Tokyo Fireball Mystery Explained; Meteor Pieces Found in Japan

After the fireball incident that lit up Tokyo sky on July 2, many people claimed that they heard a loud noise

A fireball which was seen earlier this month streaking across the night sky over wide areas of Japan has been identified as a meteor after fragments were found near Tokyo, said a Japanese national science museum.

The interterritorial object which landed on a condominium in Narashino, Chiba Prefecture, is claimed to have originally had a diameter of a few centimeters. But as per the National Museum of Nature and Science, most probably it broke into two pieces. Local media reports revealed that the pieces of the meteor weigh 63 grams and 70 grams, respectively.

Meteor shower
Representational picture Pixabay

The so-called shooting star incident was observed on July 2 when the bright fireball was moving from the southwest to the northeast of Japan while emitting a blaze of light comparable to the brightness of a full moon. Later, on social media, many people claimed that they heard a loud noise too. A resident of Narashino who was awakened by the loud noise, found a rock fragment in the common corridor, just outside her room.

The Discovery of Meteorite

The National Museum of Nature and Science revealed that a meteor impact mark in the corridor led to the discovery of a second piece of the space rock in the courtyard two days later. When the second piece was found, it was noticed that due to its exposure to rain the rock had changed the color to brown.

As per the museum which analyzed the pieces of space rocks, researchers found isotopes of aluminum, sodium, and manganese, produced by cosmic rays. Since some isotopes have a half-life of only a few days, researchers confirmed that the interstellar rocks were from a meteorite that fell on earth recently.

Last time when a meteorite hit Japan almost two years ago, it fell on a private property in Komaki, Aichi Prefecture. However, the Japanese museum plans to submit the newly found space object, which is named "Narashino," for registration with the Meteoritical Society and after the completion of all formalities, it will be the 53rd meteorite to be recorded from the Asian country.

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