Norfolk astronomer suspects ‘meteor’ was space junk
15:50 23 September 2012
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The bright object seen above Norwich on Friday night is unlikely to have been a meteor, according to a Norfolk-based astronomer.
The bright object seen above Norwich on Friday night was probably ‘space junk’ rather than a meteor, according to a Norfolk-based astronomer.
Readers contacted the Norwich Evening News from the city centre, Thorpe St Andrew, Costessey and across Norfolk, describing a green-coloured light in the sky, with two smaller fragments behind it, at around 11pm.
But Diss-based Mark Thompson, (pictured), presenter of Stargazing Live, said the fireball was probably a chunk of space debris, known as space junk.
He said that the different colours described by observers on Twitter and on the Norwich Evening News website are not characteristic of a meteor, which is normally a white-ish colour.
He said the space junk, which are pieces of man-made material such as satellites, would have exploded in mid-air over the Atlantic.
But, he added: “It was nice that people had a chance to see it.”
But people from across the region were still excited and curious about what they saw.
Sarah Macdonald sent in a photograph taken over Bacton and Mundesley which shows the bright sight she saw. Christine Oliver from Thorpe St Andrew contacted the Norwich Evening News to say she thought the sight was a UFO, and she added “I’ve never seen anything like it”.
And Costessey-based Ellie Proudfoot and Nick Williams said they were in the car on the Norwich Road at around 10.50pm when they say a “green-ish gold ball of fire in the sky”.
And on our website one user, norwichred, said they were at the Earlham Road and Unthank Road junction: “I thought I was going mad as a passenger in a car coming towards Chapel Field roundabout, and it passed overhead.”
Some Tweeters dubbed the bright light Canary’s Comet because of its vivid green colour, but experts have also ruled out the possibility of it being a comet.