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Last Updated: Saturday, 4 October, 2003, 14:23 GMT 15:23 UK
Scientists examine meteor snap
The meteor as captured by Jonathan Burnett
The meteor was captured in south Wales
Space experts are examining an unusual photograph taken by a Bridgend teenager which appears to show a meteor burning out above his home town.

Jonathan Burnett, 15, has impressed experts at US space agency Nasa with his image of the fiery ball.

He took two photographs of the bright light after it caught his attention while playing with friends.

However, whilst experts at the Spaceguard Centre in Knighton, Powys are "convinced it's not a hoax", they do think there could be another explanation to the so called meteor.

"Opinion is divided at the moment and there are one or two questions which need to be answered," said Jay Tate from the centre, where studies into asteroids and comets are carried out.

"I'm convinced it's not a hoax....I'm less convinced that it's a meteor.

"There are a number of other things it could be including the sun reflecting off an aircraft, a fuel dump being ignited, there's a number of things."

Jonathan Burnett
Jonathan Burnett has hit the headlines

Staff at the centre are putting in calls to the Royal Air Force to see if they can offer an explanation on what the bright light captured by Jonathan could be.

Mr Tate said the teenager had done well to capture the image and would be welcome at their Powys centre anytime.

"This one's quite special because of the photo, but large, bright fireballs are quite common, you'll get them three or four times a year in this country," he added.

Jonathan, who attends Pencoed Comprehensive School, e-mailed his picture to Nasa asking for an explanation.

He was amazed to discover the space experts were so impressed with his snap they had published it on their website.

Mr Tate said it could take up to six months before they discover what the fiery ball was, if the truth ever prevails.




SEE ALSO:
Schoolboy's photo amazes Nasa
02 Oct 03  |  South East Wales
Meteor dazzles Indians
29 Sep 03  |  South Asia
Meteorite wrecks houses in India
28 Sep 03  |  South Asia
Meteor shower proves damp squib
12 Aug 03  |  Europe
Perseids set for sky show
11 Aug 03  |  Science/Nature


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