fireball

fireball, very bright meteor leaving a trail in the sky that can remain visible for several minutes; often a distinct sound, perhaps caused by very low frequency radio waves, is associated with it. A bolideb?l?d [key] is a fireball that explodes in the air because of thermal stresses created when it passes through the earth's atmosphere.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

See more Encyclopedia articles on: Astronomy: General