KEY POINTS

  • A bright fireball was spotted over Europe
  • Eyewitnesses took photos and videos of the fireball event
  • The object that caused the fireball was most likely an asteroid

Several photos and videos taken from different parts of Europe showed a bright fireball streaking across the sky and lighting up the region. Based on the appearance of the fireball, it was most likely caused by an asteroid that burned up shortly after entering Earth’s atmosphere.

According to the International Meteor Organization (IMO), the latest fireball incident happened on April 4 at around 11:44 p.m. EDT. In total, the received about 450 reports regarding the fireball event.

Based on the reports compiled by the IMO, the bright fireball was spotted by eyewitnesses from different parts of Europe including Germany, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark, Luxembourg and even France.

In their reports, the eyewitnesses noted that the fireball appeared in the sky for about three seconds. Others noted that the incident lasted a bit longer with the fireball streaking across the night sky for over seven seconds.

Aside from eyewitness reports, the IMO also received different photos and videos of the fireball. The clips, which were mostly captured by security cameras, were taken from different parts of Europe.

In one video, an eyewitness named Collin V. was driving along a road in Ede in the Netherlands when his car’s dashcam captured a fireball flying towards the ground. In another video shared by eyewitness K.M., the flash caused by the fireball can be seen illuminating the sky and several houses along a street.

As seen in the videos, the fireball produced a bright flash right before it disappeared in the sky. This suggests that the object may have detonated and fragmented before hitting the ground. According to the American Meteor Society (AMS), fireballs caused by small asteroids that hit Earth, which then become meteors. Those that explode right before disappearing are referred to as bolides.

“A fireball is another term for a very bright meteor, generally brighter than magnitude -4, which is about the same magnitude of the planet Venus as seen in the morning or evening sky,” the AMS explained. “A bolide is a special type of fireball which explodes in a bright terminal flash at its end, often with visible fragmentation.”

meteor (2) Residents of a north Indian village mistook human waste, dumped by a airborne plane, for a meteor Saturday, Jan. 20, 2018. Photo: Pixabay