Huge fireball seen in sky over Ireland

 

A MASSIVE fireball was seen right across Ireland last night which may be “one of the best ever seen” in Europe and was a “huge event”, according to Astronomy Ireland.

The trail of fragments passed across the sky at about 10.55pm with sightings reported from Dublin, Donegal, Cork, Sligo, Carlow, Longford, Antrim and across Britain and as far away as as The Netherlands.

It was “very unusual to see it in multiple countries,” David Moore of Astronomy Ireland said.

“I’ve never seen one fragmented like that and streaked across the sky,” he said. The fireball later exploded into fragments.

Mr Moore said the cause of the fireball was not yet clear. “It is a piece of space debris, but whether it is man made or natural is not known,” he said.

He said it was too slow for natural debris and was going the wrong direction for man-made debris. “It is probably a space rock that has skidded across the atmosphere.” Meteorites will have been dropped “but whether they landed in Ireland or at sea we will have to figure out”, he said.

Witnesses described a trail of seven to 12 fireballs in a straight line across the sky. No sound was to be heard either by witnesses in the city or the countryside.

Kielder Observatory in Britain last night reported a sighting of a “huge fireball” .

Mr Moore asked for witnesses to submit a fireball report to the Astronomy Ireland website

“This will help us to triangulate the path,” he said. Twitter and Facebook filled with reports of the strange sightings last night, with meteor trending on Twitter in Ireland.

“Spotted what looked like about eight fireballs travelling east to west over the M1 at Santry, Dublin at 10.56pm. Amazing,” wrote one tweeter last night. The Irish Coast Guard had reports from the north coast right down the east coast.

Reports of fireball sightings can be made on Astronomy Ireland’s website, astronomy.ie.