At around 23:00 BST on September 21st, following a very entertaining meeting of the York AS, around a dozen members found themselves at the observatory, being treated to a spectacular show.
What started as a very bright green dot in the eastern sky, became an orange coloured fireball with many pieces breaking away from it. It travelled across the northern part of the sky and eventually faded away well over to the west. In all it probably took over a minute to complete its show.
Despite what is being reported on the BBC news shows, this was NOT a “Meteor Shower”. A meteor shower is made up of a number of smaller particles that become meteors (shooting stars) over a period of hours.
This was a Fireball. It was one object that broke up in to many bits as it entered the Earth’s atmosphere. The fact that there were different colours on display suggest a melange of different elements being burned up. This means that it could have either been a meteoroid from the depths of space, or a simple piece of man-made space debris that re-entered.
I’m sure that lots of footage will appear across the internet in the next few days. Look out for it.