Did you see the meteor in the sky over Hua Hin and Cha Am last night?

File photo. For information purposes only.

Residents across Thailand were treated to the sight of a fireball meteor streaking across the sky on Wednesday evening (March 6).

The event followed a similar sighting that occurred just a few days earlier, on March 4, marking an extraordinary week for celestial phenomena in the country.

The National Astronomical Research Institute (NARIT) has described the event as a bright flash that traversed the sky, identifying it as a fireball meteor.

The spectacle was notably observed in numerous provinces, including Prachauap Khiri Khan and Phetchaburi, generating a buzz online as images and videos of a large green fireball dominated social media feeds.

According to NARIT, the fireball was visible in two distinct appearances on the evening of March 6.

Initially seen at around 19:13, it displayed a striking blue head with a green tail before splitting into two or three parts. It made its second appearance at approximately 20:21, this time exhibiting an orange hue, each instance lasting about 10 seconds and clearly visible to the naked eye.

This celestial display was observed across a wide expanse of Thailand, from Central to Northern, Eastern, Western, Northeastern, and Southern regions, including but not limited to Ratchaburi, Phetchaburi, Kanchanaburi, Prachuap Khiri Khan, Ayutthaya, and Bangkok. The widespread visibility of the event underscores the fireball’s significant brightness and size.

Mr. Suparerk Kruehanon, Director of the Academic Services and Astronomy Communication Center at NARIT, explained that fireball meteors are caused by small celestial objects, such as asteroids or fragments from collisions on the Moon or Mars.

As these objects enter Earth’s atmosphere, they generate heat through friction with atmospheric particles, igniting and creating the bright flashes we see as meteors. The intensity of the heat and light can vary depending on the size of the fragments, with particularly bright or explosive events classified as bolides.

The varying colors observed during the fireball meteor event, including green, blue, and orange, can be attributed to the chemical composition of the meteor and its interaction with atmospheric molecules. High-speed collisions with the Earth’s atmosphere lead to friction and combustion, causing the meteor’s atoms to emit light at different wavelengths, which results in the mesmerizing colors witnessed by observers.

While meteors are a common occurrence, with many small objects entering Earth’s atmosphere daily, the visibility and size of the fireball meteor event on March 6 were indeed exceptional. An estimated 44 to 48.5 tons of meteoritic material falls to Earth each day, though these events often go unnoticed as they frequently occur in sparsely populated areas. The recent sightings in Thailand offer a spectacular reminder of the dynamic and ever-changing nature of our universe, grounded in the principles of science and astronomy.

The video below was a sighting of the meteor in Ayutthaya province.