Video footage has captured the incredible moment a meteor tore through the skies of Lapland, Finland, turning night into day and causing a noticeable blast. The incident happened on Thursday, November 16, and was seen on camera by a number of locals. The meteor shines incredibly brightly, but it’s not known if it hit the ground or exploded in the atmosphere. “So tonight whilst I was sat in our cottage, there was a huge bang and the cottage shook violently,” Tony Bateman, who recorded one of the videos and runs the website Aurora Service Tours, said in the video description.
“We run a live video stream capturing the night sky for aurora borealis purposes, I immediately think maybe that caught the show? So I rewind the video and sure enough, there it is. Absolute goosebumps at this stage. “What a night.”
The incident is thought to have happened at about 6.40pm local time in the skies of Inari in Finnish Lapland. The incident was so bright and powerful that there were some reports it was even heard in Norway and Russia.
“The lights came from all around us, like a massive explosion that lasted for some five or six seconds,” eyewitness Atle Staaleen told the Barents Observer.
While the event is impressive, meteors are not all that rare. Thousands of objects burn up in our atmosphere every year, but many are too small to be noticeable. Others take place over remote, uninhabited areas.
On some occasions, though, a meteor can streak over a populated area. In the case of this incident, the meteor looks like it either exploded in the air as a bolide, or hit Earth as a meteorite. We’re getting better at tracking meteorites, but we’re not perfect yet. The often used example is the Chelyabinsk meteor over Russia in 2013, which went undetected but injured hundreds of people when it exploded.
Thankfully, we don’t seem to have had a repeat this time around. But it’s a good reminder that there's a lot of stuff hitting our planet, and we need to make sure we're prepared if anything big does come our way that could pose a threat.