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Fireball over North Yorkshire may have been ‘space junk’
WORRIED people across York and North Yorkshire dialled 999 after witnessing a fireball shooting across the night sky.
Some of the 14 callers to North Yorkshire Police feared there had been a mid-air explosion or that a jet plane was on fire, said a force spokesman. Some officers also called in to report the fireball.
In fact, experts say the phenomenon on Friday evening was caused either by a meteor – a space rock which burns and lights up on contact with the Earth’s atmosphere – or more likely by “space junk,” such as pieces of a satellite, burning up.
Numerous readers contacted The Press to describe what they had seen.
Julie Sharp, from the Beckfield Lane area, said she went outside to her utility room and as she was walking back to the house, she saw what she initially thought was a firework going up into the sky above the house.
She said: “I stopped to watch it and quickly realised it wasn’t going up but was going across the sky. I was waiting for the bang you would expect from a firework but it never came.
“It was a lot bigger than a firework and bits that came out of the tail were separate things that followed the path of the larger one.
“I am still completely dumb struck, as I have never seen anything like it before.”
David Price, of Melbourne, near Pocklington, said at 10.56pm, he saw a huge fireball in the sky heading from east to west over the village.
“I dialled 101 and police responded saying they had many calls of a meteor coming down,” he said.
Helen Gardner said she was “amazed and lucky to witness the astounding sight of the meteor shooting across the night sky” when she let her dog out into the back garden at Clifton Moor . “It was heading towards Harrogate,” she said. “I was unsure at to what it was but it was a beautiful clear sight which looked like fire in the sky and moved very quickly. I shall never forget it.”
Peter Walker, a councillor from Norton , said he saw a large fireball light up the sky, with another four smaller fireballs in its wake.
“To be honest I was waiting for a large bang as the object collided with the earth. I’ve seen many shooting stars in the past, but nothing like this. It was quite an experience and one I’ll not forget.”