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Hundreds of people across Scotland, Northern Ireland and northern parts of England spotted an unusual fireball lighting up the night sky on Wednesday.
Ian O’Brien, a doctoral student at the University of Glasgow and a member of the UK’s Fireball Alliance, which tracks meteor sightings, said it was not clear if it was a meteorite or a piece of space debris. The fireball was visible in the sky for 10 to 20 seconds – an unusually long period of time for a meteor – but the way the object splintered in the night sky suggests it was a space rock.
“It has the characteristics of both. We have people processing the shots and setting its course,” O’Brien said. “At the moment, we can only guess. Either way it was a great event.”
She said most fireballs can only be seen for a few seconds. meteorite hit Trained in central England last year She fell into the sky for seven seconds.
The fireball was spotted around 10 p.m. local time on Wednesday. O’Brien said the relatively early hour, plus a clear night sky, meant that many people saw the fireball even in built-up areas like Glasgow. Several lucky enough to spot the fireball have shared mobile and door camera videos on social media.
Richard Kacerek, Founder UK Meteor Observation NetworkHe said the group’s initial assessment was that it was space debris. “Judging from the videos the audience has recorded, it appears to be moving much slower than the meteor,” he said.
Ces Verbeek, President International Meteor OrganizationHe said the group had received more than 800 reports on its website and then I used this information to compile a potential trajectory for the fireball.
The trajectory of the fireball suggested that it passed over the Northern Channel, which separates Scotland and Northern Ireland, and ended its journey somewhere over the island of Islay off the west coast of Scotland.
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