A professor at the Institute for Theoretical Astrophysics at the University of Oslo has issued an editorial apology for what he called "exaggerated explosive force" linked to reports of the recent meteorite strike in Norway.

The story of the meteorite impact in northern Norway made international headlines, no doubt due to the comparison with the force of the atom bomb detonated over Hiroshima.

In an editorial at Norwegian science news site forskning.no, Professor Kaare Aksnes said it was regrettable that this comparison had been made, and that it was extremely exaggerated. Aksnes also said it was regrettable that the statement had apparently emanated from the Institute.

Aksnes goes on to explain that a meteor capable of a Hiroshima-like impact would almost completely burn up as it entered Earth's atmosphere, and that the remnants would hit the earth far too slowly - though impacts of that intensity have of course occurred. He estimates the North Troms impact to have been comparable to "a powerful conventional bomb".

The original reactions to the witness reports of the meteor, also reported on forskning.no, are attributed to popular astronomer Knut Jørgen Røed Ødegaard, and were slightly guarded and very excited. Røed Ødegaard wrote the original report about the meteorite on the Institute's web site.

"We cannot be completely sure, but the light and sound phenomena were exceptional. It indicates that there has been a great deal of energy involved," Røed Ødegaard said then.

Seismic research center NORSAR registered powerful sound phenomena at their Karasjok measuring station, as well as seismic disturbances.

"We have run out of words for how exciting this is," Røed Ødegaard said at the time.

"There is midnight sun in the area and objects in the sky must therefore shine very strongly to be visible at all. The object is descried as a reddish ball of fire and lit up like a powerful flash. The brightness must have been exceptional," Røed Ødegaard said.