Finns scramble to calculate path of blazing Arctic meteorite
COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) — Finnish experts are scrambling to calculate the trajectory of a blazing fireball that lit up the dark skies of Arctic Finland for five seconds in an attempt to find the celestial body.
Tomas Kohout of the University of Helsinki's physics department says Thursday night's fireball — allegedly a meteorite — "seems to have been one of the brightest ones."
Kohout says the alleged meteorite produced a blast wave that felt like an explosion about 6:40 p.m. and could be seen in northern Norway and in Russia's Kola peninsula.
"We believe it didn't disintegrate but reached a remote corner of Finland," Kohout told The Associated Press on Saturday. However, any search plans for the meteorite must face the fact that "right now we don't have much daylight" — four hours, to be precise.
"We are happy to recover (it) since this is a unique opportunity to get otherwise inaccessible space material," he said. "This is why it is worth it to search for them."
Viktor Troshenkov of the Russian Academy of Sciences told the Tass news agency on Friday that the fireball was possibly part of a prolific meteor shower known as the Leonids. He told Tass the shower peaks at this time of year, adding Thursday's fireball likely wasn't the sole meteorite but others could maybe not be seen due to thick clouds over other areas.