A bright flash in the sky caused by a meteor drew the attention of residents in the State of Ceará on Monday night (October 20th). The Civil Police of Ceará received reports of the meteor's passage through several cities in the state.
"Some residents reported the fall of an object in neighboring cities, but there is no record of anything," says officer Francisco Couto. "A lot of people claimed it was a plane crash, some said that they heard the noise of the crash," said the policeman.
Sergeant Lins, from Recife Air Base, which controls air traffic from high altitudes throughout the Northeast, said that there is no record of any missing aircraft in the region late on Monday.
For the astronomer Pedro Antunes, meteors are commonly confused with burning planes or with unidentified flying objects (UFO). "People see that flash in the sky, which is not very common, and are impressed, just imagining things, but lately we're registering many meteors in the sky of Ceará," he says.
According to the Civil Police, the meteor has seen by people in the town of Iguatu in the interior of Ceará, and on the coast of the state. "It's possible for a meteor to travel a great distance in the sky. While it suffers friction with the atmosphere, it combusts and turns into pieces. A burning plane would never go so far before hitting the ground," argues the astronomer.
It's not so much friction with the atmosphere that causes meteor fireballs and comet fragments to 'slow down' - it's their electrical interaction with different charge layers of the atmosphere.
Note that this happened over the same region just five days prior to the above event:
Meteor fireball sets the sky on fire over Recife, Brazil
Tumultuous times in the sky seem fitting to tumultuous times among a divided Brazilian population, where hatred among 'factions' has been driven ever higher in the second round of presidential elections