The loud banging noises heard around late afternoon on Saturday last week in England was caused by a very rare meteor, known as a ‘daytime fireball’.
The sonic boom was heard in Dorset, Somerset, Devon, and Jersey, following a streak of light in the sky. Experts have urged people to keep an eye out for any fallen space rock fragments.
The meteor is believed to have crashed into the Bristol Channel.
Simon Proud, a specialist in aviation meteorology at the University of Oxford captured the meteor flying over the UK on a weather satellite. It reportedly appeared like a bright flash on the system.
The bunch of meteors that can produce a “daytime fireball” is the brightest of the “bolide” class , according to Richard Kacerek, from the UK Meteor Observation Network of amateur astronomers. To be seen during the daytime, like the one spotted on Saturday, it must be very large.
Experts are curating data from security/traffic/amateur cameras to analyse and track the meteor’s path. In February, cameras like these captured a falling meteor at night.
When the huge sounds were first heard on Saturday residents were confused if it was an earthquake, while others wondered if it was a military aircraft that caused the noise.
Astronomer and Science journalist Will Gater was the first to link the noise to a meteor, which is now accepted by the majority.