Fireball Meteor Called Bolide Lights Up Japanese Sky

Object was "highly likely" to be a bolide, a type of meteor.

ByABC News
November 4, 2014, 12:59 PM

— -- A brilliant light that streaked across the skies of Japan Monday night was likely a fireball meteor called a bolide, experts said.

Camera footage filmed from a moving car shows a bright light sailing across the sky in western Japan. Observatories in western Japanese prefectures, including Fukuoka, Hiroshima and Ehime, received eyewitness accounts of a bright object in the sky, according to The Japan Times.

Associate Professor Hidehiko Agata of Japan's National Astronomical Observatory told The Japan Times that the object was "highly likely" to be a bolide, a fireball of a meteor bright enough to be seen over a wide area.

“Since it was early evening and fine weather, favorable conditions were there for many to witness it,” said Agata.

Meteors are fragments of material found in space between planets that fall through Earth's atmosphere. They ignite due to friction, creating bright lights flying through the sky. Scientists estimate that 48.5 tons of meteoric rock falls onto earth's surface daily, according to NASA.

Two other object were also spotted Monday night on the the East Coast of the United States. One, believed to be a meteor, was spotted flying over 11 states Monday night. The other object, seen in Chicago, was slower and may be a piece of space junk, NASA told ABC News.