In the evening hours of June 20, residents of five regions of the central part of the Russian Federation could observe a bright object that lit up the sky, which frightened many. Liana Leonova, an associate professor at the Department of Optics and Spectroscopy of Voronezh State University, undertook to explain what happened.
The next morning, all social networks were noisy, discussing what had happened, as a result, the public outcry turned out to be weighty. An object burning in the Earth’s atmosphere was observed in the Voronezh, Lipetsk, Oryol and Tula regions, there are a large number of photos and video materials published on YouTube. Eyewitnesses say that the body went out a couple of tens of meters before touching the surface, no shock wave followed.
Leonova, talking with representatives of the press, noted that this object can be anything, for example, space debris. Of course, there is a version about the meteorite, but the interlocutor doubts this. Most likely, the body falling from the sky completely burned out in the atmosphere, so it will be difficult to accurately determine its nature, as happened with the same Chelyabinsk meteorite whose remains were found.
She also added that such phenomena became quite frequent after humanity began to actively study the low Earth orbit, where now, in addition to the ISS, is a huge number of all kinds of satellites and probes. Far from space subjects, people do not even know and do not think that every day the Earth’s atmosphere is hit by objects with a total weight of thousands of tons, but most of this cannot be seen from the surface of the planet, because sunlight interferes with the day. You can observe, of course, at night during clear weather, but, as a rule, this manifests itself in the form of minor outbreaks, which for a not very enthusiastic person will be completely uninteresting.
Leonova, in addition, conducted a short lesson on the topic of space terminology, because not all people can make out exactly what is what. So, a meteorite is called a cosmic body, which at its fall reached the surface of the Earth. As a meteor, it is customary to call finer cosmic dust that has fallen into the atmosphere. A car is an object located at the moment when it has already crossed the border of the atmosphere and begins to burn.
“Speaking of nature, a meteorite is when it has already fallen to the earth, a meteor is when it has not reached the surface of the earth. But it is of natural origin. And artificial, in the form of space debris, is rubbish,” said the specialist.