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‘Huge Flash’ As Fireball Explodes And Lights Up Sky Above UK

by : Emily Brown on : 01 Mar 2021 10:03
'Huge Flash' As Fireball Explodes And Lights Up Sky Above UKUK Meteor Network

UK residents joked about the arrival of aliens and sightings of Superman after a meteor blazed across the night sky with a huge flash.

The fiery space matter brought February to a dramatic, spectacular end as it was spotted in the skies above Manchester, Cardiff, Bath, Honiton, Midsomer Norton and Milton Keynes shortly before 10pm last night.

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Described as a fireball by the UK Meteor Network, the bright object was visible for around seven seconds, during which time it was captured on doorbell and security cameras across the country.

The UK Meteor Network is a group of amateur photographers that has been using cameras to record meteor sightings since 2012. In a post on Twitter, the organisation wrote: ‘From the two videos we saw it was a slow moving meteor with clearly visible fragmentation.’

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Meteors comes from meteoroids, which are ‘space rocks’ that ‘range in size from dust grains to small asteroids’, NASA explains. When meteoroids enter Earth’s atmosphere at high speed, they burn up and produce the fireballs or ‘shooting stars’ we call meteors.

If a meteoroid manages to survive the trip through the atmosphere and hits the ground, it’s called a meteorite.

The American Meteor Society (AMS) says that fireballs are generally a magnitude -4; the same brightness as the planet Venus when seen in the evening or morning. A full moon has a magnitude of -12.6, while the sun is -26.7.

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The AMS notes that brighter fireballs are more rare, with experienced observers only likely to see about one fireball of magnitude -6 or better for every 200 hours of meteor observing. A fireball of magnitude -4, on the other hand, can be expected about once every 20 hours or so.

It wasn’t long after the meteor flashed through the sky that Twitter users started to speculate about its appearance, with one writing: ‘So a massive fiery meteor just flew over my house in Cardiff probably carrying alien pods and this is the end of days.’

Another joked: ‘I didn’t see that #meteor this evening, but I would advise staying away from any large walking plants tomorrow…’

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A third noted that ‘someone on twitter offered any aliens an English breakfast’, and decided to up the offer to a ‘fresh baked almost croissant.’

They added: ‘unless they are silicone based aliens, in which case i can offer a silicone oven glove.’

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On the off chance any aliens did arrive into the country last night, let’s just hope they’re friendly ones who enjoy freshly baked croissants.

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Emily Brown

Emily Brown first began delivering important news stories aged just 13, when she launched her career with a paper round. She graduated with a BA Hons in English Language in the Media from Lancaster University, and went on to become a freelance writer and blogger. Emily contributed to The Sunday Times Travel Magazine and Student Problems before becoming a journalist at UNILAD, where she works on breaking news as well as longer form features.

Topics: Life, Alien, Astronomy, meteor, Sky, UK

Credits

UKMeteorNetwork/Twitter
  1. UKMeteorNetwork/Twitter

    @UKMeteorNetwork