Planetary scientists are racing to determine the origin of a vibrant fireball seen over components of the UK on 14 September – the proof to this point factors to it being area junk somewhat than a meteor


15 September 2022

The fireball seen in the UK on 14 September

The fireball seen in lots of components of the UK on the eveing of 14 September

UK Meteor Community/Twitter

Planetary scientists are working to determine the origin of a vibrant fireball seen over Scotland, Northern Eire and northern England on the night of 14 September.

The spectacular occasion, at about 10:00pm native time, was caught in quite a few movies on social media, which confirmed a blinding whitish-green gentle transferring at pace throughout the sky, in some instances with a path of glowing materials behind it.

On the time of writing, round 900 eyewitness accounts had been submitted to a global catalogue of fireball occasions maintained by the American Meteor Society and the Worldwide Meteor Group. Some observers even reported listening to a “rumble” following the occasion, which preliminary evaluation suggests occurred over a area close to the islands of Islay and Arran.

It isn’t but clear if the fireball was the results of a meteoroid – a pure area rock – getting into Earth’s environment and turning into a meteor or the re-entry of a bit of particles from human area exercise, though early proof does level to the latter.

“There’s a moderately excessive probability that that is area junk, sadly. [The fireball] had a really shallow entry angle, a considerable quantity of fragmentation, which is typical of area junk and it appears to be like slowish, area rocks are typically a bit sooner. Nonetheless, we’re nonetheless crunching the numbers to get an excellent estimate on the rate which is able to inform us for positive whether or not that is area rock or area not,” says Luke Daly, a planetary scientist on the College of Glasgow, UK, and member of the UK Fireball Alliance.

“Meteors sometimes enter the environment at very excessive speeds, 75 to 80 thousand miles per hour,” says John Maclean on the UK Meteor Community, whose cameras additionally captured the phenomenon. This is able to equate to between about 121 and 129 kilometres per hour. “House junk could be a lot slower at possibly 25 to 30 thousand miles per hour relying on the unique orbit velocity.”

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