A bright fireball exploded over the Chinese city of Linyi, Shandong Province at 14:59 UTC on August 16, 2020 (22:59 LT). The event was captured on camera run by the Chinese Meteor Monitoring Organization (CMMO).
According to the CMMO's Linyi observation station, who captured the meteor, the object had a green beginning and a purple-red end.
"It illuminated the whole earth and shook the landscape with a loud sound," CMMO staff member Zhou Kun reported.
"This phenomenon has been observed at several stations in Shandong and Jiangsu provinces of China, accompanied by a large number of eyewitness reports."
According to Kun, the astronomical magnitude of the flash is estimated to be -20, more than 900 times brighter than a full Moon.
"If so, that would make it a rare fireball indeed," said Dr. Tony Phillips of the SpaceWeather.com. "According to a NASA computer model of Earth's meteoroid environment, a fireball of that magnitude could be a decade class event."
The event took place nearly 11 hours after a newly-discovered asteroid designated 2020 QG flew past Earth at just 0.02 LD / 0.0000623 AU (9 319 km / 5 791 miles).
This is the closest near-Earth object to flyby Earth so far this year and the closest on record.
Asteroid 2020 QG flew past us at 04:09 UTC. It has an estimated diameter between 2.9 and 6.4 m (9.5 - 20.9 feet) and it belongs to the Apollo group of asteroids.
The object was first observed at Palomar Mountain--ZTF, California, U.S. on August 16, about 6 hours after its closest approach.
Featured image credit: CMMO
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