By James Simons-
A shooting star has been spotted across the sky over Scotland and Northern Ireland, just a few days after King Charles III visited both towns, and the Queens Coffin left there for london. The UK Meteor Network said it began receiving reports of the fireball at 22:00 on Wednesday evening.
Some people believe the meteor might be alien life or a ufo looking down in honour of the queen
UK Meteor Network said it received the first reports of a fireball at about 10pm BST and they have now had 800 reports, and believe it was heading north above the coast between Scotland and Northern Ireland.
A meteor is a streak of light in the sky caused by a meteoroid crashing through Earth’s atmosphere. Meteoroids are lumps of rock or iron that orbit the sun. Most meteoroids are small fragments of rock created by asteroid collisions. Comets also create meteoroids as they orbit the sun and shed dust and debries.
Scientists are using video footage captured by the public to establish whether the object travelling across the night sky was a meteor or space junk, and where it came from.
The scientific community later tweeted that they believed the fast-moving flashing light to be “space debris” – defunct human-made objects in space that are usually within Earth’s orbit, which no longer serve a useful function, such as old pieces of satellites or metal.
The US Space Command last April confirmed the findings of Harvard scientists that a space rock from another star system struck Earth in 2014
Dr Marc Sarzi, head of research at the Armagh Planetarium, said it’s possibly that whatever the object was, it may have landed on Earth somewhere, and could be recovered, referencing the Bovedy meteorite which crashed in Northern Ireland 53 years ago, that has some of its remains preserved in the planetarium.
“I don’t know the size of it, but it was pretty bright, so was certainly only some metres across,” Dr Sarzi told the BBC.
“If it had come across six hours earlier, it may have hit Belfast.”
One resident in Perthshire tweeted: “Just witnessed the long flash of light and sound of an explosion over Dunblane a few minutes ago.
“I’ve seen meteors before and this was a much bigger and longer trail with a bang.
“It was in view long enough for me to unlock the door and then watch it head towards Calendar.”
Another wrote online: “I’ve just spotted a meteor over Edinburgh, very large with green trail, anyone caught that?”
A third said: “I saw it in Limekilns just over the bridge! Near had a heart attack I thought it was an aircraft crashing.”
Danny Nell, 21, said he was walking his dog in Johnstone, west of Paisley and Glasgow, when he saw the fireball.
“I was walking my dog and it was strangely enough 10pm on the dot and I just saw the flash in the sky and pulled out my phone and recorded it,” the Glasgow resident told the PA news agency.
“I thought it may be a firework at first because there was a lot of Scottish football on but quickly realised it wasn’t and just grabbed my phone to see if I could catch it.”
As of 10.30pm, UK Meteor Network confirmed they had received more than 200 reports of a ‘fireball’ meteor.
This morning, that number had risen to nearly 800 reports.
The network said it was “investigating to ascertain what the object was, meteor or space debris”, adding that most reports had come from Scotland and Northern Ireland.
It is thought it would have landed in the sea south of the Hebrides.
Space rock that enters Earth’s atmosphere is called a meteor, but fragments that survive the burning journey to reach the ground are called meteorites.
UK Meteor Network said it was “investigating to ascertain what the object was, meteor or space debris”, adding that most of the reports it had received were from Scotland and Northern Ireland, although it was also spotted in England.
Kevin Morgan, from the network of citizen scientists, told BBC Radio’s Good Morning Scotland said the speed it was travelling at could indicate that it was space junk such as a satellite part.
“It is no less exciting and really encouraging that so many people have reported and shared images that they have.” The International Meteor Organization had almost 800 witness reports from across the UK and Ireland.
Majority of them
were from Central Scotland but there were also sightings from the Black Isle and Kinnaber in the east, near Montrose and as far south as London.
Initial calculations showed the object was travelling NNE and could have landed in the Atlantic Ocean “south of the Hebrides”.
Steve Owens, astronomer and science communicator at the Glasgow Science Centre, said the sighting was “incredible”.
“I was sitting in my living room at exactly 22:00 and I saw out of the widow due south this brilliant fireball – this meteor – streaking across the sky,” he said.
“I could tell it was something special. I could see through broken cloud that it was fragmenting – breaking apart with little bits coming off it.
“Normally if you see a meteor or a shooting star, they are just tiny little streaks of light lasting a fraction of a second but this one was streaking across the sky for at least ten seconds probably longer.
“It travelled from due south all the way across to the west. It was a pretty incredible sight.”
He said it was unlikely, but not impossible, that it would have reached the ground, and may have reached the Atlantic Ocean.
Mr Owens said: “Normally these little shooting stars burn up and everything vanishes and evaporates in the atmosphere, but the thing last night was bigger than a little bit of dust which causes normal shooting stars.
“The one last night might have been the size of a golf ball or maybe a cricket ball, maybe even bigger than that.
“It is highly unlikely it fell anywhere in Scotland but if you are looking for a bit of space debris – a meteorite as it’s known – you are looking for a magnetic object, something that looks like a rock but is magnetic.”
James Williams saw it from his front garden in the southside of Glasgow and managed to record it on his mobile and his doorbell camera. He described it as being “all different colours like a firework but silent”.