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Meteor seen over Spalding and Cowbit at dawn on Sunday, UK observation group confirms




If you were driving between Spalding and Crowland on Sunday morning, you may have gone through a "what was that?" moment.

Graham Emery, of Weston Hills, was driving on the A16 bypass at about 5.50am when he saw what looked like "a bright fireball coming down from the sky".

It was a "blink and you’ll miss it" moment for Mr Emery, as well as an estimated 180 other witnesses across England who notified police and coastguard about what they saw, according to the UK Meteor Observation Network (UKMON).

The UK Meteor Observation Network captured this image of a 'bright fireball', as seen over Cowbit on Sunday.Photo supplied. (16378628)
The UK Meteor Observation Network captured this image of a 'bright fireball', as seen over Cowbit on Sunday.Photo supplied. (16378628)

Mr Emery said: "I was heading towards Cowbit from Spalding on the A16 when I saw a meteor travelling east to west, from Crowland towards Market Deeping.

"It was like a bright fireball coming down from the sky and then it broke into two or three pieces, all of which were like bits of light that just burned out.

"So I looked up to see if there was anything else coming down and there were just bits falling from the sky.

A 'very, very slow-moving' meteor was reported over Cowbit on Sunday morning. Photo supplied by UK Meteor Observation Network.
A 'very, very slow-moving' meteor was reported over Cowbit on Sunday morning. Photo supplied by UK Meteor Observation Network.

"The meteor wasn’t in the sky for very long, but I just happened to be facing it and when I saw it, I thought "What was that?'"

Richard Kacerek, of UKMON, said: "We are a group of amateur astronomers who have created a network that detects meteors.

"We recorded what seemed to be an exceptionally slow-moving, but bright meteor which came across from the coast of France.

"There were at least 180 reports of it on Sunday morning and we managed to capture it on camera.

The UK Meteor Observation Network responded after various reports of a fireball meteor that was seen over the English Channel at around 5.45am. At around 9am on Sunday.Photo supplied. (16379353)
The UK Meteor Observation Network responded after various reports of a fireball meteor that was seen over the English Channel at around 5.45am. At around 9am on Sunday.Photo supplied. (16379353)

"Then we analysed the footage of the meteor, which was very, very slow-moving, and there was clear, visible fragmentation of the meteor where a piece of the space rock had separated from the main body.

"It was certainly unusual by the speed of the meteor alone and there were no explosions or sudden brightness, just a slow-moving object which people saw fragmentations of falling from the sky.

"That's why some people who saw it thought it was a plane."


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