A very bright meteor exploded above the Republic of Khakassia, Siberia, Russia at 11:35 UTC (18:35 local time) on Tuesday, December 6, 2016, briefly turning night into day. The event was seen for about three to four seconds and was followed by a sonic boom.
Witnesses from Khakassia, as well as from the neighboring Krasnoyarsk Region in southern Siberia reported the event.
"We saw a flash, and in about two minutes our houses vibrated and we heard thunder, and car alarms went off," said one witnesses for The Siberian Times.
Another witness said: "I went for a walk with my friends. We stopped by the shop and my friend screamed when she saw a bright flash, and then there was an explosion. All the car alarms immediately went off. We were so scared. My father said windows were vibrating. We think it was a meteor."
Emergency Ministry said it was a meteor that completely burned out in the atmosphere, somewhere above Sayanogorsk town. The ministry initially reported there was no damage on the ground, but the quote from the ministry was later deleted. It was unclear why, The Siberian Times said.
It is possible that pieces of the meteor survived and crashed somewhere in the region.
This meteorite is far less in size than the one that crashed near Chelyabinsk in February 2013, Viktor Grokhovsky of the Russian Academy of Sciences reported to TASS.
"It is true that something like a large meteorite was seen to have exploded in the sky over Khakassia. The Chelyabinsk meteorite was several times larger," said Grokhovsky.
"The fragments of the one that was seen today are still being located. It is essential to draw an accurate trajectory to see where the debris may have hit the surface. This will take about 24 hours."
Featured image: Bright meteor explodes over Siberia, Russia on December 6, 2016. Credit: Fly Man