‘Brilliant fireball’ that lit up night sky over parts of UK was space junk, experts say UK News
A “brilliant fireball” that lit up the night sky over parts of Britain was space junk, experts say.
The UK Meteor Network has received over 200 reports of the “ball of fire” sighted in the night sky around 9pm on Wednesday.
The organization said that after studying many videos of the incident, it now believes “it was space junk.”
It comes after people spotted the ball of light in the sky over parts of Scotland, northern England and Northern Ireland.
The network said the preliminary trajectory was calculated by the International Meteor Organization and this “suggests that the object we now believe to be space junk would have landed in the Atlantic Ocean south of the Hebrides.”
Danny Nell, 21, witnessed the meteorite while walking his dog in Johnstone, west of Paisley and Glasgow.
He said: “I was walking my dog and it was strangely 10pm sharp and all I saw was the flash in the sky and I pulled out my phone and recorded it.
“I thought at first it might be fireworks because there was a lot of Scottish football on but I quickly realized that wasn’t the case and just grabbed my phone to see if I could catch it.”
Another eyewitness, Steve Owens, an astronomer and science communicator at Glasgow Science Centre, saw the meteorite as it flew over Scotland on Wednesday evening.
Mr Owens told BBC Radio Scotland’s Good Morning Scotland: “It was incredible. I was sitting in my living room at exactly 10 o’clock last night and looking out the due south window this brilliant ball of fire, this meteor, hurtling across the sky and I could tell it was special because I could see through broken clouds .
“It wasn’t perfectly visible; I could see it fragmenting, breaking apart, little bits of it falling off.
“And usually when you see a meteor or a shooting star, it’s just tiny little streaks of light that last a split second. This one streaked across the sky for at least 10 seconds – probably longer – and it traveled from south to full west, so it was quite an incredible sight.
Mr Owens thought it was “highly unlikely” that the fireball landed in Scotland.
A space account tweeted in the early hours of Thursday morning: “Large meteor spotted burning over Scotland and Northern Ireland.”
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Mr Owens also told BBC Radio Scotland: “Usually those tiny streaks of light, those little shooting stars, burn up and it all just disappears and evaporates in the atmosphere, but the thing last night was bigger than a bit of dust.
“Last night might have been the size of a golf ball or maybe a cricket ball, maybe bigger than that, so it’s certainly not impossible that parts could have landed.”
He continued: “The UK Meteor Network, which has received hundreds of reports from across Scotland and beyond, will be able to triangulate all of these reports to determine its trajectory.
“It looked to me like it was headed west and given that people in Northern Ireland reported seeing it, it could very well have passed land and landed in the Atlantic, but that’s certainly not impossible.” landed – it will be the challenge to find it.”