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Fireball over Thailand surprises motorists

Motorist in Bangkok got a jolt early Monday when a mysterious fireball lit up the sky over the Thai capital.

The burst of light had all the hallmarks of a meteor and there was no shortage of theories on social media, where Thais posted tweets and videos of the blazing object.

The English-language Bangkok Post reported that the fireball was streaking across the northern sky around 8:40 a.m. in the morning and that it could be seen as far away as Kanchanaburi, about two hours west of the Bangkok.

Saran Poshyachina, the deputy director of the National Astronomical Research Institute of Thailand, told the newspaper that the fireball could have been a meteorite or even space junk.

An official at the Bangkok Planetarium, however, told the newspaper that said they had received no reports of a meteorite landing. Most meteors completely burn up in the atmosphere, the official said.

The sighting comes just two years after a huge meteor exploded over the Siberian city of Chelyabinsk, its sonic blasts shattering countless windows and injuring around 1,100 people. A much smaller meteor was spotted cross over Pittsburgh in February.