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Fireball

  • Some Malaysians and Singaporeans were lucky witnesses to a rare astronomical phenomenon when they saw a fireball fly through the sky, video of which has gone viral. 

    Dashcam footage of a meteor streaking through the darkness was posted to YouTube by user Violet Crystal, who wrote that it was filmed about 5am on Wednesday in Johor Bahru.

    The same clip was reposted to theAll Singapore Stuff Facebook page where it has been viewed more than 100,000 times and drew comments from Singaporeans who said they also saw it from places including Loyang, Bartley, and Hougang. 

    “This is what I saw at Bartley this morning,” Facebook user Sky Tai wrote in a comment.

    “Saw this at Loyang at 5am! Same time stamp! I thought Singapore was under attacked! [sic] Phew thank god it wasn’t an hallucination [sic],” user Izzat Asyraf Nahrawi said. 

    A Claudia Jiang also said she saw the fireball at around 6:40am.

    “I saw it too on 11th Feb! Facing East Coast direction,” she said in the comments.

    Someone else wrote that they had seen something similar a day earlier on Tuesday.

    International Meteor Organization's website notes four reports of fireball sightings at 5am on Wednesday from Singapore and Johor Bahru.

    Many meteors hit the atmosphere each day, but the majority burn up before striking the surface. Similar sightings were also reported in Italy, the United Kingdom, Canada and the United States this week.

    There was no record of Wednesday morning's fireball with NASA or the European Space Agency, Singapore space enthusiasts from the Astronomy.SG group told Coconuts Singapore.

    "Our team was unaware of any such incident until recently. From the video evidence, we cannot confirm the nature of the object. We do not have hard proof that it did hit the ground and there is no data from NASA and the ESA confirming it is a meteorite at this present moment. Our best guess is that it is a meteor that burned up before hitting land, or a fragment of a larger meteorite that entered the atmosphere," the group wrote in reply.

  • A large fireball exploded over Spain's Andalusia region around 23:00 UTC on January 28, 2020. The event was particularly seen over the cities of Cadiz and Seville, from more than 400 km (248 miles) away.

    One fragment reportedly fell in La Campina de Sevilla, in an area near Arahal.

    The event was picked up by the detectors that the Southwest Europe Meteor and Winds Network operates in various portions of Andalusia. Images were acquired from the observatories of Calar Alto, La Sagra, and Seville. According to reports, the fireball's luminosity was greater than that of the full moon.

    These detectors work within the SMART Project's framework, which aims to continuously monitor the skies to record and examine the impacts of space rocks against the Earth's atmosphere.

    Some of the witnesses, especially from the provinces of Seville, Cadiz, and Huelva have reached out to the research network, reporting their sightings.

    Astrophysicist and SMART Project researcher Jose Maria Madiedo of the Institute of Astrophysics of Andalusia has studied the phenomenon, and the analysis showed that the meteorite plummeted into the atmosphere at around 61 000 km/h (37 904 mph) north of Cadiz.

    The rock's rapid plunge caused it to become incandescent, producing a bright ball of fire at an altitude of roughly 91 km (56 miles).

    Moreover, the fireball advanced northeastward towards Seville and faded when it was at an altitude of around 20 km (12 miles), almost over the town of Arahal.

    Such fireballs usually disintegrate in the atmosphere, but according to the preliminary analysis of this particular fireball, small pieces of the rock could have survived meteor's sharp fall through our planet's atmosphere and crashed into the ground.

    Further examination is underway to identify the rock's mass.

    SEE ALSO: Spectacular Meteor Fireball Explosion over Puerto Rico

  • A bright meteor fireball disintegrated in the sky over Puerto Rico on January 17 at 4:30 p.m. EST time Friday, Jan 17. Picture via NOAA satellite

    While the disaster-striken Puerto Rico is currently experiencing an almost unprecedented earthquake swarm, a bright fireball exploded across the sky in Puerto Rico Friday afternoon, prompting local residents to speculate if it was a bad omen.

    The NOAA satellite captured the brilliant space rock exploding over Puerto Rico at around 4:30 p.m. EST time on Jan 17.

    According to astronomers, such a large ball of fire is quite a rare event. Some even say, the celestial body may have measured at least a few feet in length.

    Many skywatchers reported hearing a loud noise.

    Puerto Rico is experiencing an unprecedented earthquake swarm since December 28, 2019 and residents are still struggling to recover from 2017’s Hurricane Maria.

  • It's claimed to be one of the biggest ever recorded in the Middle East, and the scene is splendid!

    Nizar Samir Al Murr was in his car driving through the snowy roads of Mount Sannine when his built-in car camera caught the moment in which a falling meteor passed by the skies of the Sannine mountain.

    Shocked as anyone, it is evident in the video that he did not expect to see the rocky body casually flying in the sky of Lebanon and exploding in colorful lights. A "what is this?!" exclamation is heard in the video as the meteor sped down and then sparkled, glowing the night sky.

    When Nizar slow-motioned the video, the meteor is shown crystal clear -and somehow greenish in color - falling and glowing through the night.

    He said that this meteor is one of the biggest meteors ever recorded in the Middle East, and apparently Nizar was not the only one who saw the falling star but was the only one lucky enough to catch it on video.

    A number of people commenting on his Facebook post were relieved that someone was able to catch what they witnessed with their own bare eyes: The beautiful moment the sky suddenly brightened, an hour and a half before midnight.

    However, some people questioned the factual claim behind a meteor showing during this time of the year.

    A Facebook user commented, "That something that entered the atmospheric field of the earth... It might be a falling satellite... Or just something else... But it definitely entered our atmosphere."

    Two other users replied to his comment, saying: "Debris from space... this time is not a meteor shower peak... the peak was on January, 4," and, "Fireball, happens all the time, especially on some specific meteor showers. Super cool."

    Nonetheless, a statement from an official geologist regarding the identity of the falling cosmetic object has not been made yet, which leaves the facts to our imagination and own analysis.

    Some people linked the falling meteor with the earthquake that hit Turkey on January 24, and that also hit Lebanon but in much less strength (causing no casualties in Lebanon unlike Turkey).

     

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