For the Swedish guided missile BOLIDE, see RBS 70
A very bright meteor of an apparent magnitude of −14 or brighter (known as a bolide in astronomy)
A bolide is an extremely bright meteor that often explodes in the atmosphere. In astronomy, it refers to a fireball approximately as bright as the full moon, and it is generally considered a synonym of a fireball. In geology a bolide is a very large impactor.
One definition describes a bolide as a fireball reaching an apparent magnitude of −14 or brighter, which is brighter than the full moon. Another definition describes a bolide as any generic large crater-forming impacting body whose composition (for example, whether it is a rocky or metallic asteroid, or an icy comet) is unknown.
The word bolide comes from Greek βολίς bolis, which means missile.
The IAU has no official definition of bolide, and generally considers the term synonymous with "fireball". However, the term generally applies to fireballs reaching an apparent magnitude −14 or brighter. Astronomers tend to use bolide to identify an exceptionally bright fireball, particularly one that explodes (sometimes called a detonating fireball). It may also be used to mean a fireball that is audible.
Geologists use the term bolide more often than astronomers do; in geology it indicates a very large impactor. For example, the Woods Hole Coastal and Marine Science Center of the USGS uses bolide as a generic term that describes any large crater-forming impacting body of which its composition (for example, whether it is a rocky or metallic asteroid, or an icy comet) is unknown.
If the apparent magnitude of a bolide reaches −17 or brighter, it is known as a superbolide. Recent examples of a superbolide are the Sutter's Mill meteorite and the Chelyabinsk meteor.