“THIS WAS CRAZY:” METEOR LIGHTS UP NORWAY SKIES
By Cana Yao
On Sunday, July 25, 2021, an “unusually large meteor” sped through part of southern Norway, creating flashes of what witnesses described as bright light followed by loud bangs, according to Reuters.
While Norwegian police received multiple emergency calls, there have been no immediate reports of injuries or damage.
The Norwegian Meteor Network has been analyzing video footage and other data in an attempt to pinpoint the meteor's origin and destination. Experts believe that a part of the meteor landed in a forest called Finnemarka--about 40 miles west of the capital, Oslo--and have begun to search for debris. No remains of the meteor has been found yet, and the network’s Morten Bilet said that given the “demanding” location, it could take “some 10 years” to find possible meteorites.
According to the Network, the meteor traveled at nearly 36,500 mph, and was visible for at least five seconds after it appeared at about 1 AM local time. The phenomenon could be seen over southern Norway, and was spotted as far north as Trondheim. “This was crazy,” Bilet, who saw and heard the meteor, told Reuters.
“What we had last night was a large rock travelling likely from between Mars and Jupiter, which is our asteroid belt,” he explained. “And when that whizzes in, it creates a rumble, light and great excitement among us (experts) and maybe some fear among others.”
Various eyewitness accounts and video footage all depict a stunning display of light and sound as the meteor sped through the skies, and Bilet said that some witnesses felt a stronger wind blow when the meteor caused a pressure wave.
A web camera in Holmestrand, south of Oslo, captured the fireball as it fell from the sky and erupted into a bright flash, lighting up a marina.
Norwegian astronomer Vegard Rekaa told the BBC that his wife, who was awake at the time, heard "shaking in the air" before an explosion--which she assumed was something heavy falling near the house. Mr. Rekaa woke up to “fantastic” videos of the meteor, which was “something very seldom seen” in Norway--or anywhere else.
Mr. Rekaa said that a group of campers reported “a large explosion just above their heads.” One camper said that she thought her friends were playing a trick on her when she saw the fireball from a short distance.
While analysis shows that the meteor, which weighed at least 22 lb, was not astonishingly large, it was special because so many people either heard or saw it, Mr. Rekaa said. Mr. Bilet added that the event was probably more “spooky” than dangerous.