Bright fireball, sonic boom reported over Japan

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A very bright fireball followed by a loud rumbling noise was seen over a wide area of western Japan early January 3, 2019 (LT). It’s quite possible that parts of it survived atmospheric entry.

The event took place at 19:50 UTC on January 2 (04:50 JST, January 3) and was captured from Habikino in Osaka Prefecture by amateur astronomer Masayoshi Ueda.”I could not tape the sound but it flashed for a second and grew to a big fireball,” Ueda said.

According to Kyodo, some people, including those living on the island of Shikoku, said they were woken up by a very loud sound.

“We have bolides almost every day but it is very rare to hear one make a noise, only a few times a year,” said Hitoshi Yamaoka, associate professor at the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan. 

“I guess the one seen this time was a large object that may have measured around half a meter [1.6 feet] in length. Such objects typically evaporate in the air, but this one could have fallen to the ground,” Yamaoka said. 

Featured image: Meteor explodes over Japan on January 2, 2019. Credit: KyodoNews

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