Meteor brightens night sky over Siberia

Videos shared by Russians on social media show meteor turning dark night into day in Siberia, local authorities say no damage caused.

SAYANOGORSK, REPUBLIC OF KHAKASIYA, RUSSIA (DECEMBER 6, 2016) (NIKOLAY SOLDATOV VIA SOCIAL MEDIA WEBSITE) – Residents of Russia’s West Siberia on Tuesday (December 6) witnessed what was believed to be an explosion of a small meteorite in the planet’s atmosphere.

Dozens of videos uploaded to social media websites showed the night sky being suddenly lit by what appeared to be a large fireball.

The official website of the town of Sayanogorsk said a celestial body fell in the territory of Khakasiya region.

“At about 18.37 a flying shining object was seen over the territory of the town followed by a sound of a blast. And of course there was an earth shock,” the head of Sayanogorsk administration Leonid Bykov said in a televised statement aired by local ‘Pervoye Gorodskoye’ station.

“I can tell you that there is no damage to social facilities or factories of the town of Sayanogorsk,” he added.

According to witnesses the sky brightened for several seconds and a loud bang was heard approximately a minute later causing alarm systems of some cars in Sayanogorsk going off.

Khakasiya emergency services later reported that the debris of the meteorite mostly burnt away. The Republic of Khakasiya administration press-secterary told Russian news agency TASS that a group of experts had been dispatched to the potential landing area.

According to Russian news agencies the meteorite was significantly smaller than the one which crashed near Russia’s town on Chelyabinsk in February 2013.