the usual thing -- the vast expanse of the visible cosmos, unimpeded by the Earth's blurring atmosphere -- and then he saw a thing that was less usual. A bright thing. A vaguely spherical thing. A thing that was floating near the Station's Progress cargo vehicle. The strange object looked like a jellyfish floating in the sea of space. In the darkness, it glowed yellow-orange. Cassidy called down to Mission Control in Houston. And then he took out his camera. He began filming.

The floating object was, for a brief moment, a UFO (an unidentified floating object) ... until Russian ground controllers identified the thing. The space jellyfish, it turns out, was a spineless creature of a different variety: an antenna cover from the Zvezda service module that had apparently become dislodged. Mystery solved, fortunately anticlimactically for all involved -- except for Chris Cassidy, who still woke to find a weird space object floating outside his window.

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Megan Garber is a staff writer at The Atlantic. She was formerly an assistant editor at the Nieman Journalism Lab, where she wrote about innovations in the media.

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