A bright light followed by a loud noise was recorded on the Romanian sky at 3:05 am on the night between 6 and 7 January, and it was observed mainly in the southeastern area of the country. The phenomenon was recorded by surveillance cameras in several cities.
Based on the data correlated to date by the Romanian Space Agency, by contacting both the Inspectorate for Emergency Situations,
the Astronomical Observatory of the Romanian Academy and the non-governmental organisation Romanian Astronomical Society for Meteors, ROSA confirms that the event was caused by a meteoroid that entered Earth's atmosphere.
“We do not have very accurate data up so far, but a report will be made in the next days. Based on the information we do have until now, we can estimate that the phenomenon occured at an altitude of 50-70 km, from east to west, over the area between Bucharest and Vrancea. This phenomenon is common, only last night about 30 meteors like this one were monitored in the United States of America, the only country that has an operating monitoring system for such objects", said Marius-Ioan Piso, President of the Romanian Space Agency.
Although this event did not cause damage and most likely the meteoroid burned in the atmosphere, it sounds the alarm about the need to invest in monitoring systems for larger and more dangerous objects.
“In this regard, the Romanian Space Agency involved Romania in the Space Situational Awareness (SSA) programme of the European Space Agency. The programme aims to protect the planet from solar flares, space debris and NEO (Near-Earth objects). Meteoroids belong to the latter category, along with asteroids and comet nuclei”, added Dr. Phys. Marius-Ioan Piso.
Image source: stirileprotv.ro
*Update 08.01.2015 Based on the latest data, the two images below are showing an estimation of the area above which the explosion took place, and the meteoroid trajectory respectively.
Image source: ROSA