Social media and the night sky in the United Kingdom (UK) were ablaze with reported sightings of a meteor, or fireball, at approximately 22:00 BST on Wednesday night, 14 September.
‘METEOR’ CAPTIVATES THE UK
According to BBC News, scientists are using the video footage of the flying object to determine whether it was a meteor or space junk. Experts believe the object may have landed in the Atlantic Ocean south of the Hebrides.
Space rocks that enter Earth’s atmosphere are called meteors – the bits of the rock that reach the planet’s surface are called meteorites. And, manmade objects that re-enter the atmosphere from orbit are called space junk.
There were nearly 800 eyewitness reports of the “meteor”, according to the International Meteor Organization. Most of the sightings were reported in central Scotland and even reached as far south as London.
The UK Meteor Network asked Elon Musk, perhaps jokingly, if the object was space junk related to his SpaceX program on Twitter.
“If you have a look at those videos you can see it’s breaking up all the time, there are little bits coming off it, which indicates that it is quite a fragile structure and so, combined, these three suggests that maybe it is a little bit of space debris,” said Dr Jenifer Millard to BBC Scotland.
Millard said the colour and slow speed of the fireball suggested that it was space junk.
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