Ian O’Brien, a doctoral student at the University of Glasgow and a member of the UK’s Fireball Alliance, which tracks meteor sightings, said it was not clear if it was a meteorite or a piece of space debris. The fireball was visible in the sky for 10 to 20 seconds – an unusually long amount of time for a meteor – but the way the object splintered in the night sky suggests it’s a space rock.
“It has the characteristics of both,” O’Brien said. “We have people processing the shots and setting its course.” “At the moment, we can only guess. Either way it was an amazing event.”
The fireball was spotted around 10 p.m. local time on Wednesday. O’Brien said the relatively early hour, plus a clear night sky, meant that many people saw the fireball even in built-up areas like Glasgow. Many of those lucky enough to spot the fireball have shared videos on their mobile phone and door camera on social media.
The trajectory of the fireball suggested that it passed over the Northern Channel, which separates Scotland and Northern Ireland, and ended its journey somewhere over the island of Islay off the west coast of Scotland.
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