Meteor-like object seen in Sharjah

SHARJAH - In what could be described as a rare celestial spectacle, a meteor-like fiery object was seen shooting across the skies in Sharjah and was incidentally captured on tape for over four minutes by Talal Hajjar, a student of the American University of Sharjah (AUS), at around 6:30pm yesterday.

By Tarek Fleihan, Meraj Rizvi, Zaigham Ali And Hani Bathish

Published: Thu 27 Feb 2003, 2:34 AM

Last updated: Wed 1 Apr 2015, 10:26 PM

'I was driving by the men's dormitory when I pulled over after noticing this huge ball of fire streaking across the sky along a sharp axis towards the East at great speed and my first impression was that may be it was a common occurrence,' said Mr Talal, recounting his first reaction. 'But something told me that it was extraordinary, and I ran back to the car and pulled out my camera, which I was carrying because of the Mass Communication Media filming project and the constant pressure from my teacher Professor Beagalow,' said Mr Talal excitedly.

The meteorological offices in Dubai and Sharjah said that the available satellite pictures suggest no unusual activity in the skies. 'This sort of thing is too small to register on a satellite picture, more so because at one particular time, we cover a limited area,' said one weatherman.

According to a geological expert in the UAE, the falling object, if it did fall to the ground, would have created enough vibrations to be picked up by a seismograph, the instrument used to detect earthquakes. He said that the falling object either did not reach the ground and just burnt up in the sky, or if it did reach the ground it fell in the sea.
From the fiery orange tail and the speed of its descent, estimated by an amateur astronomer to be over Mach 20, among the explanations produced is that it is either space debris or a large meteorite.

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