Late Tuesday night, the domestic sky was lit up by a bolide. A bolide is usually used to signify an exceptionally bright meteor or any large crater-forming body that explodes in the atmosphere. However, not every bolide, even a bright one, means a meteorite fall, Pavel Suchan from the Astronomical Institute of the Academy of Sciences pointed out. A reporter managed to catch the phenomenon from his car just before 11:30 at night while driving in the vicinity of Toužetín near Panenský Týnec in the Lounsko region.
“We were surprised by how big and colorful it was. We saw a green-orange ‘tail’ at one point, and I thought a plane was about to crash.”It was falling fast, and it was on fire. Usually, you see a shooting star in the distance in the sky, small and momentary. Here it was the opposite, a long and large object, “he described.
“Yes, it was a bolide; it flew exactly at 23:23:17 CEST,” Jiří Borovička, deputy head of the Interplanetary Matter Department at the Astronomical Institute of the CAS, confirmed. The astronomer added that the institute had photographed the object from seven stations of the European bolide network.
“This means we have collected a lot and accurate data. The bolide hasn’t been measured yet, but it is already clear that nothing fell from it to the Earth’s surface and that it was not exceptionally bright. In particular, it flew over southern Moravia, but unfortunately, the weather was bad there at the time, ” Borovička explained.
In any case, a bolide is an optical phenomenon in the atmosphere and does not necessarily mean meteorite fragments fall to the Earth’s surface. “On the contrary, for the vast majority of bolide events, the body usually burns up and does not fall to the surface,” Suchan, the press secretary of the Astronomical Institute, commented.