Sightings of meteor reported across the UK

 

Police forces across the UK have received numerous calls after a large fireball, thought to be a meteor, was spotted in the sky.

Reports of a “bright light” and an “orange glow” were received by police across Scotland and the north of England around 9.40pm yesterday.

The Met Office tweeted: “Hi All, for anyone seeing something in the night sky, we believe it was a meteorite.”

The Kielder Observatory also reported the sighting of a “huge fireball” travelling from north to south over Northumberland at 9.41pm.

The Observatory posted on Twitter: “Of 30 years observing the sky £fireball best thing I have ever seen period.”

Meteors are particles from space that burn up in a streak of light as they enter the Earth's atmosphere, whereas meteorites are larger objects that survive the trip and reach the surface of the Earth.

Dr David Whitehouse, an author and astronomer, said: “Judging by its brightness, it may have have been large enough to survive and hit the ground but until people work out its trajectory we won't have any idea where it might have come down.”

Dr Whitehouse said the object was about the size of a fist and was probably the debris of a planet that never properly formed.

“It's a chunk of rock that's probably come from somewhere between Mars and Jupiter has been in space for thousands of millions of years.

“There are 10s of thousands of bits of rock and grains of sand orbiting between Mars and Jupiter. Some of it comes out of that orbit and some of it hits the Earth.”

A spokesman for Strathclyde Police said the force had been “inundated” with calls about a bright object in the sky across the west of Scotland.

A Durham Police spokeswoman said a number of calls came in around 9.45pm from concerned members of public who had seen a “bright light or a fire in the sky” and believed it may have been incidents involving an aircraft.

“It has been confirmed with air traffic control that there are no incidents of aircraft in difficult and nothing registered on radar,” she said.

“The sightings are believed to be either an asteroid burning out or similar which has been restricted to the upper atmosphere only.”

Grampian Police said reports of people seeing a “flare or a bright object with a tail” were received from across the region.

And Dumfries and Galloway Constabulary said numerous calls were made about a “large ball of fire in the sky” across Annandale and Eskdale. One user wrote on the force's Facebook page: “It was awesome to see! Really big and bright!”

A force spokesman wrote on Facebook: “A number of reports have been received from the public reporting observing bright lights or what is described as a large ball of fire in the sky.

“Inquiry has confirmed that this is actually a low level meteor shower.”

Meanwhile, Lothian and Borders Police said it had received “quite a lot” of calls from members of the public.

Strathclyde Police and Central Scotland Police checked with air traffic control who confirmed there were no concerns and all aircraft was accounted for.

Coastguard also received calls from members of the public asking if a flare had been used. One call was made to the coastguard in Stornoway, with one person reporting seeing a flare in the sky.

Hundreds of people took to Twitter to report similar sightings across Scotland and the north of England.

People described seeing a bright fireball moving across the sky with a large tail.

Adrian West, of Meteorwatch, said he had seen reports of sightings from Scotland to Devon.

He said he spotted the meteor in Berkshire and believed it could have gone down in the English Channel or the Bay of Biscay.

Mr West told the BBC it was a "fireball flying from north to south", that was "very bright in the sky" and lasted for a few seconds.

He said: "It had a very bright orange nucleus and a green tail.

"It was seen by hundreds, maybe thousands of people."

PA

Suggested Topics
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooks
ebooksA celebration of British elections
Arts and Entertainment
Kanye West, performing in New York last week, has been the subject of controversy as rock's traditional headline slot at Glastonbury is lost once again
music
Arts and Entertainment
The Ridiculous Six has been produced by Adam Sandler, who also stars in it
filmNew controversy after nine Native American actors walked off set
Life and Style
Google celebrates Bartolomeo Cristofori's 360th birthday
techGoogle Doodle to the rescue
Life and Style
Drinking - often heavily - is a running theme throughout HBO's Game of Thrones adaptation
food + drink
News
people
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Senior Digital Marketing Consultant

£28000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Senior Digital Marketing Cons...

Recruitment Genius: Assistant Stores Keeper

£16640 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An Assistant Stores Keeper is r...

Recruitment Genius: Claims Administrator

£16000 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an excellent opportunit...

Recruitment Genius: Software Developer - C# / ASP.NET / SQL

£17000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Developer required to join a bu...

Day In a Page

Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

Everyone is talking about The Trews

Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living