Blue fireball lights up sky over Sweden

A very large blue fireball illuminated the sky over Sweden around 20:30 UTC (21:30 CET) on March 20, 2017. The event was so powerful that the whole sky lit up, Swedish All Sky Meteor Network astronomers said.

blue fireball Sweden 2017

Credits: Jessica Dellsjö

Images of the event immediately started appearing on social networks, with people from the cities of Stockholm, Uppsala and Örebro all reported seeing the event. Reports from eastern Uppland mention sonic boom associated with the event. 

Several cameras from the Finnish Meteor Network have also registered the event.

Eric Stempels, from the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Uppsala University, has reassured the public that the fireball was harmless, and that this phenomena is perhaps more common than people think.

“This was something very small that does not pose any threat to us,” said Stempels.  “This is something that happens a few times a year.”

“Because it can happen during the day, when it is cloudy or far from populated areas, these events usually don’t get much attention,” he said, adding that this one fell in the north-eastern Uppland region.

Credits: Jessica Dellsjö

Stempels estimates that the size of the object was between the size of a “fist and a football,” and according to the Swedish Allsky Media Network, its blue coloration was caused by a combination of speed and a majority of magnesium in its composition.

One of the Swedish Allsky Meteor Network‘s cameras in Uppsala managed to capture the bright light. Watch the short video below:

“By combining Finnish observations with the Swedish reports, it is clear that it was a space rock that burned up in the atmosphere. It came from the east and was moving almost due west of northeastern Uppland. The bolide first appeared at an altitude of about 90 km (60 miles), and stopped shining at an altitude of about 35 km (21.7 miles),” Swedish AllSky Meteor Network astronomers explained. 

“It was truly a wonderful sight,” Mikko Suominen of the Finish Meteor Network said.

Sources:
Mystery blue fireball lights up Swedish night sky, by The Local
Large blue meteor fireball illuminates sky over Sweden, by Sott.net
Blue Fireball Lights Up Sky Over Sweden, by The Singular Fortean Society

About the author: VR