On December 23, 2020, a small piece of “extraterrestrial materials” crashed into the environment above China. The spectacular phenomenon befell above Southern China, Nanqiang County, turning the daybreak gentle immediately brighter.
When meteors produce such an intense burst of sunshine, they’re known as a bolide in astronomical phrases.
The fireball was caught on digital camera by a number of onlookers, which was submitted to the Worldwide Meteor Organisation (IMO).
Evaluation revealed that the small area rock was roughly three metres in dimension, and produced an explosion within the sky to the equal of 9.5 kt TNT.
Analysis additionally revealed that the meteor hit the planet’s environment at a staggering 13.6 kilometres per second, or barely greater than 48,000 kilometres per hour.
The IMO mentioned: “On 23.12.2020 at 07:23 am native time (22.12.2020, 23h23 UT) a brilliant fireball could possibly be seen flying over Southern China, Nanqiang County.
“Because it was the Day earlier than Christmas Eve, may it have been Santa practising his supply route?
“Apparently, it was one thing much more spectacular, a bit of extraterrestrial materials.
“These fireballs are brought on by asteroids coming into the Earth environment at a excessive velocity and lighting up the environment round it.
“As a result of velocity at which they strike the Earth’s environment, fragments bigger than one millimetre have the aptitude to provide a brilliant flash as they streak by way of the heavens above.
“These brilliant meteors are what we name fireballs and so they usually strike worry and awe for individuals who witness them.”
Maybe essentially the most well-known fireball in fashionable historical past got here when a meteor struck over Chelyabinsk in 2013.
The explosion, brought on by a 20-metre meteor, was so highly effective it smashed home windows throughout town and injured greater than 1,000 folks.