Residents of the city of Bangkok, Thailand have witnessed a second dramatic incident involving a huge fireball explosion over the city. The fireball – believed to be a meteor — streaked over Bangkok on Monday, November 2, at about 8:38 p.m. local time (8:38 a.m. E.T.), lighting up the night sky as it burnt up in the Earth’s atmosphere.
The huge, green-blue flash of the explosion was seen in several parts of Thailand, and the spectacle was captured on several dashcams installed in vehicles in Bangkok.
The latest fireball display over Bangkok — following a similar spectacular display on September 7, 2015 — has refocused attention on the growing awareness of the risk of catastrophic meteor impact that fueled September’s asteroid apocalypse hysteria.
“I saw light up in an emerald green color. I had never seen something like that in my all life, very bright light like a thousand lighting strikes, and no noise at all.”
Many observers have expressed concern about the apparently heightened incidence of meteor fireball explosions over cities, saying that it highlights expert opinion that it is only a matter of time before Earth sustains a major meteor impact comparable to the 15-30 megaton Tunguska impact event of June 30, 1908 that flattened an estimated 2,000 square kilometers of Siberian forest or the February 15, 2013 Chelyabinsk event involving a 20-meter-wide superbolide that entered Earth’s atmosphere at a speed of about 12 miles per second and exploded with an energy equivalent to about 500 kilotons of TNT, burning in the sky 30 times brighter than the Sun.
Fears about the risk of a major impact event are heightened by a recent scientific study which found that astronomers have underestimated the risk of the Earth sustaining a direct impact.
According to the recent study published in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, analysis of newly available data reveals a 26-30 million-year cycle of movement of our solar system through the spiral arms of our galaxy that brings it into a “danger zone” where the Earth is exposed to a greater intensity of major impact events.
The bad news is that we are presently in the “danger zone” of the Milky Way galaxy consisting of a dense portion of the galactic disc where the Earth is exposed to a greater intensity of comet showers. Thus, we are facing a greater risk of catastrophic meteor impact than previously thought, and the geological records show a link between the transition of our solar system through the “danger zone” and major species extinction events in the past 260 million years.
CBC News also notes that according to the American Meteor Society, meteor fireballs are occurring at a higher rate in recent months due to the Taurid meteor shower which peaks October 29-November 10/11.
We have seen an unusually high number of Taurid meteor showers this year because the Earth is currently passing through an unusually dense field of debris caused by Comet 2P/Encke.
However, experts note that Monday’s fireball seen over Bangkok was probably not a Taurid fireball and not all fireballs seen at this time can be assumed to be part of the Taurid meteor shower.
Most Taurid meteors appear from the observer’s perspective to shoot upwards, but the fireball seen over Bangkok on Monday appeared to shoot downwards.
Similarly, the huge fireball seen over Bangkok on September 7 was not a Taurid fireball. It occurred during the morning rush hour. Several residents of the city took to social media, posting photos and videos of the sighting from various locations in the city (see video below).
Although some speculated that it could have been space junk making re-entry, others thought it could have been a burning balloon or a downed aircraft or even an alien UFO crashing to Earth.
But Saran Poshyachinda, Deputy Director of National Astronomical Research Institute of Thailand, said the object was likely an asteroid.
[Image via UFOvni2012/YouTube]