Explosion of a huge fireball in the sky scared eyewitnesses: Video

Over Australia, eyewitnesses noticed a terrible sight: a fiery sphere in the sky was slowly approaching the earth’s surface, its flight was accompanied by explosions. Videos and photos of the incident filled social networks last night. The video clips demonstrate the gradual disintegration of the fiery sphere into fragments, each of which flares up. This spectacle of light and fire indicated that the object was of considerable size.

“Fireball” over Australia

Space debris or meteorite?

A loud explosion was heard everywhere over the state of Victoria. Such effects, known as sonic booms, indicate that the debris was in the air for quite a long time before penetrating into the lower layers of the atmosphere — otherwise nothing would be heard from the surface of the Earth. This, in turn, indicated that at least part of this fiery sphere was quite dense.

Moreover, in some videos it is noticeable that the fiery sphere has an orange hue. This indicates that the object is not a meteoroid, but contains a significant amount of plastic or metal. 

Thus, there is reason to believe that the Australians witnessed the fall of several tons of space debris — everything that was once put into orbit, but got out of control. However, this event was not predicted on the SatView space object tracking platform.

According to a preliminary analysis by astronomer Jonathan McDowell, the fiery sphere could have arisen as a result of the fall of the third stage of the Soyuz-2 rocket, which delivered the GLONASS-K2 navigation satellite into orbit. The launch was carried out by Roscosmos on August 7 from the Plesetsk cosmodrome.

The striking brightness of the fiery sphere is explained by the enormous speed of the object’s entry into the rarefied upper layers of the Earth’s atmosphere — more than 25 thousand km/h.

Unsolved mystery

To determine the origin of the seemingly mysterious fireballs in the Earth’s atmosphere, the Fireballs in the Sky App was created. Thanks to it, eyewitnesses can upload photos and videos that will help specialists accurately recreate the trajectory of the object. 

So far, it is only known that the mysterious object entered the atmosphere from the northwest, flying from Victoria to Tasmania in the southeast, but the exact trajectory is still difficult to determine. Most of the fragments of space debris do not reach the Earth. Temperatures of more than 4000 °C, arising from friction with atmospheric gas molecules, almost completely melt all the debris. However, some strong parts of the engines can reach the surface and pose a danger to people, buildings and vehicles. That is why there are warnings about the possible fall of artificial objects.

But such objects move so fast that even a small error in determining the place of entry into the atmosphere can lead to a deviation of hundreds of kilometers from the calculated point. Fortunately, buildings, not to mention people, have little chance of becoming a target compared to large uninhabited areas of land and ocean. Although events with collisions and falls sometimes happen, they are very rare, which allows scientists to conclude that space debris does not pose a serious threat to the Earth. Not yet, anyway.

Now astronomers are actively trying to unravel the mysteries of this fascinating fiery sphere, which also appeared just during National Science Week in Australia.

Earlier we reported on how an astronaut from Russia threw garbage from the ISS during a spacewalk.

According to Science Alert

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