In the night of Tuesday to Wednesday, the appearance on the sky of a powerful and apparently unexplainable light stirred panic and afterwards, controversy among Romanians. Specialists explained though that the phenomenon was caused by “a meteorite that entered the atmosphere” and that it is not supposed to make us worry. “A Cosmos-based body, a bigger meteorite had entered the terrestrial atmosphere. It was a shiny one, I might say a terribly shiny one, generated by a body of considerable dimensions, perhaps several metres”, Valentin Grigore, President of the Romanian Astronomic Society for Meteors declared for Ziare.com.
The cosmic object appears to have had a size of approximately two or three metres and it is supposed that the phenomenon was visible in areas nearby Bucharest, at a distance of up to 100 to 200 kilometres”, the specialist appreciates.
Despite of the hour the phenomenon occurred at, about 3 am, there were plenty of eye witnesses. As for the “tail” they described, it is natural, considering that the air was ionized by the pass of the cosmic body. After the unusual phenomenon occured, a huge number of phone calls were registered at emergency service 112 from behalf of citizens who reported having seen a strong light on the sky, followed by powerful noise.
“We do not have a way to relate to these objects here. In Europe, there is no accurate and consequent network monitoring small meteorites. The US has a well-established system and during the night of January 5 to 5, NASA has observed 34 similar phenomena, and it is a normal situation. Out of the 34 bolides, six are known, as they are meteorites coming from Leo Minor, Bootes, Hydra, the respective constellations, yet the remaining 28 are, as we might put it, rather sporadic; mere burning stones”, Marius – Ioan Piso, President of the Romanian Space Agency (ROSA) declared.
Adrian Sonka, coordinator of the “Amiral Vasile Urseanu” Astronomic Observatory in Bucharest declared, after being asked whether it was a meteor that exploded above Romania: “Yes, it was a meteor”. He mentioned that, naturally “we should see bolides quite frequently” as, “every day, the atmosphere is entered by several objects rotating in the solar system”.
Defence Minister: The object went on unidentified
Asked whether the phenomenon was registered by radars, Defence Minister Mircea Dusa replied that the object went on unidentified. “There are two systems of monitoring Romania’s aerial space. A civil one, supervised by ROMATSA, and a military one. The radars of ROMATSA and those of the Ministry of Defence guard the air space up to a hight of 30 – 31 kilometres. This is the level and the way the flight is executed. No perception appeared on our radars regarding the phenomenon that occurred in the night of Tuesday to Wednesday”, Mircea Dusa explained for DC News Live on Thursday.