Huge fireball spotted over Norfolk
08:50 22 September 2012
A huge fireball which was spotted travelling over Norfolk last night might have been a meteor or ‘space junk’, according to experts.
Readers contacted us last night to report a very bright light flying east to west just before 11pm.
There were reports from Fakenham, Weasenham, Surlingham, Dereham, Blakeney, Saxlingham Thorpe and near Holt, with witnesses describing it as green-coloured, with two smaller fragments behind it.
Neville Manley, of Weasenham, said: “It started off as a bright white light and then as it was flying the trailing bits appeared to be on fire.
“We have all seen shooting stars but this was really big. We expected to see it hit the ground and hear a big bang. It was really close.”
Colin Brown emailed us to say: “Have just seen a very bright light flying west over Surlingham
“There were also two smaller fragments following. It was bright enough to illuminate the clouds around it.
“It was faster than a plane but slower than a shooting star. I have never seen anything like it and I’m 48.”
Sarah MacDonald wrote: “We are in Bodham near Holt and have just seen what looked like a cluster of green lights flying over.
“It was massive, looked like it was disintegrating in the sky, breaking up with orange lights following, much bigger than an aeroplane.
“It looked like it was coming from Sheringham towards Holt, very weird never witnessed anything like it!”
Maria Clancy, from Saxlingham Thorpe, said: “At 10.45pm, I stood on my doorstep saying goodbye to a friend. In the sky we spotted at bright green light passing in an anti-clockwise direction followed by a trail of small lights. It wasn’t a plane and this mysterious object was travelling at a high speed.”
The fireball was also observed elsewhere in the country, with reports from Leeds, Preston and Newcastle.
Staff at the Kielder Observatory in Northumberland, taking to social media website Twitter to discuss what they described as “a huge fireball” and “an incredible object”.
The observatory tweeted: “This was big, trajectory went from east, south east and headed to the west, broke up over west coast, many fragments.
“Many many fragments, maybe in excess of 100 pieces started green went yellow, no sound but long obvious termination lasted 20-30 seconds.”
The observatory said it could have been a meteor, or possibly space junk, such as a satellite burning up as it enters the atmosphere.
Mary-Ann Knee, from Dereham, said: “Strangely we saw this exact thing on Wednesday night. We came home and searched the news to see if anyone had reported it.”
Did you see the fireball? And did you get a photograph or video of it? If so, email reporter Rosa McMahon on firstname.lastname@example.org