Scotland meteor: 'Bright flash' lights up skies above Aberdeen and Inverness

'The light was flickering and in a blue-green colour. After about three to five minutes, I could hear two explosions'

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The Independent Online

Residents in Scotland have been intrigued by a mysterious bright flash that lit up the skies over Aberdeen and Inverness on Monday evening.

The phenomenon was described as a "huge flash of bright blue light" by one local resident, and others reported that it was accompanied by a loud sound.

Seen at around 6:45pm on Monday, there was speculation it could have been a sonic boom. However the majority of people believe it was a meteor breaking up in the atmosphere.

Police Scotland said they received numerous calls from residents reporting the sighting. Although they were unable to confirm what it was, they ruled out an aircraft being in distress.

Bill Addison, from Moray, told The Independent about the moment he spotted the flash: "I was driving in my car from Cullen to Buckie in Moray, just before the village of Arradoul and there was a huge flash of bright blue light, followed by the meteor falling from the sky."

Other people took to social media to describe the sighting. On Facebook, Mark Dammer said: "I noticed the sky suddenly lighting up extremely bright for a few seconds."

"The light was flickering and in a blue-green colour. After about three to five minutes, I could hear two explosions. It sounded like a very low frequency rumble coming from a great distance."

On Twitter, Strathspey resident John Poyner suggested the phenomenon could have been a small asteroid breaking up.

Garry Hunter described it to BBC Scotland as “a huge fireball-like trail across the sky”. He added that it seemed to “explode and light up the whole sky”. 

Sean Batty, a weather forecaster for STV, said he had received tweets from residents located in the north and east of the country, "with people reporting a loud bang and a large flash in the sky".

"There are no thunderstorms being reported anywhere in Scotland [on Monday evening], therefore this is not due to a flash of lightning. My only conclusion would be that this is indeed a meteor which has burned up and exploded during entry into our upper atmosphere."

Lee Schofield, from the Highland and Islands weather group, told The Independent: "It was most probably a meteorite which came into the earth's atmosphere - it is unusual for them to come so close to earth as this one did."

"The noise that people heard was it breaking up as it entered our atmosphere. Here in Carrbridge we saw it very clearly as a bright blue light for three or four seconds at 6.45pm followed by a distinct burning smell in the air for a few minutes after.

He added that it was "a very interesting event, one I have not witnessed in my 42 years".