The stunning event was captured on dashcams around the large industrial city of Krasnoyarsk at 7pm local time, shocking residents with an almighty boom. The object flashed in the skies for a brief but memorable five seconds before burning out of sight. Some residents claimed the meteor was blindingly bright as it swept across the skyline.
The meteor split into several parts before disappearing in the sky somewhere over Irkutsk region, east of Krasnoyarsk.
The local ministry of emergencies confirmed it registered a meteor and said that it didn’t pose a threat to people or infrastructure.
The phenomenon caused widespread fear on the ground.
A local woman said: “I panicked as it sounded and looked like a plane on fire, I got really scared of the noise and shine it created.
“I pulled a phone out of a pocket, but it flew across the sky so fast that I only caught a long white trace it left.”
But one witness, called Svetlana, told RIA Novosti the object didn’t look like a typical meteor to her, because it was flying “parallel to the ground” and “vanished” in the air instead of falling.
Expert Viktor Grokhovsky from Ural Federal University studied the videos of the event and concluded that the space rock was a bolide.
He said: “It exploded quite high in the sky somewhere over Irkutsk region.
“It was a bolide that moved with a speed higher than the New Tunguska meteorite (LINK) from Evenkia.
“Its structure must have been quite loose given that it split into fragments.”
A bolide is an extremely bright meteor, and usually, one that explodes in the atmosphere.
Astoundingly, it was the third major meteor or meteorite event in just four months.
On December 18, a meteor exploded close to Russia’s Kamchatka peninsula with a force ten times more powerful than the Hiroshima atomic bomb, according to NASA.
On March 15, a meteorite slammed into Krasnoyarsk region with local reports saying it ‘warmed the air’ and ‘shook the ground’ after streaking across the sky in a green, yellow and orange fireball.