green fireball
© Unknown
Last Saturday night (2/3 March), a bright object flying toward the earth was seen in various parts of the country. "It was seen from the city of Poznan to Grudziadz. It lit up the sky for a few seconds from east to west, and then an impact was heard", wrote a reader of Alert24.pl. "The passage of an NEO [Near Earth Object] is not uncommon", explains Jerzy Rafalski, an astronomer from Torun in an interview with Radio RMF FM.


Comment: No, it's not; it has become frighteningly common in the last couple of years:

Image
© SOTT.net
Source data available here: www.amsmeteors.org/fireball_event/2012/

"A lot of people witnessed the phenomenal show, which could have ended dramatically. What most likely was a meteor appeared in the sky and was seen for about 5 seconds across almost all of Poland in a cloudless and starry sky. It gave off a green colour. About 30 seconds after it disappeared, one could hear a mighty roar that spread around like a shock wave," wrote one YouTube surfer going by the name Anikifadia1, who posted this video:


Various videos of the bright object flying across the sky can be seen on the net. After the 'meteor shower' event in Chelyabinsk, Russia, a lot of people thought that a similar thing was happening in Poland. We were informed about the meteor by one of the readers of Alert24.pl website: "It was seen from the city of Poznan to Grudziadz. It lit up the sky for a few seconds from east to west, and then an impact was heard," wrote the reader.


Comment: There was probably no impact. Instead the shockwave was heard and felt from an overhead explosion as the small asteroid or cometary fragment exploded in the atmosphere.



In addition to the explosion on Saturday night, RMF FM radio listeners were also calling a meteor reporting 'hot line' the previous night (Friday/Saturday) to report yet another falling meteor. However, as George Rafalski, an astronomer from Torun pointed out in an interview for the radio station, "such things happen often, every couple of weeks. A bright flight of an object close to the earth is nothing unusual", the specialist said.

Rafalski said that Friday night was simply cloudless, a condition which is conducive to such observations.