The unusually bright meteor — called a bolide — was visible from large parts of southern Norway when it lit up the sky just after 7pm on Saturday evening.
“It was very powerful, and burned up completely in the atmosphere,” Morten Bilet, founder of Norwegian Meteor Network (Norsk meteornettverk), told AFP.
Meteor registrert 2022-11-19 23:00:58 https://t.co/lla0zSS6ph
— Norsk meteornettverk (@meteornettverk) November 19, 2022
As the meteor burnt up, a flash shimmered in multiple colours across the sky, sparking a string of puzzled calls to police.
“It suddenly became bright, so I thought at first it was a car driving on high beam. But then I looked up at the sky and there was a massive light that shot across the sky with a long, blue tail behind it,” 27-year-old eyewitness Per Skram told broadcaster NRK.
Espen Solhaug from Bergen was sitting outside with his wife, looking at the starry sky. As he went to put a new log in the fire pit, the sky lit up behind him.
“At first I thought it was a helicopter. It was an enormous light,” Solhaug told Norwegian paper VG, where he shared video footage of the meteor, captured by his doorbell camera.
Ingvild Ramstad was looking at the starry sky in Eidsbugarden and described her “enormous experience” to VG.
“Suddenly the ground lit up with green light and I was a little scared. I thought, what is going on? I turned and saw a huge green pillar of light to the west, and there was no shooting star. It was wild. I have never seen anything like it and probably won’t see it again”, she said.
#Audnedal Kl 1920 Politiet har mottatt telefon om kraftig lysstråle på himmelen som vekslet i flere farger – dette ble sett fra området Vigmostad. Politiet har vært i kontakt med Meteorologisk institutt som antar at det kan være snakk om en meteoritt.
— Politiet i Agder (@politiagder) November 19, 2022
“The police has been in contact with the Norwegian Meteorological Institute, which assumes it may have been a meteorite,” the southern regional police force said on Twitter.
The Norwegian Meteor Network said that many people had associated the meteor with the Leonid meteor shower, which is currently active.
“But this bolide belongs to another swarm that is also active at the same time — the northern Taurids,” the organisation said on its website.
“The Taurids do not produce as many meteors as the Leonids but the Taurids occasionally produce very powerful meteors, like this one,” it added.