Massive fireball witnessed over the UK by countless observers

March 5, 2012 By Adrian West, Universe Today
A large meteor seen in the sky over the UK, near a rainbow light display. Credit: Mike Ridley.

On the evening of March 3rd 2012 at approximately 21:40 GMT, an incredibly bright fireball/bollide was seen over the United kingdom.

Many people were outside enjoying a clear evening under the stars, or going about their ordinary business when they spotted the amazingly bright object shooting across the sky. Nearly all of the observations from the public from across much of the country described the object as a very bright fireball traveling from north to south and disappearing low in the sky.

The image above is from Mike Ridley, who said, “I was out tonight photographing the global rainbow display at Whitly Bay and saw this bright light hurtling across the sky. I quickly turned the camera to capture it as it flew overhead. With the naked eye I could see it white hot with an orange tail & really low in the . I thought it was a massive firework rocket.”

See two videos of the fireball, below.

This video is not supported by your browser at this time.

Most accounts give a duration of around 10 to 15 seconds and the fireball showed a bright orange nucleus with a bright green tail. There was some fragmentation as the ploughed through the atmosphere.

This video is not supported by your browser at this time.

At present, it is unknown whether any pieces of the object survived and hit Earth’s surface, but there is a high possibility that if it did, it landed in the ocean.

Explore further: Boulder-sized Asteroid Will Burn Up in Earth's Atmosphere Tonight

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5 / 5 (1) Mar 05, 2012
... isn't this how alien invasion stories begin? :|

In a couple days we'll hear about strange activity in the area ...
1 / 5 (1) Mar 06, 2012
@SincerelyTwo said:
In a couple days we'll hear about strange activity in the area...

Remember, this is the UK. On the subject of "strange activity", there is no possible way you could statistically correct for noise in your data.

In other words, yet one more cough in the hurricane.
not rated yet Mar 06, 2012
I saw a similar fireball out to sea off the coast near Hastings, UK a few weeks back, confirmed by other people nearby. It's a cool thing to see.

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