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fireball, very bright meteor leaving a trail in the sky that can remain visible for several minutes; often a distinct sound, perhaps caused by very low frequency radio waves, is associated with it. A bolide (bōˈlīd) is a fireball that explodes in the air because of thermal stresses created when it passes through the earth's atmosphere.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2022, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.


(boh -lÿd) A brilliant meteor that appears to explode, i.e. a detonating fireball. The brighter ones are caused by ablating meteorites that subsequently fall to Earth. About 5000 bolides occur in the Earth's atmosphere each year.
Collins Dictionary of Astronomy © Market House Books Ltd, 2006
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



a bright meteor with pronounced angular dimensions. The most brilliant bolides may be visible even in daylight; at night, the mantle and the tail are visible. Bolides leave a trail of ionizing gases and dust. The flight of a bolide may be accompanied by acoustic phenomena and sometimes terminates in the fall of a meteorite.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


A brilliant meteor, especially one which explodes; a detonating fireball meteor.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
"ACL, the member of ACEX in Togliatti, asked us to assist in temporary importation processing of the racing bolide," tells Alexandra Chagina, the Deputy Director.
Gorkavyi said that the team saw the formation of a new dust belt in Earth's stratosphere, and were able to achieve the first space-based observation of the long-term evolution of a bolide plume.
Anwar Sasman saw the bolide from 10th Avenue, Retreat.
Experts say the phenomenon, which had a greenish hue to its tail, was a 'bolide' or 'super fireball' and would have been around the size of a football prior to the explosion.
The meteoroid, also known as a bolide, was "only about two metres (6.5 feet) across and will break up in the atmosphere," David Morrison, a US astronomer who runs an alert network, the Near Earth Object (NEO) News, said in email late Monday.
(9) Definitive research published in Nature magazine indicates that the Tunguska bolide had asteroid origins and detonated approximately 10 km above the ground with a force of 10 to 20 megatons of TNT, making it over 1,000 times more powerful than the first atomic weapons.
Francois, for example, feels ill-at-ease when he should be enjoying the modern comforts of the "automotrice": "Enferme dans ce bolide, il s'estimait reduit a un role trop ridiculement passif.