Gauteng Weather’s Twitter page has uploaded rare footage of a meteor seen flashing through South African skies on Saturday evening, in the North West province. (Watch below.)
Gauteng Weather said: “MUST SEE: Amazing video footage of meteor between Sanieshof and Mareetsanie in the North West on Saturday | Suburban Control Centre.”
Witnesses in Pretoria said the flash of light was also visible on the horizon from Tshwane, and drivers reported seeing the blazing fireball while driving to Johannesburg.
According to the time on the video footage, the meteor was spotted at around 18h49 on Saturday evening, 02 June 2018.
This event isn’t usually captured on film, although a similar meteor was spotted in China at around 21h40 local time on Friday evening. And another was captured on film in Michigan, USA, in January this year. (Both videos are below.)
The extremely bright meteor – brighter than Venus or the full moon – is known as a bolide, and the blaze is caused by the intense friction the rock experiences as it enters the Earth’s atmosphere, according to the Yunnan Observatory in China.
The meteor usually makes a sonic boom and breaks up before reaching the Earth’s surface, although some have crashed into the ground. (And there are theories that it was a bolide impact which triggered the dinosaur extinction.)
WATCH rare footage of meteor in the North West, South Africa
MUST SEE: Amazing video footage of meteor between Sanieshof and Mareetsanie in the North West on Saturday | Suburban Control Centre pic.twitter.com/lANB1uUSWp
— Gauteng Weather (@tWeatherSA) June 3, 2018