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Mystery fireballs light up Kerala sky

Mystery fireballs light up Kerala sky
Thiruvananthapuram: Different parts of Kerala witnessed mysterious fireballs in the sky alongside sonic booms on Friday night, fuelling multiple theories about the reasons behind the phenomenon.

Early indications pointed to the likelihood it could even have been normal meteors brightening up the night sky. The phenomenon occurred on Friday around 10.30pm local time in the state. In some places in Ernakulam district, a few residents even alerted the police and fire and rescue personnel.

Social media, too, got into the act, with people posting their experiences of witnessing the aerial spectacle accompanied by a booming sound. Some of those who experienced it even mistook it for an earthquake. One person tweeted that a ball of fire had fallen over Kochi.

Some people in the state’s commercial capital, Kochi said they felt mild tremors after witnessing a luminous object falling from the sky. Interestingly, the phenomenon seemed to be visible right to the southern end of the state. Sightings of the light in the sky were also reported from the northern districts of Malappuram, Palakkad and Kozhikode.

Some have speculated that the pieces that fell from the sky could be rocket debris that re-entered the earth’s atmosphere. However, no special activity appears to have been spotted by the radars. Ernakulam district collector M.G. Rajamanickam said no clues had been received for any apparent earthquake.

The meteorological department is making an assessment of the phenomenon, and early indications are that the phenomenon has no link to any climate change issue.

Meanwhile, a suspected depression or an impact crater, believed to be caused by a ‘fireball spotted last night in several districts of southern Indian state of Kerala, has been located in Karimalloor village in Ernakulam district on Saturday.

A team of the State Disaster Management Authority is on their way to the spot, official scientist from the authority, Sekhar Kuriakose said here.

“We have located a suspected impact crater at Karimalloor village in Ernakulam district and our team is rushing to the spot,” he said.

It is yet to be ascertained as to what exactly caused the phenomena, but there is a possibility that the crater might be caused by a meteor, he said.

A huge ‘fireball’ was noticed streaking across the sky last night in parts of Thrissur, Ernakulam, Palakaad, Kozhikode and Malappuram districts of Kerala.

An area in the village, where the crater was noticed, was found charred, he said adding more details are expected after the officials visit the site.

However, authority dismissed speculations that the ‘fireball’ could be celestial debris, as the consortium of space agencies closely monitor any space related activities and would have notified the management of any such appearance.

Kuriakose even dismissed the ‘object’ as anything related to ‘metal’ as Air Traffic Control radar system would have recorded it.

Meanwhile, science author and cosmology researcher, Rajagopal Kamath, said that the ‘fireball’ could be “a rocket or satellite debris. It also could be stony chondrite meteorites as in many places people have claimed that they have seen a bluish flame, which is peculiar to any meteorites.”

The locals said they felt tremors and witnessed sounds with the passing of the ‘object’.

“We saw a fireball like a meteor. Initially, we thought someone had burst a cracker. The doors and windows started shaking. Some thought there was an explosion somewhere,” a local hailing from Kochi said.

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