Meteor ‘fireball’ lights up Sheffield and the UK

Last night, the skies above Sheffield and the rest of the UK were lit up by a meteorite passing by.

The UK Meteor Network described the meteor as a ‘fireball’ because of its bright appearance. The rare sighting surprised locals and is one of only a handful that can be seen over the UK each year.

A Sheffield community Facebook user said “I think I just saw the biggest shooting star falling over Sheffield. Questioning my sanity at how big it was..”

The UK Fireball Alliance has since calculated a potential landing sight for any material that survived the entry into the Earth’s atmosphere near Gloucester.

Potential meteor landing zone – UKFAll

 

Dr Sarah McMullan of the UK Fireball Alliance said: “About twenty meteorites probably land each year (in the UK). Most are barely the size of a sugar cube, however two or three are bigger, and that’s probably the case with this one”.

The UK Meteor Network’s Twitter account said: “The reports are flooding in, 120 so far and counting”.

Pictures and footage of the fireball were captured all across the UK.

 

Dr Ashley King of the Natural History Museum and UKFAll said “It’s speed was around 30,000 miles per hour which is too fast to be human-made ‘space-junk’. This particular piece of asteroid spent most of its orbit between Mars and Jupiter”

A meteoroid is a small formation of rocky material from outer space. When this enters the Earth’s atmosphere it begins to burn up often creating a bright fire ball called a meteor.

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