Biggest meteor recorded in the UK lights up skies above Devon

 

This is the moment a huge meteor burned through the skies above Devon in the early hours of Monday morning.

The fireball was captured on camera by the Norman Lockyer Observatory in Sidmouth at 03.04am BST.

Eyewitness saw the “bolide” meteor light up the atmosphere in what was the biggest explosion ever recorded by the observatory.

Dave Jones of the UK Meteor Observation Network (UKMON) told the Mail Online: “We have two cameras that watch for meteors during darkness, so upon hearing the news I logged in to check our data and see if we had captured anything.

“Fortunately the meteor passed in front of both of our cameras so we ended up with two videos of the same event.”

He added: “Due to cloud and raindrops on the camera lenses the image was not as clear as we would like, however the sheer size and brightness of this object burning up in our atmosphere almost overwhelmed our cameras as it was so bright.”

According to reports, the meteor appeared green in colour as it streaked across western parts of the UK.

No damage was caused by the shooting star, which is believed to have broken up upon entering the Earth’s atmosphere.

But meteors pose a constant threat to life on Earth. In February last year, a meteor that exploded over the Siberian city of Chelyabinsk in February released more than 30 times the explosive energy of the Hiroshima bomb, scientists found.

Professor Qing-Zhu Yin of the University of California, Davis, said: “If humanity does not want to go the way of the dinosaurs, we need to study an event like this in detail. Chelyabinsk serves as a unique calibration point for high-energy meteorite impact events for our future studies.”

Source –  The Independent,  01 July 2014

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