People in Thailand were amazed Monday evening when what was likely a meteor exploded overhead at around 8:40 p.m. local time, briefly turning the sky green and inspiring an outburst of images, tweets, and memes. Footage captured on dash cams shows the sky turning bluish-green for several seconds before a fireball streaks across.
According to local news reports, the flash could be seen in provinces across the country, including Bangkok, Chonburi, Nakhon Ratchasima, and Chiang Mai.
One YouTube user compiled videos of the meteor from across the country.
Thais immediately took to social media, asking whether the streak was a meteor, a shooting star, or an iridium flare, which is a flare caused by satellites.
Boonrucksar Soonthornthum, executive director of the National Astronomical Research Institute of Thailand, said at a press conference that the streak of light was very likely a meteor that exploded in the atmosphere at an altitude of about 60 to 100 kilometers. The green flash in the sky was likely caused by chromium components within the meteor.
No remnants of the meteor have been recovered so far, said Soonthornthum.
The Thai Astronomical Society also weighed in, posting an FAQ about the meteor on their Facebook page. The society included a question on whether seeing a meteor was "lucky."
"If you look at it from the scientific perspective, then it's very lucky because it's a very rare occasion, especially with this level of brightness," the Society wrote.
But Thais also came up with their own, somewhat less scientific, explanations.
"This may be the cause of the #greenlight that's making the news," wrote one user.
"It has to be this," said another user, posting a screenshot of Dragon Ball Z, a popular anime.
Under the hashtag "green light," many tied the flash of light to the arrival of Do Min Joon, a character in a popular Korean TV show, "My Love From the Stars." Do Min Joon is an alien who lands on Earth and falls in love with a Korean actress.
Just as many photos of the Korean actor show up under the hashtag "greenlight" as photos of the meteor itself.
"This light in the sky incident makes me realize just how much Thais are able to make any situation into a joke or a drama about heartbreak. Just read the 'greenlight' hashtag,' wrote one user, @PuppeRaven, in Thai.
Others, however, merely focused on the beauty of the event:
"The green light from this meteor reminds us that 'we are just a part of the universe, not the center of the universe.'," Watchiranont Thongthep, a Thai reporter, said in a tweet in Thai.
Another meteor lit up Thailand's skies earlier this September.