Last Friday night I was in my bedroom with Lilla and Diana, lights turned out, while Esther slept in the other bedroom at the far end of the house. I looked out the bedroom window, which faces roughly north-west, between the half-closed curtains, and suddenly saw a bright greenish ball of light, like a marine distress flare, flash across the sky from the east behind the house, towards central Piliscsaba, and disappear over the hill. There may have been a starburst mid-flight with other pieces falling away, but I wouldn’t trust my memory on this. My first thought was that some neighbours were partying on Friday night and letting off fireworks, but there was no bang after the flash, and no more lights afterwards. Lilla was in bed with Diana and didn’t see the light, but she realized something was up and asked me to run through to the other room to watch over Esther.
That was all for the evening, but it turned out I wasn’t the only one who had seen something. Reports from all over Hungary, Slovakia and the Czech Republic next morning showed that dozens of eye-witnesses had seen the same greenish light in the sky, with security cameras and amateur astronomers picking it up as well. Consensus is that it was a large meteor, probably football-sized, that exploded in midair somewhere over the region, at around 30km above the earth’s surface. No one has found a crater yet, but tiny fragments probably reached the earth.
I’ve seen shooting stars before, but this was my first time to see a true meteorite – a bolide that actually reached the surface of the earth. And if I hadn’t been in the bedroom and looking out between the curtains just at that moment, I would have missed it.
You can see stills and videos of the flash here and at the links above.