Northern Ireland

'Fireball' lights up NI sky

Artist's impression of a meteorite fall
Image caption An artist's impression of a meteorite fall

A fireball was spotted in the skies over Northern Ireland on Sunday evening, Armagh Observatory has said.

A spokesman said they had been "inundated "with calls about an object in the sky which was on fire.

A caller from Coleraine said the object burned bright yellow and orange and had a long tail.

A caller from County Down said it was a ball of fire.

The Observatory spokesman said it was probably a piece of space debris, either man-made "space junk" or a small asteroid or fragment of a comet, entering the Earth's atmosphere at many kilometres a second.

It may well have finally burned up over the North Atlantic Ocean off the Donegal coast.

Reports of the fireball can be viewed as a link from the Armagh Observatory website.

The Armagh Observatory has appealed to anyone operating north-pointing CCTV cameras to inspect video footage recorded between approximately 1730 GMT and 1800 GMT on Sunday 28 November.

"If enough video footage from different parts of Northern Ireland is found, then it may be possible to determine the nature and origin of the impacting object," the spokesman said.

Experts may then be able to establish what the object's original orbit in the solar system might have been and whether it was part of a previously known meteor shower.

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