JERUSALEM, Israel -- Israelis weren't the only ones who saw a "glowing light" in the sky Thursday night. Lebanon, Turkey, Cyprus, Armenia and Jordan also spotted it.
Late Thursday evening, Israelis countrywide flooded police hotlines to report an unusual spiraling light leaving a trail in the night sky.
A short time later, Novosti, the Russian News agency, quoted a Defense Ministry statement saying it had successfully test fired a ballistic missile at 9:39 p.m. Moscow time.
Dr. Yigal Pat-El, chairman of the Israeli Astronomical Association, told YNet the missile probably "spun out of control."
"It most likely spun out of control and its remnants and the fuel was what people saw," Pat-El said. "It reached a height of 200-300 kilometers (between 124 and 186 miles) and that's why it was seen from so many locations."
According to Russian military sources, the new generation of Topol-M intercontinental ballistic missiles is designed to counter the anti-ballistic missile defense shield the U.S. is deploying in countries such as Poland.