Saturday, September 30, 2023

Blazing Fireball Streaks Across Siberian City, Fizzles Out in Small Explosion

A blazing fireball that was seen Tuesday night streaking across a Siberian city was eventually extinguished by a small explosion in midair.

The meteor was captured on several dash cam and CCTV footage that was uploaded to social media. It flew over the city of Krasnoyarsk, which has over a million residents and is situated in the southernmost part of the vast Russian region.


Kirill Bakanov, a geographer and amateur meteorologist, reported seeing the fireball around 8 PM local time on Twitter.

Videos capture a very bright light briefly streaking across the sky before it disappears in what appears to be a small explosion that happened high in the atmosphere.

A particularly bright meteor is referred to as a “fireball” in this phrase. According to the American Meteor Society (AMS), they are typically brighter than magnitude 4, which is comparable to the brightness of the planet Venus in the evening or morning sky. Bolides are another name for fireballs that burst into existence above the ground in a bright flash.

Fireballs, Shooting Stars, Meteors, Meteorites

Asteroids or meteoroids (very small asteroids), which are the space debris that causes meteors, are the streaks of light seen in the sky when they enter the Earth’s atmosphere at a high velocity and burn up in the process, giving them the nickname “shooting stars.”

The majority of meteors are about the size of very small pebbles and are already bright enough to be seen from a great distance. Larger meteors-softball-sized ones, for instance-can be so bright that the light they emit is briefly comparable to the full moon in the night sky.

Because the space debris that causes them is larger, a fireball is brighter compared to the typical meteor.

According to the American Meteor Society, the Earth’s atmosphere is home to thousands of meteors with a fireball-like magnitude each day. But the overwhelming bulk of these are either obscured by daylight or occur over oceans and other unpopulated areas, making them invisible.

There is a lower likelihood of seeing many fireballs at night than during the day because fewer people are usually outside to see them. This is even though they should be easier to spot in theory.

A meteoroid can enter the atmosphere at a speed of up to 160,000 miles per hour, or between 25,000 and 50,000 miles per hour. But as they plunge deeper into the atmosphere’s denser layers, they quickly slow down and, if they are below a certain mass, are vaporized.

The term “meteorite” refers to objects that are large enough to survive their impact on the ground after leaving the atmosphere.

Also Read: Scientists Find Extra-Terrestrial Water Inside Winchcombe Meteorite That Crashed in UK Last Year  

Chelyabinsk and Tunguska Event

According to Newsweek, given the size of the nation, it may not come as a surprise that Russia has experienced numerous noteworthy events brought on by space debris falling to Earth. A 66-foot-wide asteroid that entered the Earth’s atmosphere in 2013 at a speed of about 43,000 miles per hour and whose light briefly eclipsed the sun caused a superbolide to blow up over Chelyabinsk in southern Ural, Russia.

The explosion, caused damage to the area’s ground and several hundred injuries, as compared to the blast produced by 400-500 thousand tons of TNT in terms of power.

The largest impact event in recorded history took place on June 30, 1908, in the skies over the Podkamennaya Tunguska River in a remote corner of Siberia.

Amazingly, the explosion released enough energy to destroy 80 million trees within an area of 830 square miles. It also killed reindeer. A fireball, or bluish light almost as bright as the sun, was reportedly seen by witnesses moving across the sky. Additionally, a flash coupled with a sound that closely resembles artillery fire was said to have followed it. According to EarthSky, a strong shockwave also knocked people off their feet and broke windows from hundreds of miles away.

However, even though the “Tunguska event,” as it has come to be known, has been labeled an impact event and the damage on the ground had a distinct epicenter, no impact crater has been found to date. It is believed that an explosion from an asteroid or another thing exploding above the earth was the cause, Newsweek reports.

Related Article: Weird Blue Spiral Spotted in Hawaii Night Sky, Japan Observatory Explains Mysterious Sighting 

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