Mon, August 08, 2022

in-focus

Exploding meteor sends social media into a tizzy


A LARGE meteor dazzled in the daytime sky over Bangkok and nearby provinces yesterday morning before dramatically exploding.

The Thai Astronomical Society confirmed that it was a rare phenomenon called “bolide” or exploding meteor. Scores of people from Chon Buri to Kanchanaburi and as far north as Phitsanulok witnessed the spectacle, with many posting videos of the occurrence online.
Social media users speculated that the meteor might have been part of a satellite, a crippled aircraft or even a UFO.
“Extremely bright flashes of light, followed by a thunderous roar a minute later above Kanchanaburi sky. What is it?” Nuthatai Chotechuang wrote on Twitter with an accompanying photo taken immediately after the explosion.
Some people thought the explosion was the result of a crash.
Thai Astronomical Society president Prapee Wiraporn said: “The bolide this morning [yesterday] was extraordinary because it was very bright and clearly visible during the daytime. This is a natural, normal phenomenon because the small meteors fall to the earth every day but what we saw was similar to the one over Chelyabinsk, Russia, two years ago.”
She said there was only a small chance anything of the meteor was left to fall to earth.
Saran Poshyachinda, deputy director of the National Astronomical Research Institute of Thailand, concurred with Prapee.
Saran said the meteor could be seen over an extensive area because it exploded high in the sky.
Kanchanaburi Governor Wan-chai Osukhonthip said the explosion of meteor was heard and witnessed in three of the province’s districts: Thong Pha Phum, Sai Yok and Si Sawat. He ordered police and Sai Yok National Park rangers to search Tambon Wang Krachae and Bongti in Sai Yok district to see if they could locate the object.
Wanchai said it was too early to pinpoint where it might have fallen but it was unlikely to have been a plane because there was no missing plane report.
In relation to people speculating that it might have been a plane, he said: “I would like to ask the people to listen to the official report and do not spread rumours.” 

Published : September 07, 2015

By : PRATCH RUJIVANAROM, THANATPHO