A blazing fireball produced a sonic boom in Tokyo skies, leaving residents confused!

WION Web Team New Delhi, India Jul 06, 2020, 06.04 PM(IST)

Fireball in Tokyo | Image courtesy: Twitter user @KAGAYA_11949 Photograph:( Twitter )

Story highlights

According to media reports, the object could be seen in the sky for a few seconds at 2.30 AM local time

A boom was heard in the skies of Tokyo on Thursday morning. At the same time, a bright and purple object was seen whirling towards the city.

According to media reports, the object could be seen in the sky for a few seconds at 2.30 AM local time. Described by many as a green and purple hue flying in the sky, the blaze fizzled out after a few seconds.

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A local tweeted that he thought the person living on the floor above his had dropped something huge, like a shelf, when he heard the noise.

A sonic boom accompanied the blaze, which lit up the night sky in the city.

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Scientists believe that it may have been a small asteroid which entered our atmosphere briefly. Its footprint was picked up by infrasound monitoring stations around the world, which are overseen by the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization.

According to the International Meteor Organization (IMO), the object could be seen in Japan’s Kanto region.

Massive energy

What’s even more alarming is the energy produced by the object. According to IMO’s blog post on the object, it produced energy amounting to over 165 tonnes or 150 metric tonnes of TNT!

"We were able to calculate a source energy of the entering asteroid of about (165 tons or 150 metric tonnes) of TNT," the post said. The follow-up conducted by the IMO claimed that the rock had a diameter of 1.6 metres and a mass of 1.6 metric tonnes.

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Fireballs are a common event in the sky, but this one was different owing to the sonic boom it produced. According to the National Astronomical Observatory, fireballs are observed every month, but the sound is unusual!

A similar event took place in Russia in 2013, which destroyed thousands of windows in the city of Chelyabinsk and was probably 20-30 times bigger than this rock.