‘Almost as bright as full moon’: Mysterious fireball lights up sky over Japan — watch video
The last burst of light was almost as bright as the full moon. (Courtesy: Twitter.com / NHK News)
Social media was abuzz on Sunday after a mysterious fireball lit up the sky over Japan. Several people took to Twitter and Facebook to share videos and photos of the rare scene that was visible across wide areas of western and central Japan. According to reports, the fireball was so bright that it could be seen through closed curtains.
The fireball momentarily lit up the sky at 1:34 am (local time) on Sunday. A social media user said that it seemed the ‘entire sky was lit up. Some eyewitnesses claimed that it made a ‘rumbling noise.’ The National Astronomical Observatory of Japan said that it is normal to see several fireballs in a month but it is not very often when people get to hear anything.
Some believe that the fireball was a bolide, a kind of shooting star that is often compared to the full moon for its brightness. “Shooting stars those are brighter than Venus are generally known as bolides,” Akashi Municipal Planetarium’s director Takeshi Inoue was quoted as saying by a report in Japanese news source NHK. However, it is rare to see this kind of brightness, he added.
“The last burst of light was almost as bright as the full moon,” he said.
Earlier in July, a similar fireball was spotted in the sky above Tokyo. It was moving from southwest to northeast. The fireball was later identified as a meteor after fragments were found in neighboring Narashino, Chiba district.
A report in Japan Times quoted the National Museum of Nature and Science as saying that the meteorite could be originally a few centimetres in diameter and probably broke into two pieces. Both the fragments were analysed and isotopes of aluminum, sodium, and manganese were detected. The museum confirmed that they were part of a meteorite that fell recently.