KEY POINTS

  • A bright meteor brightened up the night sky across the U.K. on Sunday
  • Many captured the potentially "record-breaking" event on camera
  • According to experts, some meteorite fragments may have reached the ground

Many witnessed the incredible fireball event that lit up the U.K. night sky on Sunday. According to experts, the "record-breaking" event may have even dropped some meteorites on the ground.

On Sunday, just before 10 p.m., thousands of people in the U.K. saw a bright flash of light streak across the sky. Many of them even reported hearing a sonic boom or a rumbling noise along with the bright light, the U.K. Meteor Network (Ukmon) said in a statement.

According to the organization, it quickly received close to 800 reports of the event, some of which came with videos captured by doorbells and dashboard cameras.

Ukmon's own Wilcot camera also captured the event.

The American Meteor Society (AMS) also received videos of the event. One of them, which appears to be captured by a doorbell camera, also shows the bright fireball streaking across the sky over the houses and brightening up before fading.

In a statement, the U.K. Fireball Alliance (UKFall) called the event "record-breaking" as it could break the world's record for being the most reported meteor event on the International Meteor Society's website. So far, the organization has received over 900 reports.

Raining Down Meteorite Pieces

So what was it that dazzled thousands of people? According to UKFall, it was likely a piece of asteroid that entered the Earth's atmosphere.

"The videos allowed us to reconstruct its orbit around the sun. In this case, the orbit was like an asteroid's," Dr. Ashley King of UKFall and the Natural History Museum explained, noting that its speed makes it unlikely to be space junk. "This particular piece of asteroid spent most of its orbit between Mars and Jupiter, though sometimes it got closer to the sun than Earth is."

What's more, the experts also noted the possibility that it may have dropped pieces of a meteorite on the ground. As the University of Glasgow's Dr. Luke Daly explained, most of the meteoroid likely "vaporized" but parts of it may have survived and reached the ground.

The Ukmon advises the public against searching for its fragments since the national lockdown is still in place, but locals who spot the fragments are encouraged to contact the organization or the National History Museum.

"If you do find a meteorite on the ground, ideally photograph it in place, note the location using your phone GPS, don't touch it with a magnet, and, if you can, avoid touching it with your hands," Dr. Katherine Joy of the University of Manchester advised. "Pick it up in a clean bag or aluminum foil if possible!"

Fireball Event #195517
Pictured: A Fireball event over Tucson, Arizona. Eliot H./American Meteor Society (www.amsmeteors.org)
MEET IBT NEWS FROM BELOW CHANNELS

© Copyright IBTimes 2022. All rights reserved.