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Meteor spotted by hundreds crashed into sea after flying over Wales

16 Sep 2022 3 minute read
Screen grab from a video taken with permission from the Facebook feed of Stephen Wall of the fireball. PA Wire

In the middle ages, the appearance of a mysterious green ball of light shooting through the sky after the ascension of a new King might be interpreted as a portent of doom.

But in 2022 scientists have a perfectly rational explanation for the bright light spotted by hundreds in the sky on Wednesday.

The meteor streaked across Wales at 8,832mph and crashed into the sky to the north of Northern Ireland, covering 200 miles in around 20 seconds, they said.

Despite flying over Pontrhydfeindigaid, Criccieth and Holyhead, no one in Wales seems to have spotted the object which only became visible as it shot towards Northern Ireland.

It was then seen by over 1,000 people in locations as far apart as Edinburgh, Dublin and Belfast as it burnt up over the atmosphere.

The UK Meteor Network map of the meteor’s trajectory

There had been speculation at first that it may have been space junk but the UK Meteor Network eventually confirmed it as a meteor.

“The fireball over Northern Ireland and Scotland last night was definitely a meteor,” they said. “The fireball observed yesterday, September 14 at 20:59:40 UT (9:59pm) above the UK lasted over 20 seconds and travelled north west, passing directly over Belfast.

“The end was not observed by our cameras, but it definitely ended over the north Atlantic Ocean some 50-100km west of the Isle of Islay.”

Steve Owens, an astronomer and science communicator at the Glasgow Science Centre, said that he spotted the meteor as it flew over.

He told BBC Radio Scotland’s Good Morning Scotland programme: “It was incredible. I was sitting in my living room at exactly 10 o’clock last night and saw out of the window, due south, this brilliant fireball, this meteor streaking across the sky, and I could tell that it was something special because I could see through broken cloud.

“It wasn’t perfectly visible; I could see that it was fragmenting, breaking apart, there were little bits coming off it.

“Normally, if you see a meteor or a shooting star, they are just tiny little streaks of light, they last for a fraction of a second. This one was streaking across the sky for at least 10 seconds – probably longer than that – and it travelled from due south all the way across to the west, so it was a pretty incredible sight.”

Danny Nell, 21, was walking his dog in Johnstone, near Glasgow, when he saw the fireball.

He told the PA news agency: “It was strangely enough 10pm on the dot, and I just saw the flash in the sky and pulled out my phone and recorded it.

“I thought it may be a firework at first because there was a lot of Scottish football on, but quickly realised it wasn’t and just grabbed my phone to see if I could catch it.”

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Cathy Jones
Cathy Jones
1 year ago

To be honest, despite being an amateur enjoyer of physics and cosmology, I am inclined to side with the medieval peoples on this one….

Cathy Jones
Cathy Jones
1 year ago

“The third angel blew his trumpet, and a great star fell from heaven, blazing like a torch, and it fell on a third of the rivers and on the springs of water. The name of the star is Wormwood. A third of the waters became wormwood, and many people died from the water, because it had been made bitter.” But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving… Read more »

1 year ago

It’s a sign. We need to proclaim a new Prince and start a campaign for our independence.

Kenneth Vivian
Kenneth Vivian
1 year ago
Reply to  Dafydd

A new Prince resulted after a few Welsh men routed the English in 1485 – much good did it do! King Arthur was destined not to be and Wales was absorbed by its bullying
larger neighbour.

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