A sudden, weird fireball streaking across Bangkok skies in broad daylight and exploding in the air has been captured by many Thais on dashboard cams.
Social media ran hot with conspiracy theories, some relating to imminent alien invasion or the Apocalypse. A vivid YouTube video shows the action.
Dashcam video footage of the strange fireball, taken from various vantage points, can be viewed here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fFY3hB4BZ4o
Thailand’s Astronomical Society later issued a public statement saying it was a type of exploding meteor called “bolide”.
A bolide is an extremely bright meteor that often explodes in the atmosphere. In astronomy, it refers to a fireball about as bright as the full moon, and it is generally considered a synonym of a fireball.
“This is a natural, normal phenomenon because small meteors fall to earth every day but what we saw was similar to one over Chelyabinsk in Russia two years ago,” Astronomical Society president Prapee Wiraporn was quoted as saying.
The Russian explosive meteor in 2013 was far bigger, injuring 10,000 people with an enormous blast. It was initially thought by some to be a nuclear attack, though fortunately for the future of the world, Russian air defence command did not interpret it that way.
Written by Peter Needham