26 Apr 2023 17:40

Flash in Kiev sky on April 19 caused by bolide - International Meteor Organization

MOSCOW. April 26 (Interfax) - The International Meteor Organization (IMO), which unites meteor researchers and enthusiasts worldwide, has published a report on the causes of a natural bright flash above Kiev on April 19.

"The citizens of the Ukrainian capital Kiev [...] were frightened by a bright flash on the sky in the evening of April 19, 2023. [...] Although it was not immediately clear, the flash was a purely natural phenomenon this time, namely a very bright bolide," Ukraine media reported citing the IMO's report on its official website.

A flash from the bolide, which started at 9:57 p.m. Kiev time and lasted for five seconds, was recorded from a large distance by the easternmost cameras of the European Fireball Network (a project of the Astronomical Institute of the Czech Academy of Sciences operated in Slovakia in collaboration with the Astronomical Institute of the Slovak Academy of Sciences), as well as a camera located in Bardos Lajos Primary School in Fehergyarmat, Hungary, belonging to the private AllSky7 project.

Based on an analysis of video recordings, the bolide's trajectory was determined with the uncertainty of only a few hundred meters, the IMO said. The bolide was first observed at the height of 98 kilometers above Velikaya Dymerka in the Brovary district of the Kiev region, then passed directly above Kiev at the heights of around 80 kilometers and continued moving southwest at 29 km/s.

"The meteoroid of an estimated initial mass of 200-300 kg (diameter of about half meter) disrupted at 38 km into many fragments and dust. The deceleration of the bolide after the flare suggests that the largest produced fragments had masses below 1 kg. Nevertheless, another similarly bright flare occurred at the height of 32.5 km and other smaller flares followed at 31, 30, and 29.5 km," it said.