A fireball seen over many elements of the northern UK has been confirmed as a meteor after a day of confusion about its identification.
The fireball was seen above northern England, Northern Eire and Scotland because it blazed throughout the clear night time sky simply after 10pm on Wednesday night time.
It traveled 300km above Wales, the Irish Sea and Belfast earlier than crashing into the Atlantic close to Islay, based on new calculations by the UK Meteor Community.
The community’s preliminary calculation instructed it was house junk that might have come from Elon Musk’s Starlink satellite tv for pc program. But it surely withdrew that principle after accumulating extra information.
John Maclean, an astronomer on the community, mentioned: “We have analyzed it from many extra angles. It’s positively a meteor. In all probability a small piece of an asteroid that is damaged off an asteroid. It got here in at an asteroidal orbit.”
He added: “We predict it most likely ended up between 50 and 100km off Islay. It will be on the backside of the ocean now.”
He mentioned the fireball was initially mistaken for an area junk as a result of it was touring extra slowly than a typical meteor, and movies of the sighting instructed it broke up increased and sooner than a meteor.
He mentioned: “The pace and the best way we break it up, is what threw us initially. It was fairly sluggish which is extra per an area junk, so thought too sluggish for a meteor.
“The speed was 31,950 mph, which is extra per house particles. Therefore our preliminary ideas.”
On Thursday morning Maclean had speculated the fireball was a spent Starlink satellite tv for pc burning up within the ambiance as scheduled.
However later he mentioned: “We went away and checked out any potentialities for house particles. There wasn’t one that might presumably give us house particles. It was positively not SpaceX. There have been two Starlink satellites that have been on account of de-orbit, however they would not have come down close to the UK. They got here down over North America.”
The community obtained about 800 sightings of the fireball. Maclean mentioned: “Most individuals who noticed it most likely had a uncommon expertise. The speed of this one and the best way it broke up was just a little bit unusual.”
In a press release, the community mentioned: “The fireball over Northern Eire and Scotland final night time was positively a meteor. The fireball noticed yesterday above the UK lasted over 20 seconds and traveled north-west, passing immediately over Belfast.”