Tue, 02 Mar 2010 14:47 UTC
This morning people from many parts of Slovakia are asking the question: What caused the mysterious glow registered on Sunday night just before midnight?
"Just before midnight I noticed a loud noise which words cannot describe. I saw the glow in the window. The whole event lasted about 5-6 seconds, but it was something extraordinary," we were informed by a reader from Tornale. The so far unexplained event had been noticed in Rožňava near Košice and even in Hungary. Some thought it looked like fireworks, others were afraid that an explosion in some factory happened.
"I saw a bright light. I thought it was just lightning, but I didn't hear the thunder. Even more so it was snowing at the time, that is why I thought it was odd," was the reaction of a female student from Východna.
The possibility of supersonic aircraft in the sky has been ruled out by the Ministry of interior. "The events that you are referring to were registered by us at around 11.20pm, we looked into the matter and can confirm that it had nothing to do with the activities of the Ministry of defence," said the spokesman for the Ministry of defence Vladimir Gamela. According to the Commander of the air force it was most likely a meteor above the northern and eastern part of the country. "It was no rocket nor an airplane or anything else. We examined the matter over our military line. Our radars, which are part of the NATO system, did not register anything. The media as well as the general public can obtain further details from astronomers, that is if they managed to record this event," said Gemela.
Expert: it was an object from space that burned up
The secretary of the Astronomical institute of the Slovak academy of sciences in Tatranska Lomnica Drahomír Chochol confirmed for the News Agency of the Slovak Republic that this strange event was indeed a meteor, space object, that entered the atmosphere. "When it entered the atmosphere the object heated up and exploded," he added that until now the Astronomical institute is sorting a mass of information provided by the general public. "We were not able to observe the phenomenon in the Tatras because of the overcast weather. But we have information from the Czech Republic according to which they registered a bolide, a light phenomenon associated with the explosion of a meteor, with a magnitude of minus nine," added Chochol. According to this information it should have been green colored object. "The explosion probably occurred at an altitude of 30 kilometers near Košíce. We will be able to determine the exact trajectory after three scientific observations of the event are available," clarified Chochol. The object could have been the size of a football and probably only small fragments fell to the ground.
Did the meteorite fall near Bretka?
A crater should be near the village of Bretka located in the eastern part of the country. It should have been caused by a meteorite that fell on a Sunday night. This was the first information from a reader on the website Aktuality.sk. The reader Zuzana hadn't seen it herself but supposedly obtained the information from the local firefighters: "They are keeping watch on the city to prevent people getting irradiated," she further writes.
The Bretka municipal office did not either confirm or refute this information. "We have heard about it but where this impact site is supposed to be we do not know," said one employee of the office to Aktuality. sk