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Huge blazing fireball sighted in sky above Ireland

Thursday, 4 February 2010

A blazing fireball has been seen in the sky

A blazing fireball has been seen in the sky

Sightings of a fireball blazing across the sky were reported across Ireland yesterday evening.

Met Éireann said it spotted the object at around 6pm.

It is thought the fireball was a space rock travelling at a 100,000 miles per hour, or the equivalent of a small atomic bomb blast in the skies.

Astronomy Ireland said people in the north and south witnessed the spectacle.

David Moore, of Astronomy Ireland, said: "This is a huge event. A major explosion happened in the sky over Ireland.

"We think it’s a fireball, that’s a rock from space the earth has slammed into and they burn up as huge shooting stars. This one appears to have lit up the whole country.

"The phones here in Astronomy Ireland are going crazy. It was probably seen by thousands of people. If they contact us and tell us where they saw it, we will be able to triangulate their positions and find it within a couple of days."

Mr Moore said those who saw it were facing inland at the time which indicated it landed on ground and not at sea.

One man in Co Kildare who witnessed it said he thought it was an aeroplane coming out of the sky.

Valentia Coastguard said it received several calls ranging from Co Kerry, to the midlands and Northern Ireland over the sightings.

There are reports that the fireball landed in Co Cavan.

On Facebook NightSky.ie reported : "It was seen blazing in the air by people all over the country and would have been traveling with the force of a small nuclear weapon. It is likely it has landed inland, but it is unlikely to have injured anyone. Although traveling at high speed when it was spotted, it would have slowed as it hit the atmosphere."

The last time a meteorite hit Ireland was in 1999 and the rock was retrieved in Co Carlow.

It sold for 500 dollars per gram, and Astronomy Ireland is urging anyone with sightings to record it on their website, astronomyireland.ie.

Having broken away from a larger body, they can measure anything from a fraction of a millimetre to the size of a football pitch and bigger.

Do you have photos or video of the giant fireball? Email us at digital.editorial@belfasttelegraph.co.uk

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