A flying fireball was seen over a wide area of western Japan early Thursday, with astronomical experts saying it may have been caused by a meteor.
Masayoshi Ueda, a 67-year-old amateur astronomer, successfully captured images of the object around 4:50 a.m. Thursday at his home in Habikino in Osaka Prefecture, western Japan.
[Photo courtesy of Masayoshi Ueda]
"I could not tape the sound but it flashed for a second and grew to a big fireball," Ueda said. "I was lucky because we cannot predict when and where we can see one."
Some people, including those living on Shikoku Island, western Japan, posted information about the mysterious flying object on the internet. One said, "I thought it was an earthquake as I heard a bang and rumbling," while another said, "I woke up to a very loud sound."
[The first half of the video was supplied by Masayoshi Ueda, the other video was provided from a Twitter account]
Hitoshi Yamaoka, associate professor at the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan, said, "We have bolides almost every day but it is very rare to hear one make a noise, only a few times a year."
"I guess the one seen this time was a large object that may have measured around half a meter in length. Such objects typically evaporate in the air, but this one could have fallen to the ground," Yamaoka said.