Meteoroid captured skimming Earth’s atmosphere over Europe
On Sunday, January 24, residents of the Buleleng regency of Bali, Indonesia, heard a loud bang overhead. The explosive sound was accompanied by a bright streak of light, which indicated a meteor had entered the atmosphere.
Indonesia’s National Institute of Aeronautics and Space (LAPAN) had announced a significant space rock had entered the skies, leading to the explosion in the early hours of the morning.
LAPAN stated the trail in the sky was visible for up to 20 seconds.
Reports also suggested a small earthquake followed the meteor boom.
Indonesia’s Meteorology, Climatology, and Geophysical Agency (BMKG) said a 1.1 magnitude earthquake had occurred in the region.
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Astronomers have said the explosion may have been so powerful that the shockwaves caused the minor tremor.
LAPAN said in a statement: “LAPAN conveyed that on January 24, 2021, at around 11am WITA, a number of residents of Buleleng, Bali, were startled by a loud thud which was heard quite clearly.
“Apart from the sound of thuds, residents also reported light trails in the Balinese sky.
“Meanwhile, it was reported that the earthquake sensor at the BMKG Station in Singaraja had detected a vibration anomaly that occurred for approximately 20 seconds starting at 10:27 WITA.
“The detected vibrations have an intensity of approximately 1.1 magnitude.
“Based on this information, there is a possibility that the incident was actually the fall of a space object.”
The International Astronomers Union (IAU) will now analyse any reports to see if it can determine the size and speed of the space rock.
This is not the first time a meteor explosion in the sky has caused problems on the ground.
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Perhaps the most famous fireball in modern history came when a meteor exploded over Chelyabinsk in 2013.
The explosion, caused by a 65.6ft (20m) meteor, was so powerful it smashed windows across the city and injured more than 1,000 people.
Experts had not anticipated the event as they did not see the meteor approaching which ultimately cost over £25.3million (€30million) in damages to the small Russian city.
In 1908, a small asteroid surprised Earth when it exploded over Siberia’s Tunguska, flattening woodlands across 800 miles.
The blast was so powerful it was equivalent to 30 megatons of TNT at an altitude of 6.2 to 9.3 miles (10 to 15km).
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