Thursday, September 14, 2017

Bright Flash in Skies Over Smolensk and St. Petersburg Likely to Have Been Large Meteorite

Bright flash seen over St. Petersburg on Sept. 12. Credit: Youtube

A large bright object recorded on video and posted on the Internet by a local resident as it was crossing the night sky over Smolensk in western Russia could have been a large meteorite, a specialist from the Smolensk planetarium told TASS on Tuesday.

The same object was seen at the very same time in Russia’s northwest. Many videos have already been posted on the Internet by residents of St. Petersburg and the northwestern Leningrad region.

The flight duration of the object was not less than 5 seconds, and the flight itself was accompanied by 3 flashes.

"The fall was rather spectacular, with a bright flare. It was possibly a large meteorite, and such phenomenon can be witnessed very rarely," Marina Sukristova said, adding that that same celestial object or its fragments was possibly seen in different regions of the country.

The specialist said now scientists will step in, who will scrutinize all videos posted on the Internet, question the eyewitnesses, assess the brightness of the object, the direction of its fall and other factors to establish its nature, trajectory and the area where it could have fallen.

Marina Sukristova added that if witnesses from across Russia post it on their accounts on the Internet, this will help the specialists a lot.

The regional office of the Russian Ministry for Emergency Situations told TASS that they had received no reports connected with the event, adding that there was no destruction and nobody was injured in the Smolensk region.

Scientists admit the possibility that the fragments of the meteorite reached the surface of the Earth.

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