The dark skies above the Arctic region in Finland suddenly lit up due to the presence of a blazing fireball for a time span of five seconds on a Thursday night. This fireball was said to have a glow that was equal to 100 full moons light. The second the event began, numerous meteorite tracking observatories became active and tried to capture images of the event and study the meteorite that brightened up the night sky of the Arctic.
Finland based experts instantly started with the mission to calculate the trajectory of the meteor and also figure out the landing place of the same. Tomas Kohout from the physics department of the University of Helsinki explained that the fireball was one of the brightest one ever seen in the night sky. At exactly 6:40 p.m., the meteorite emitted a blast wave that seemed like an explosion in the sky. The same was seen in the northern hemisphere of Norway and also in the Kola Peninsula of Russia. Kohout said to the Associated Press that they didn’t expect the meteorite to disintegrate before landing. It was expected that the meteor would reach the remote corners of Finland without causing any substantial damage. He further added that the search for the meteorite could not be carried out without daylight which had still four more hours left.
As said by Nikolai Kruglikov of Yekaterinburg’s Urals Federal University, “The fireball might have weighed around 220 pounds. “ Further the Norwegian meteorite network explained the light emitted by the fireball as one with the glow of 100 full moons. It was speculated that the meteor was headed towards the northeast, more precisely towards the Norwegian peninsula of Varanger. This particular place is located at the northern intersection of the borders belonging to Russia, Finland, and Norway.
The scientists are now eagerly waiting to find any space debris from the meteor to study. The team is more than excited to obtain this space debris which is mostly inaccessible to them. Viktor Troshenkov from the Russian Academy of Sciences explained that the fireball could have been a part of the annual Leonid Meteor shower which mostly occurs at this time of the year. He further added that the other meteors might have been invisible to the eyes due to thick clouds covering the arctic sky. The last time a Leonid Meteor shower happened was back in 1998 which was accompanied by a shower of more than 1000 meters, 40 meteorites and among them was one fireball which lit up the dark sky.
Most of the time when a meteoroid enters the gravity field of Earth’s atmosphere; it vaporizes and vanishes with a quick flash before reaching the ground level. This flash of light has been termed as a meteor. On the other hand, when some part of the meteoroid manages to make it through the Earth’s atmosphere and reaches the surface soil, it is known as a meteorite. A similar meteorite was located in the Russian sky in the year 2013 which then exploded over the Ural Mountains. The impact of the same was similar to the power exhibited by an atomic bomb which shattered many windows and also injured thousands of people. This particular year has seen a hike in the cosmic activities, and it has been speculated that many such events are to be experienced in the upcoming days.