A bright meteorite was seen exploding in the sky of West Bohemia (Pilsen) last night. Before breaking up into smaller fragments, the space object was briefly brighter than the full moon. Some of the fragments may have hit the ground but have not yet been recovered, the Czech Institute of Hydrometeorology said on social media.
A meteorite exploded and fragments of it could have reached the Earth
Meteorologists identified the object as a bolide, a term for a rare and exceptionally bright meteor that explodes in the atmosphere. They are also colloquially called fireballs.
The event took place on Monday evening at 22:45 and was caught on video cameras. The Czech Institute of Hydrometeorology maintains a network of cameras that monitor the night sky precisely in case of the appearance of bolides or similar phenomena. The locations of possible fragments should be determined soon.
“They will certainly calculate it shortly and we will see,” the forecasters said.
A bolide is created by the entry of an object from outer space into the Earth’s atmosphere. Friction from the atmosphere causes the object to heat up and slow down at the same time.
Most objects that enter the atmosphere burn up completely. Only a small fraction of them are large enough to create fragments that hit the Earth.