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'Fireball' spotted in skies above Northern Ireland could spark meteorite hunt


The fireball could have been a meteor

The fireball could have been a meteor

The fireball could have been a meteor

A "fireball as bright as the moon" spotted in the skies above Northern Ireland last night could spark a meteorite hunt, according to reports.

Irish Astronomical Association president Terry Moseley said the sighting was reported at around 5.30pm by a member who works at the Met Office in Co Antrim.

He speculated that the object could have been part of an asteroid burning up in the Earth's atmosphere.

Mr Moseley told BBC Radio Ulster the meteorologist who reported it was out observing with a group of students who all saw it.

"He described it as 'bright as the moon' which is really remarkably bright. I've seen many ones, but never one as bright as that myself," he said.

David Moore of Astronomy Ireland said the object could have been an asteroid that may have survived the descent through the atmosphere.

"Some of the reports are saying it was 'brighter than the full moon' and that's positive, because it indicates it may be able to survive the burning-up entry process," Mr Moore told The Journal.

Belfast Telegraph