Fireball Over Northern Ireland May Be On CCTV

On Sunday evening, 28th November, the Armagh Observatory was inundated with reports from people who had seen a bright meteor or fireball. The object moved from east to west, first appearing low in the east or northeast, and then moving low over the northern horizon and disappearing in the west or northwest. During this time, which lasted a number of seconds, it appeared to emit flames and debris of different colours. The event was most likely caused by a piece of space debris, either manmade "space junk" or a small asteroid or fragment of a comet, entering the Earth's atmosphere at many kilometres a second, and it may well have finally burned up over the North Atlantic Ocean off the Donegal Coast.

Reports of the fireball can be viewed as a link from the Armagh Observatory website. Due to its apparently low altitude, generally towards the northern horizon as seen from Armagh, it is very likely that the event will have been recorded by security or CCTV cameras pointed due North. The Armagh Observatory would like to thank those who have so far reported observations of this event, and encourage any businesses and others who may operate north-pointing CCTV cameras to inspect any video footage recorded between approximately 17:30 and 18:00 on Sunday 28th November.

Should they find something that fits the description above, they should contact the Armagh Observatory, who will be very interested to see the resulting video material. If enough video footage from different parts of Northern Ireland is found, then it may be possible to determine the nature and origin of the impacting object, for example what its original orbit in the solar system might have been and whether it was part of a previously known meteor shower.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT: Tolis Christou or John McFarland at the Armagh Observatory, College Hill, Armagh, BT61 9DG; Tel: 028-3752-2928; aacat signarm.ac.uk and jmfat signarm.ac.uk; URL: See the reports for this fireball

Last Revised: 2010 November 29th