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Dublin: 6°C Wednesday 20 January 2021

Did you spot the massive fireball that passed over Ireland last night?

The explosion was most likely caused by a space rock colliding with earth, Astronomy Ireland said.

ASTRONOMY EXPERTS HAVE said that parts of a meteorite seen streaking across the sky last night could have landed on earth.

The fireball was seen across parts of the country at around 8.15pm, when it lit up the sky for several seconds.

The explosion was most likely caused by a space rock colliding with earth, according to David Moore of Astronomy Ireland.

“No man-made explosion – except for a nuclear weapon being detonated – could have caused a flash this bright,” he said.


Moore added: From a flash this bright, it is possible that part of the rock survived the re-entry process and landed on earth.”

He encouraged people who saw the event to report sightings on the Astronomy Ireland website, www.astronomy.ie, so that others can search the area for meteorites.

“A fireball in November 1999 that dropped a meteorite on Ireland was found in county Carlow after a similar analysis by Astronomy Ireland,” Moore said.

Collectors were later selling bits of this meteorite for 50 times the price of gold at the time, so meteorites can be very valuable.

Read: New photos reveal previously unseen mountains on Pluto

Read: This is what the most Earth-like planet ever discovered looks like

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Catherine Healy

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