April 6, 2009
Experts Hope Security Cameras Captured Fireball
A massive fireball that shot over the skies of Northern Ireland on Sunday may finally be explained due to some security cameras that may have captured the event, BBC News reported.
People living as far apart as Donegal and Cork reported seeing a shooting star blazing across the skies around 1230 BST."We're fairly certain it was a rock from space which could have landed somewhere in Ireland," said David Moore chairman of Astronomy Ireland.
Astronomers and sky watchers are hoping to hear from anyone in the area who has footage of what is suspected to be a falling meteor.
Moore said they were fairly certain that it was a meteor from space that may have dropped a meteorite.
"We are asking people to send in their reports, so we can triangulate on the path and figure out if it landed on Ireland?"
Astronomers haven't witnessed a meteorite in the area since 1999. Before that, it had been 30 years since a similar event had occurred over the skies of Northern Ireland.
Moore said the recent incident only lasted a few seconds and no pictures had yet come to light. However, he said security cameras often captured such explosions in the sky.
"What can happen is security cameras that are filming in car parks or outdoors can catch these shooting stars, these fireballs, accidentally," he said.
Needless to say, Moore said they would be delighted if anybody has any footage of the event.
He said the meteorite likely came from the west across the center of Ireland, where "everybody would have seen it".
"We have reports from Cork and even from up as far as Donegal," he added, suggesting that security cameras in Northern Ireland facing towards the south probably would have captured the event.
Witnesses to the shooting star are being encouraged to contact the Astronomy Ireland website at www.astronomy.ie.
Moore said they will soon publish an official report about the meteorite on the website and they will predict where any meteorite might have fallen, as they did with the Carlow meteorite in 1999"”where a lady found the meteorite in a small country lane.
He said the meteorites typically look like melted rocks and are often not very large.
"We are looking for objects that would fit, in that particular case, in a mug. But they could be larger," he said.