Two massive fireballs falling during the first major meteor shower of 2017 – the Quadrantids – have been caught on camera by lucky car driver in northwestern Russia.
The two luminous space rocks were filmed by dashboard cameras on January 3 and 4th in Arkhangelsk region, some 1,200 kilometers north of Moscow.
The two objects in the videos appear to be the larger representatives of the Quadrantids. This annual meteor shower is traditionally observed in the Northern Hemisphere between December 28 and January 7 (but this year was anomalous).
Scientists believe that the bright flashes seen in the videos actually occurr at an altitude of some 100 kilometers, while the bolide itself can be large enough to survive the trip through Earth’s the atmosphere without burning up and reach the Earth’s surface.
Every year in early January, the Earth encounters the Quadrantids meteor shower, and it is likely during these days that some particularly bright meteors, called bolides, may fall.
Most of the meteors are not visible to the human eye. The Quadrantid is one of the strongest meteor showers of the year, but observers may be left disappointed, as visibility conditions are rarely good this time of the year, and the peak intensity of the shower is rather brief, sometimes lasting only hours.
The shower usually peaks on the night of January 3 to 4, when observers can see up to 200 meteors per hour. While the shower is barely detectable on its ending dates, larger flying objects can still be seen by the naked eye through January 12.