What was the mysterious glowing object witnessed in skies above SL?

What was the mysterious glowing object witnessed in skies above SL?

By Lahiru Fernando

19 Oct, 2017 | 10:32 pm

Last night, most people in the southern coast and several other areas of Sri Lanka held their breath while watching a strange “fireball” like object fall from the heavens.

The bright object sighting was followed by a frightening explosion like sound, sending the stunned onlookers into a slight scare.

Those who witnessed this saw the mysterious fiery glow in the sky around 8 pm on Wednesday night, October 18.

What was this fireball and what caused the sound?

One of the people who witnessed the event said “We saw a moving light. It was moving horizontally. Then we heard a loud explosion. We were frightened and were wondering what it was.”

The fishermen who were at sea last night were contacted over the radio to inquire if they witnessed the event. The fishermen responded -“Yes, we saw it too, it was positioned at 80′ 25′ and 5′ 20′.”

The object was mainly witnessed by residents of the South and South Western parts of the island, providing evidence that the object had crossed over these areas.

However, residents of Ambilipitiya, Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa also claimed to have witnessed the object.

When News 1st inquired the Deputy Director of the Disaster Management Centre Pradeep Kodippili, he confirmed that the loud noise heard was not the result of tremors.

There is also no evidence to suggest that the light and noise could have been caused by an aeroplane or by any other artificial means.

As such, Prof. Chadana Jayaratne -the Director of the Astronomy and Space Unit at the University of Colombo- noted that the object was most probably a fireball type meteor.

“An asteroid is a rock that floats in space. Due to the gravitational force of the earth, these asteroids get pulled down from space at a speed of 65km/s and it burns up when it comes in contact with the atmosphere. It eventually burns to dust. Once it comes down to earth we call the fragment an meteorite.” said Prof. Chandana Jayaratne

News 1st then contacted the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), USA.

NASA said “while a small meteorite may have landed on earth, there was no significant event.”

Such fireball meteors have been sighted across the world on many occasions in the past.