Loud boom heard in Bali suspected to have been caused by exploding meteor

A minor earthquake was also detected.

Matthias Ang | January 26, 2021, 01:06 PM

On Jan. 24, several residents in the Buleleng regency of Bali, Indonesia, said they heard an explosion which was accompanied by tremors which shook their windows, Indonesian media Tempo and Kompas reported.

Monitoring system for artificial debris did not register object

Residents also claimed to have spotted a glowing trail in the sky, a press release by Indonesia's National Institute of Aeronautics and Space (Lapan) highlighted.

The institute noted that its monitoring system for artificial objects and space debris had not detected any such object passing over or falling into Indonesian territory at the time of incident.

Given these circumstances, the loud boom has since been attributed to the phenomenon of an exploding meteor.

Explosion caused a minor earthquake

Meanwhile, Indonesia's Meteorology, Climatology, and Geophysics Agency (BMKG) stated that it had recorded a tremor equivalent to an earthquake with a magnitude of 1.1 on one of its seismographs in the Balinese city of Singaraja.

Daryono, BMKG's coordinator for earthquake and tsunami mitigation, said that no fault activity had been recorded, however, despite the seismic event lasting for roughly 20 seconds.

Echoing Lapan, he said that the agency had also received claims of Buleleng residents witnessing an object in the sky.

"It likely exploded in the air, so people just got the shockwave," he added.

Meteor was likely undetected

Lapan has also suggested that the meteor was unlikely to have been detected.

It added that the Minor Planet Center, which is managed by the International Astronomical Union (IAU), had not announced any exposure to a potentially dangerous asteroid.

In addition, only three near-earth asteroids that had a diameter of less than 100 metres were detected on the date of the explosion, all of which are currently at a distance several times the distance of the moon from the Earth.

The institute concluded, "If indeed what happened in Buleleng was a meteor fall of sufficient size, then the object was not associated with a previously detected asteroid."

Top image via Pixabay