Astronomy Ireland reports large fireball, asks photos

Astronomy Ireland reports large fireball, asks photos

According to Astronomy Ireland, a large fireball was seen streaking across the sky above Ireland around 17:15 UTC on November 23, 2016, creating sparks, a smoke trail and a bright flash said to be more intense than the full moon.

As of 17:00 UTC today, there is only one video of the event and AI is asking all who saw the meteor-like phenomenon to send written reports of their sighting, or check CCTV to see if was picked up.

The organization will then compile a likely location for where it may have landed and publish the details so that people interested in looking for it can mount a search.

Eyewitness reports mention bright blue color, big flash and a long tail.

"The tail stopped, but I could see it traveling with glowing orangey red ball even when the tail had gone. Over in seconds but FANTASTIC," one eyewitness said.

Another one said: "Hi Guys, just saw the largest meteor I've ever seen around 5.20 pm this evening north of Achill Island. Pieces were fragmenting from it as it approached the ground."

"This was a very bright meteor, known as a fireball, which was seen by sky watchers across Scotland, Northern Ireland, and northern England. The piece of space rock that burned up in our atmosphere, causing the fireball, was perhaps the size of a pebble," said Steve Owens, planetarium manager at Glasgow Science Centre.

In 1999 reports of a fireball led to fragments being discovered near Leighlinbridge in Co Carlow, which were sold online by collectors for large amounts of money, Astronomy Ireland said.

Meteorites found in Ireland in the past have proven to be hugely valuable selling for as much as 50 times the price of gold, and they are also considered scientifically valuable.

Featured image: Fireball over Ireland and UK, November 23, 2016. Credit: Brian MacGabhann

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