Meteor fragments fall in Vätsäri Wilderness Area in Arctic Finland

Model of the flight path. (Courtesy URSA Astronomical Association.)
According to the Ursa Astronomical Association, the massive fireball spotted in Lapland last week was a meteor that fell into the Vätsäri wilderness. On entering the Earth’s atmosphere, the meteor broke into pieces with tens of kilos of the material landing in Lapland’s backwoods.

Initially it was thought that the fragments had fallen into Lake Inari, which would have made their discovery very difficult.

According to URSA’s modeling, the meteor weighed a few hundred kilos before entering the Earth’s atmosphere. The bright flare was caused by the meteor breaking up in smaller pieces.

While a large part of the meteor was destroyed when it entered the atmosphere, tens of kilos of the mass could be found in the backwoods.

“Meteorites of that size are quite rare. Usually, the pieces that end up on the Earth’s surface weigh a few hundred grams or up to a few kilos,” says Esko Lyytinen, mathematician at Ursa.

A challenging treasure hunt

Finding the fragments of the meteorite will be challenging, says Marko Pekkola from Ursa, because of the difficult and remote terrain.

“In addition, it’s dark all the time and the new snow will have covered any marks by now.”

Ursa said it would resume its search after the winter.

Related stories from around the North:

Canada: Google Street View takes you to Canada’s northernmost Arctic park, Radio Canada International

Denmark/Greenland: Inuit in Canada and Greenland seek control of marine oasis, Radio Canada International

Finland: Finnish government buys naturally diverse historical island from forestry giant, Yle News

Iceland: High peak in low season, Iceland’s mass-tourism boiling over, The Independent Barents Observer

Norway: Looking for ‘the gold of the Arctic’? Meet the cloudberry, The Independent Barents Observer

Russia: Arctic national park expands, becomes Russia’s biggest, The Independent Barents Observer

Sweden: Meteorite from Arctic Sweden fetches thousands at auction, Radio Sweden

United States: Can the isolated Alaska town of King Cove get its road under the Trump administration?, Alaska Dispatch News

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