Long-lasting fireball over Puerto Rico


A large meteor entered the atmosphere over the Caribbean Sea at around 08:55 UTC (04:55 LT) on July 16, 2021, and was visible for 27 seconds. The object had a turquoise green color, suggesting it contained magnesium and copper.

Eddie Irizarry, vice president of the Caribbean Astronomy Society (SAC), said this event was significant.

"We managed to capture images that show it was visible for 27 seconds," Irizarry said. "Despite the long duration of the meteor, it was not space debris, but a natural meteor, that is, a space rock disintegrating through the atmosphere."

According to his estimates, the object was between 2 and 5 m (6.5 – 16 feet) in diameter. 

The object began to disintegrate at a height of 110 km (79 miles) over northwestern Puerto Rico, near Isabela, and moved east toward the small island of Culebra.

"Several cameras that we have in different parts of the island show that it began to be visible at 04:55 with 35 seconds, and culminating at 04:56 with 2 seconds. It practically crossed the sky almost from one end to the other," said Juan González Alicea, president of the SAC.

Featured image credit: SAC


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