During the first hours of the night of December 16 in Colombia, many inhabitants of the East of the country sighted what appears to be a large fireball. Numerous photographies and videos taken mainly with smartphones have been published by witnesses who were surprised by the event that happened around 18:25 local time (23:25 UT).
Así registraron los araucanos el supuesto meteorito que surcó hace poco el cielo colombiano. pic.twitter.com/rVDeyYwjpW
— Alejandro Gómez (@alejogomez75) December 17, 2016
The object was observed at least from Yopal, Villavicencio, Bucaramanga, Girón, and Zapatoca cities in Colombia; but apparently it was also observed from some western localities of Venezuela.
Many witnesses noticed the intense green-bluish color of the bolide which could be seen even under the public street lightning system. Another interesting aspect was its duration: the event was observable for more than 30 seconds!
From the currently received information, it’s difficult to be sure whether the event was associated to a low atmospheric entry velocity meteoroid, or a space junk that entered the atmosphere above those regions. Further investigations should soon help us in better defining what was involved in this remarkable phenomenon.