Monday, October 3, 2022

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A giant fireball of space junk may have crashed into the ocean near Scotland

A massive fireball of what is believed to have been space junk erupted north of the British Isles on Wednesday and potentially crashed into the ocean off the coast of Scotland.

Videos posted on social media and on the website of the International Meteor Organization (IMO) show a luminous ball in the night sky over the north of the United Kingdom, emitting a greenish light and leaving behind a trail of debris.

The object appeared to be a fireball – a particularly bright type of meteor that burns intensely as it slams into Earth’s atmosphere from space, heated by air resistance.

“Not very often does a meteor pass your house,” wrote Twitter user Mark Rae who posted a clip from the town of Saltcoats, Scotland.

Other eyewitnesses shared their experiences on the IMO website, where more than 870 reports had been registered as of Thursday morning. Most had come from Scotland, although some people reported seeing the fiery object from parts of England, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

“Brightest and longest duration of a meteor I have ever seen,” wrote one person who said they saw the object from Ratho, Scotland.

“The pieces seemed to break off and follow the main fireball the whole time I saw it,” another eyewitness from Cardoness, Scotland reported. “After the break, their intensity increased. Many of the pieces that broke were green, but there were also yellow and orange pieces, like the main fireball.”

One person in Armagh, Northern Ireland even reported hearing what they described as “two very close bangs after seeing the fireball for a minute”.

However, instead of the object being a flaming space rock, the UK Meteor Network – a community of citizen scientists who operate a network of meteor-detecting cameras across the country – speculated that the object was in man-made fact.

“After reviewing numerous videos of last night’s fireball over Ireland, northern England and Scotland, we are of the opinion that it was space junk. “, said the group. tweeted September 15.

If so, it’s unclear what the space object might have been and where — or if — it might have landed. The UK Weather Network said the object “probably would have burned up in the atmosphere” before hitting land or sea.

However, the group also tweeted that if the object passed through the atmosphere, it would have landed in the Atlantic Ocean, south of the Hebrides archipelago, off the west coast of the Scottish mainland.

Space debris has made several headlines in 2022, with rocket pieces belonging to Elon Musk’s SpaceX company crashing into an Australian sheep farm in July and Chinese rocket debris raising concerns due to multiple uncontrolled deorbits This year.

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