Meteor lights up Norwegian night sky

Published November 21, 2022, 8:04 AM

by Agence-France-Presse

OSLO, Norway – A meteor that lit up the night sky over southwest Norway as it burned up in the atmosphere was from the Taurid meteor shower, experts said on Sunday.

The unusually bright meteor — called a bolide — was visible from large parts of southern Norway when it lit up the sky just after 7:00 pm (1800 GMT) on Saturday evening.

“It was very powerful, and burned up completely in the atmosphere,” Morten Bilet, founder of Norsk meteornettverk (Norwegian Meteor Network), told AFP.

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.

“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.

Norsk meteornettverk 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.