Fireball Over Yellowknife Illuminates The Night Sky

Last Thursday (March 6, 2014), a fireball exploded over Yellowknife. Its light would illuminate the sky, turning night into day.

Yuichi Takasaka snapped the amazing photo while in Canada's Northwest Territories. He was actually leading an Aurora Photography Tour, which he does in March. He suddenly noticed a single shooting star beginning from the Western sky. It exploded towards the North at 2:13 local time. He also made sure to tweet the event as seen below.

As reported by Top News, people witnessed the spectacle, which was accompanied by the northern lights in the background. Peter Browns, a physics professor from the University of Western Ontario, stated the explosion is a clear indication that the object entered earth's atmosphere, but was too weak to cause any damage. He also added that the view of an exploding fireball is something that people might only see once a year

Browns also made comparisons to other recorded meteor explosions, as written in Canada Journal. One example he used was the meteor that exploded over Montreal skies back in November 2013. It created a thundering boom that shook houses. However, the two fireballs over Yellowknife and Montreal were paled in comparison to what happened at Chelyabinsk, Russia just over a year ago.

Fireball Over The Urals
Fireball Over The Urals

That was the time a fireball, estimated to be 10 tons, exploded over the Ural Mountains on February 15, 2013, as reported by The Inquisitr. The force of impact was like an atomic bomb and its sonic blast shattered windows and injured 1000 people.

Still, Takasaka was surprised when he captured a fireball in the sky. The reasons he say this are provided in the statement:

It got so bright that I had to close my eyes like someone used electric flash in front of me. A few minutes later, we could hear the huge explosion from the direction of the fireball fell.
Night Sky Over Yellowknife
Night Sky Over Yellowknife

By what NASA says, fireballs are exceptionally bright meteors. It is a very rare event to spot them in the sky. For a few weeks each year, around the March equinox, it is prime time to see fireballs as the occurrence rate is likely to be increased by 30%. The reason for the increase is unconfirmed, but is believed that more space debris litters this section of Earth's orbit.

Nevertheless, the picture taken may be considered very rare, but it is surely beautiful to have captured for others to see.

[Images Via Twitter and Bing]