Mon, December 06, 2021

in-focus

Strange aerial phenomenon witnessed in northern skies was likely a bright meteor: NARIT


The National Astronomical Research Institute of Thailand (NARIT) said the phenomenon of greenish-blue light coupled with an exploding sound in the sky in some northern provinces on Tuesday evening was likely a bolide, an extremely bright meteor that explodes in the atmosphere.

NARIT’s chief of astronomical academic service Suphareuk Karuhanon said on the institute’s Facebook page on Tuesday that people from Chiang Mai, Lamphun, Phayao, Mae Hong Son and Lampang have been sharing photos and videos on social media of the greenish-blue light with an exploding sound.

“The light was seen in the sky at around 6.30pm moving west to east with a loud explosive noise,” Suphareuk said. “This fits the characteristics of a bolide, an extremely bright meteor, especially one that explodes in the atmosphere,” he said.

“Normally a meteor that enters the atmosphere will experience extreme heat and catch fire at an altitude of 80-120 kilometres, which is too far for humans to hear,” he explained. “However, in some cases the meteor might cause a sonic boom similar to a supersonic airplane which will sound like an explosion to spectators.”

NARIT also said that there have been no reports of any damage caused by the phenomenon.

“It is not yet totally conclusive that the phenomenon is a bolide as most of the falling meteors burn out completely in the atmosphere,” Suphareuk said.

“Some that are big enough will make it to the earth’s surface, most of which will fall into the ocean, estimated at around 6,000 meteors per year,” he added.

“There is a very small chance that a bolide could fall to earth and cause damage, so people should not panic over the phenomenon,” he said assuringly.

Published : June 23, 2021

By : THE NATION