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A dazzling meteor was captured on film while dramatically plunging from the sky across swathes of Japan. The meteor is seen momentarily glowing brightly as it rapidly shot through Earth’s atmosphere on Sunday, November 29.
Most of the eyewitnesses reported the rare event originated over western Japan.
However, others mentioned seeing the fireball from as far away as Thailand.
NHK public television said its cameras in the central prefectures of Aichi captured the fireball in the southern sky.
A camera at Nagoya port showed the meteor shining momentarily almost as bright as a Full Moon as it approached the Earth’s surface.
And some experts said small fragments of the meteorite might have even reached the ground.
According to some witnesses, the meteorite was accompanied with a “rumbling noise” and “skies went totally bright”.
Lassina Zerbo, Executive Secretary of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO), took to Twitter to announce the extraterrestrial object also be measured by infrasound.
A signature of a fireball was identified in the waveform of at least CTBTO three stations.
In the course of the NEar real-time MOnitoring system (NEMO) project, a preliminary source energy of the entering asteroid of approximately 10 tonnes TNT was calculated.
With an assumed velocity of 15 km/s and a density of 3,000 kg/m3, researchers Esther Drolshagen and Theresa Ott estimated the size would be approximately 60cm in diameter, with a mass of roughly 350kg.
The latest fireball sighting follows hot on the heels of a similar meteor which illuminated areas of the central US last Wednesday.
The rare phenomenon was also captured on a security camera showing a bright flash of light in the night, with one onlooker saying “It kind of looked like the end of a sparkler.”
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What is a fireball?
Fireballs and bolides are astronomical names for bright meteors exceptional enough to to be visible over wide areas of Earth.
A meteoroid is generally defined as an asteroid or comet fragment orbiting the Sun
These objects are generally acknowledged having an approximate size between ten microns and 1m.
Meteors, commonly known as “shooting stars”, are the visible remnants of meteoroids that have collided with our planet’s thick atmosphere at extraordinary speeds.
Fireballs are an exceptionally bright meteor that reaches a visual magnitude of -3 or brighter when spotted at the observer’s zenith.
Objects causing fireball events are known to commonly exceed one meter in diameter.
Although fireballs that dramatically incinerate in the atmosphere are technically referred to as bolides, the terms fireballs and bolides are commonly used interchangeably.
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