Fantastically bright bolide over Europe

Contributed by
Jul 30, 2007
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Update: I had an image here, but evidently it's not of the space debris in question, so I removed it.

From Digg (via Digger and BABloggee John Huntington) comes the news that an extremely bright object burned up over Croatia. That site has a video with brief footage of the bolide, including one near the end where the object calved (split). It's pretty cool.

Unfortunately, I don't speak Croatian, so I have no idea what they're saying on the video (any BABloggees from that area, feel free to translate in the comments). I hardly need to, since the footage itself is so amazing.

One thing-- it says the fireball was at magnitude -20, but I'm not convinced. That's about 1% of the Sun's brightness, and the object didn't look that bright. Brighter than the Moon, maybe, but not anywhere near even a percent of the Sun, at least in that footage.

I wonder how big the object was? It may have been about the size of a car, I'd guess, given the brightness. It wasn't breaking up in the footage except for that one calving event, so it may have been metallic (rocky bodies tend to disintegrate, like in the famous Peekskill meteorite footage). Hard to say. Also hard to say if it hit the ground or not. Maybe they talk about that in the video.

Still, amazing, and a nice prelude to the Perseids coming up in a few days (more about them later this week).