Around 120 people reported seeing the burning ball of space rock in the skies; the meteor appeared to be visible across much of the UK
A meteor lit up the sky over the United Kingdom on Sunday night, wowing amateur stargazers who were lucky enough to be able to see the astral phenomenon.
Described as being a “fireball” by the UK Meteor Network, it had been spotted on peoples’ cameras across the nation falling slowly to the ground, with what has appeared to be parts of debris falling away from the object.
It was seen on Sunday at around 9.55pm, according to the network of British meteor watchers, with around 120 sightings having been reported from as far north as Scotland to as far south as Somerset.
This come after airlines have said that they have already seen a surge in holiday bookings following the PM’s announcement of the road map out of the nationwide lockdown. On Holiday bookings, the Prime Minister has said that a global travel taskforce would put forward a report on how to return to international travel on the 12th of April.
One Twitter user wrote: “Anyone else see the #meteor burn up over the UK just before 10pm tonight? I first thought it was a bright star or plane, then it got bigger & faster, then a huge flash lit up the sky & it burst into a massive tail of orange sparks trailing behind like a giant firework! So cool!”.
Some have even reported hearing a boom-like noise echoing through the sky as the meteor passed over.
Meteors are balls of rock from outer space that burn up when they enter the earth’s atmosphere. The UK Meteor Network has said that the fireballs are often a lot brighter than normal meteors are and usually have a magnitude of -4 -, which is similar to that of the planet Venus.
In comparison, the moon has a magnitude of -12.6 and the sun has a magnitude of -26.7, meaning that the brighter the object, the lower the magnitude number.
Although meteors form outer space fall upon the planet every day, the vast majority of them plummet into the sea, or upon inhabited land. The UK Meteor Network records about half a dozen meteors falling in the country a year.
Dozens of meteor sighting reports were made on social media platforms, with many people sharing their own video footage of the fireball from their doorbell and dashboard cameras.
This comes after businesses have welcomed news that the non-essential retail sector could reopen as soon as the 12th of April. The announcement was made by Prime Minister Boris Johnson in the House of Commons, as he outlined his roadmap for England’s way out of lockdown.
One social media user from Somerset said that it sounded like an explosion, saying they “had the patio doors open, with the curtains closed over them.”
“Was a very soft, muffled thud, followed by the heavy curtains blowing inwards, albeit very gently.”
Another person in Streatham, in south London, said: “I saw 2 flashes as I was doing the dishes in SW16 then a green liked [sic] streaked back and forth at my window. I thought someone was targeting me with a laser and I ran out of the kitchen and turned off the light. Terrified.”
It is unclear as to where this rock from space landed, but people across the country have reported spotting fragments of the meteor in their gardens in the west of England.