Forwarded by: fwestra@...
Original Date: Sat, 1 Mar 2003 20:06:50 +0100 (CET)
========================== Forwarded message begins ======================
Khaleej Times Online
Meteor-like object seen in Sharjah
By Tarek Fleihan, Meraj Rizvi, Zaigham Ali and Hani Bathish
27 February 2003
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.
'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.
© 2003 Khaleej Times All Rights Reserved.
========================== Forwarded message ends ========================