Friday 24 November 2017

Fireball over Saitama Prefecture, Japan.

Witnesses across much of Japan, have reported seeing a bight fireball meteor at about 9.30 pm on Tuesday 21 November 2017. The object appears to have burnt up in the atmosphere somewhere over the city of Kawagoe in Saitama Prefecture, and has been described as burning with a bluish tinge, which may indicate that the body had a high magnesium content. A fireball is defined as a meteor (shooting star) brighter than the planet Venus. These are typically caused by pieces of rock burning up in the atmosphere, but can be the result of man-made space-junk burning up on re-entry.

Short clip of the 21 November 2017 Siatama meteor. SonotoCo.

Objects of this size probably enter the Earth's atmosphere several times a year, though unless they do so over populated areas they are unlikely to be noticed. They are officially described as fireballs if they produce a light brighter than the planet Venus. It is possible, though unlikely, that this object will have produced meteorites that reached the surface (an object visible in the sky is a meteor, a rock that falls from the sky and can be physically held and examined is a meteorite), though most meteorites come from larger objects that penetrate further into the atmosphere before exploding, and therefore have a better chance of producing fragments that reach the surface.

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