A ball of fire was seen at midday in the New Zealand sky

A ball of fire was seen at midday in the New Zealand sky

Witnesses of this phenomenon also spoke of the great noise generated by the passage of this celestial body, which is still in the process of being identified.

“We saw an orange light falling diagonally from the sky and smoke rising from behind it.” New Zealand weather monitoring site weather watchand local authorities, dozens of testimonies Thursday about a fireball seen and heard in several parts of the country, including “the lower half of the North Island and the upper half of the South Island,” the Meteorological Institute explains.

Eyewitnesses say they saw a “bright flash of light” around 1:50 p.m., followed by an explosion, and others spoke of a “giant ball of fire,” according to reports. New Zealand Herald. Many people also heard a loud noise as this celestial body passed by. “My whole house was shivering, I thought a truck hit it,” said one woman, while others thought it was an earthquake.

“Meteorite or possible space debris”

It’s hard to tell why this ball of fire is in the sky right now. The Weather Watch talks about a “potential meteor or space debris” that would enter Earth’s atmosphere. A meteor is “the bright streak that is observed when interplanetary dust or a small meteor enters the Earth’s atmosphere at a very high speed”, The Paris Observatory – PSL explains on its website.

The Met Service found the atmospheric signature of the passage of this celestial body. He explains on Twitter: “It may be a trail of smoke from a meteor that passed over the lower part of the North Island.”

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Astronomer Ian Griffin says it could be “a number of things,” reports New Zealand Herald. It mentions the possibility of a satellite, or also the possibility of an odometer.

The audible noise is caused by the speed of an object in our atmosphere. Space specialist Duncan Steele speaks, In Stuff Media, a potential speed of 30 km per second. As a reminder, the speed of reaching the sound barrier is “only” 340m / s. The GeoNet Institute, which records the geological anomaly, was even able to capture the passage of this potential meteorite with its seismic instruments.

A phenomenon that is rarely observed

It is very rare to see such a celestial body in broad daylight. Duncan Steele says he’s only seen one in his life, 40 years ago. These phenomena “are due to large meteorites in the atmosphere that arrive very quickly, generally at a speed of 30 kilometers per second,” he says. The piece also appears to be large enough to be visible as well, “something the size of a rugby ball or more – which is what makes it rare,” he explains.

meaning, WeatherWatch Request Potential witnesses to the event to come forward and explain what they saw. Ian Griffin asks anyone who has recorded this moment on video to keep the files and share them with the scientists.

“We might be able to use it to triangulate the location of an object, and where it landed — if it landed,” he explains. “It might be scientifically important to get this thing back. Meteorites in this country are very rare, so getting one would be cool.”

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