fireball


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fireball,

very bright meteormeteor,
appearance of a small particle flying through space that interacts with the earth's upper atmosphere. While still outside the atmosphere, the particle is known as a meteoroid. Countless meteoroids of varying sizes are moving about the solar system at any time.
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 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 (bō`līd) is a fireball that explodes in the air because of thermal stresses created when it passes through the earth's atmosphere.

fireball

A bright visual meteor of magnitude greater than –10. About 50 000 to 100 000 occur in the Earth's atmosphere each year.

fireball

[′fīr‚bȯl]
(astronomy)
A bright meteor with luminosity equal to or exceeding that of the brightest planets.
(nucleonics)
The luminous sphere of hot gases that forms a few millionths of a second after a nuclear explosion.

fireball

1. a ball-shaped discharge of lightning
2. the bright spherical region of hot ionized gas at the centre of a nuclear explosion
3. Astronomy another name for bolide
References in periodicals archive ?
My last attempt to ride Fireball occurred when I was 13.
Had I managed my fuel better, there would have been no need to dump on downwind, and I would have never seen that fireball that caused us to force the single-engine landing situation.
Cooke's analysis of video and other data indicated the fireball entered Earth's atmosphere 61 miles above Rippey, Iowa, traveling 87,000 mph.
The fireballs, brighter than a normal meteor, were spotted from Cardiff to Porthcawl and across the Bristol Channel early yesterday morning.
Most fireballs are usually sporadic meteors - lone small objects orbiting the Sun which collide with the Earth and burn up in our atmosphere.
The fireball was first seen near Arcturus, and passed through Crux before disappearing behind trees and a neighbouring house.
On Friday, the Chabot Space and Science Center in Oakland also reported receiving calls describing what appeared to be a fireball flying west around 8 p.m.
These extracts from two of the more detailed accounts (which have, of necessity, been shortened here) give a very good general idea of the nature of this most unusual fireball event.
Hundreds of people took to Twitter to report similar sightings across Scotland and the north of England, describing seeing a bright fireball moving across the sky with a large tail.
At this point, witnesses on the Isle of Man with powerful binoculars said "white-hot sheets of metal" and other fragments fell from the fireball. There was a loud bang that rudely awakened many in Merseyside, Cheshire, Lancashire and the rest of the North-West that morning.
The FAAhad earlier claimed the fireball was possibly caused by falling debris fromcolliding satellites plummeting into earth's atmosphere.
Ciba has launched Xymara Fireball, a versatile "color-travel" effect pigment.