Meteorite or Space Junk Spotted in Night Sky Across UK


This photo of Meteor or Space Junk taken from Tyneside by a taxi driver!!
This photo of Meteor or Space Junk taken from Tyneside by a taxi driver!!

On September 21, 2012, thousands of people across Northern Ireland, central Scotland including North of England, the Midlands and East Anglia reported seeing a meteor shoot across the night sky and break into pieces.

Many people described it as a bright fireball with a large tail moving across the night sky.

Picture of the balls of light in the sky above Llantrisant taken by Emily Solman
Picture of the balls of light in the sky above Llantrisant taken by Emily Solman

The Kielder Observatory, located in Kielder Forest, Northumberland, England, twitted: “Huge fire ball from east at 9.55 UTC heading west mag -6 to -7”; “Any other observers? this was big, trajectory went from east, south east and headed to the west, broke up over west coast, many fragments”; “Many many fragments maybe in excess of 100 pieces started green went Yellow, no sound but long obvious termination lasted 20-30 seconds”; “This was an incredible object, different trajectory than March event…lots of structure, slow moving and displaying colour.”

No one knows whether it was a meteor or burning space junk. To many it was just a large fireball. Some suggest that the brilliant sphere of light was not a meteorite but space debris that combusted as it reentered Earth’s atmosphere. Jodrell Bank Observatory tweeted: ‘No real consensus on whether last night’s spectacular fireball was a space rock burning up or space junk (bit of spacecraft).”

The coastguard worried whether it was a crashing aircraft. However, a spokesman for Forth Coastguard said: “From talking to other stations and to the RAF it’s almost certainly meteorite activity.”

Video: Meteor Over Cheshire, September 21, 2012

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