Rumbling meteor lights up Norway, prompting search for meteorites

An “unusually large meteor” briefly lit up southern Norway on Sunday, creating a spectacular sound and light display as it rumbled across the sky, and a part of it may have hit Earth, possibly not far from the capital, Oslo, experts said.

Reports of sightings started arriving at around 1am, and the phenomenon was seen as far north as Trondheim. There were no immediate reports of injuries or damage.

A web camera in Holmestrand, south of Oslo, captured a fireball falling from the sky and erupting into a bright flash that lit up a marina.

The Norwegian Meteor network was analysing video footage and other data on Sunday to try to pinpoint the meteor’s origin and destination.

Preliminary data suggested a meteorite may have hit Earth in a large wooded area, called Finnemarka, 60 km (40 miles) west of the capital, Oslo, the network said. “This was crazy,” the network’s Morten Bilet, who saw and heard the meteor, told Reuters.

By Sunday afternoon, no debris had been found, and given the “demanding” location, the search for possible meteorites could take “some 10 years”, Bilet said.

The meteor travelled at 15km–20km per second and lit up the night sky for five to six seconds, Bilet said. The summer sky was dark.

Some eyewitnesses also said they felt a stronger wind blow due to the meteor causing a pressure wave, Bilet said.

“What we had last night was a large rock travelling likely from between Mars and Jupiter, which is our asteroid belt. And when that whizzes in, it creates a rumble, light, and great excitement among us [experts] and maybe some fear among others,” Bilet said.

There were no reports of damage or people being particularly frightened, Bilet said, adding that for those nearest, it was likely to be more of a “spooky” event.

A meteor that exploded over central Russia near the city of Chelyabinsk in 2013 rained fireballs over a vast area and caused a shockwave that smashed windows, damaged buildings and injured 1,200 people.

The Guardian

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