Is mankind alone in the universe? Or are there other intelligent beings looking up into their night sky from very different worlds and asking the same question? And maybe they’ve stopped by Penang recently to have a look…
According to The Vibes, early risers in Penang were startled when they saw a bright spark and heard a loud boom on Wednesday (21 July) around 5am. Many claimed to have seen an object apparently falling from the sky.
Some Penangites that were living in the southwest district of Sg Ara brushed it off thinking it was a blast from the nearby quarry site.
It is possible that it is rubbish falling from the International Space Station, which is usually left to burn up in the earth’s atmosphere.
Astronomy enthusiast Lim Choon Kiat, 49, was keeping watch at the time, taking pictures of the night sky, but missed the event by two minutes.
“I was inside the house, observing through the equipment I had outside. I went out at 4.50am to do some calibrations, and went inside my home again at 4.57am. The flash of light from the sky happened at 4.59am before the loud boom came at 5.02am.
“I missed it visually, but I was outside when the object from the sky exploded,” the telescope and binoculars supplier told The Vibes.
However, he said he was sure the explosion was from something falling from the sky, as it was a sonic boom directed from the sky down to earth, different from thunder and blasts on land.
Astronomical Society of Penang (ASP) member Loh Chee Kean, 45, managed to get footage of the flying object from his new observatory camera outside his home.
“My observatory camera was pointing north, facing the western sky. From the footage, it was flying from the southwest of the island to the northeast. It flew where my surveillance camera was tilted towards.
“I also managed to catch a picture of the object using my self-made sky camera. Unfortunately, I could not get an image of the full length of the object,” the engineer told the news site.
Was it a blast from the nearby quarry site or was it remnants of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos’ rocket launch to space?
The sighting of an exploding UFO over Penang’s southwest has left tongues wagging.
— TheVibes.com (@thevibesnews) July 23, 2021
According to ASP founder and president Chong Hon Yew, “When an object comes into the earth’s atmosphere at very high speed, it will burn and will not be able to sustain itself. Usually, it will explode and create a very loud bang.
“The intensity of the flash and bang depends on the side of the object. An object 1m in diameter is considered quite big. It could be the size of a car, house, or much bigger than that.”
Chong believes the loud bursts and bright flashes were most likely caused by a bolide meteor entering the earth’s atmosphere. However, there is not enough data to conclude what exactly it was, said the retired physics lecturer.
He added, “When the super bolide meteor passed over Chelyabinsk, Russia in 2013, it exploded with the energy of 500 kilotons of TNT that broke thousands of windows in apartment buildings and injured 1,200 people.” Chong hopes more members of the public come forward with information regarding the anomaly.
Earlier this year in Feb, a mysterious loud explosion was heard in Sabah. Petronas and the military released statements saying they had nothing to do with it.