Fireball observed over wide areas of Japan

NHK -- Jan 21
People in many parts of Japan have reported seeing what appeared to be a fireball flashing through the sky on Wednesday night.

Eyewitness reports were posted on social media about the phenomenon that was observed shortly after 8:30 p.m. in regions including Kanto, Tokai and Kinki.

A video taken by an NHK camera in the western prefecture of Osaka shows a ball of light streaking across the sky for several seconds at around that time.

Fujii Daichi, a curator who specializes in astronomy at the Hiratsuka City Museum, near Tokyo, said he believes it was a fragment of an asteroid that burned up in the Earth's atmosphere.

Footage taken by Fujii shows the fireball appearing in the northern sky and becoming brighter as it falls.

A camera that he installed in Fuji City, Shizuoka Prefecture, also captured images of the fireball.

Fujii says the fireball appeared to be traveling at a relatively slow speed compared to a regular meteor, but it was as bright as the moon.