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.
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
- Spectacular ‘meteor’ shower over Britain (telegraph.co.uk)
- Meteor ‘Fireball’ Lights Up Sky Across UK – Sky News (news.sky.com)
- Fireball-like ‘meteor’ spotted in night sky across UK (metro.co.uk)