Eyewitnesses were able to take numerous photos and videos of a bright asteroid that recently collided with Earth and caused a powerful mid-air explosion. According to reports, the incident was witnessed by individuals from multiple European countries.
The eyewitness reports of the recent fireball event were compiled by the American Meteor Society (AMS) and International Meteor Organization (IMO). According to the organizations, it happened on the morning of February 28 and was spotted in the skies of Italy, Slovenia, Croatia, Germany and Austria.
Capturing Fireball Event On Video
Many of the reports were accompanied by photos and videos of the fireball. One of these was captured by Tomislav Car while he was driving on a highway in Zagreb, Croatia. The clip shows a bright fireball flying at a steep angle. Even though it was daytime, the fireball can still be visibly spotted due to its brightness.
In another video submitted by a person named Vid, the remnants of the fireball's explosion can be seen over a mountain range. The clip shows what appears to be a large cloud of smoke that was most likely produced by the cosmic object's airburst.
Eyewitness Reports Of Asteroid Airburst
The eyewitnesses who spotted the fireball shared their own experiences during the incident. One of the eyewitnesses from Slovenia said that due to the appearance of the fireball and its explosion, she initially thought that it was an aeroplane that was about to crash.
Another eyewitness named Alegra J from Croatia said that although she did not hear a sound from the object's explosion, she felt the wave in the air that it generated. She also noted that the blast from the airburst might have disturbed birds in the area. "I didn't hear a sound, but I did feel a sort of wave as I was watching. Also, suddenly the sky was full of birds flying very high," she stated in her report.
Classifying Fireball Events
As noted by the IMO, fireball events on Earth are usually caused by small-sized asteroids hitting the planet. As they enter Earth's atmosphere, they turn into meteors that burn up due to the intense friction and pressure. Depending on their size, the fireballs created by meteors could sometimes explode in the sky.
"As the size of these objects approach a millimeter, they begin to produce enough light to be seen upon entry to the upper atmosphere as ordinary meteors," the IMO explained. "Due to the velocity at which they strike the Earth's atmosphere, fragments larger than 1 millimeter have the capability to produce a bright flash as they streak through the heavens above."