Page last updated at 08:49 GMT, Monday, 6 April 2009 09:49 UK

Security cameras clue to fireball

Meteors. Pic: AP/The Fayetteville Observer
The light in the sky is thought to have been a shooting star

Security cameras in Northern Ireland may shed some light on the cause of a massive fireball in the sky on Sunday.

The shooting star was reported at about 0030 BST by people living as far apart as Donegal and Cork.

David Moore chairman of Astronomy Ireland said they were fairly certain it was a rock from space which could have landed somewhere in Ireland.

He said they were very keen to hear from anyone who has footage of what is suspected to be a meteor falling.

"We're fairly certain that it was a rock from space, a meteor which may have dropped a meteorite," he said.

"We are asking people to send in their reports, so we can triangulate on the path and figure out did it land on Ireland?"

The last time a meteor was seen over Ireland was in 1999 over Carlow and there was a similar event over the skies of Northern Ireland 30 years earlier.

Mr Moore said that no pictures had yet come to light of the incident, as it only lasted a few seconds.

But, he said, security cameras often captured such explosions in the sky.

"What can happen is security cameras that are filming in car parks or outdoors can catch these shooting stars, these fireballs, accidentally. So if anybody has any footage of that, we would be delighted to see it.

"We think...it came from the west across the centre of Ireland, which means everybody would have seen it. We have reports from Cork and even from up as far as Donegal."

He said security cameras in Northern Ireland facing towards the south probably would have picked it up.

Anyone who saw it is asked to contact the Astronomy Ireland website on www.astronomy.ie.

"We will publish a report there in a few days," said Mr Moore.

"We will also predict where any meteorite might have fallen, as we did with Carlow in 1999. A lady found the meteorite in a small country lane.

"They will look like melted rocks, probably not very large. We are looking for objects that would fit, in that particular case, in a mug. But they could be larger."



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