Faculty of Mathematics, Physics
and Informatics
Comenius University Bratislava


A meteorite was found in the village of Pusté Úľany near Galanta - press release (J.Tóth for TASR)

On June 25 of this year, a bright meteor appeared over southwestern Slovakia and was perfectly visible in the evening sky. Scientific cameras from European Fireball networks and from Slovak Central Observatory in Hurbanovo recorded the fireball as well and Pavel Spurný with his colleagues from Astronomical Institute of the Czech Academy of Sciences calculated the parameters of meteorite fall near Pusté Úlany. For several months the scientists, local people, and tourists were searching fragments of the meteorite, which was thought to have landed in the village of Pusté Úľany. Today, scientists from Comenius University in Bratislava announced that the first fragment has been found!

Find more information in this document.

Reentry and disintegration of a rocket booster above Hawaii (J.Tóth)

A unique celestial event was captured on October 24th 22:01 HST (25th 08:01:37 UTC) by the AMOS systems at Haleakalā and Maunakea Observatories in Hawaii.  The reentering rocket body CZ-3B R/B (2008-055B), used to launch VENESAT-1 in 2008, was visible as multiple rapidly moving bright lights crossing the entire night sky and leaving trails in their wake. The event was viewed and recorded by members of the public as well as the two AMOS all-sky video systems. A high-resolution spectral camera also captured a faint emission spectrum of the rocket parts as they burned up high above Earth’s surface. VENESAT-1 was the first Venezuelan satellite and was used for communications. The satellite was launched from Xichang in China on a Long March 3-stage 3B/E rocket into a geosynchronous orbit but has been in-operational since March 2020. 

Re-entry events resemble bright meteors, and are sometimes serendipitously detected by the sensitive AMOS systems which are operated by Comenius University in Bratislava, Slovakia. Re-entry events of non-operational satellites and rocket boosters are relatively frequent, occurring three to four times per month, typically above the Pacific ocean where the population density is the lowest. The observations by AMOS are used for detection and analysis of meteors and fireballs to help astronomers understand the structure of the solar system. Operation of AMOS is possible thanks to the support of the Institute for Astronomy, University of Hawaii at Manoa, and SAO Submillimeter Array.

Founded in 1967, the Institute for Astronomy at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa conducts research into galaxies, cosmology, stars, planets, and the sun. Its faculty and staff are also involved in astronomy education, deep space missions, and in the development and management of the observatories on Haleakalā and Maunakea. The Institute operates facilities on the islands of Oahu, Maui, and Hawaiʻi.  

Comenius University in Bratislava, founded in 1919, is the largest university in Slovakia. Its astronomy and astrophysics department performs research in observational and theoretical astronomy on small objects in the solar system bodies like asteroids, comets and meteoroids, as well as studies of the galaxy. The Astronomical and Geophysical Observatory in Modra, Slovakia, is an educational and research center for young talented scientists from Slovakia. 

The AMOS camera on Maunakea is hosted by the Submillimeter Array which is operated by the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics and the Taiwanese Academia Sinica. 


Dr. Juraj Tóth, Professor  & Vice-Dean for Science and Foreign Affairs

Faculty of Mathematics, Physics and Informatics

Comenius University

Mlynská dolina F1

842 48 Bratislava

Email: juraj.toth@fmph.uniba.sk

Phone: +421 2 6029 5610

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