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St Patrick's Day meteor: Footage captures incredible moment green and blue 'fireball' flashed across the sky

See the meteor light up the sky in Church Crookham as it flies across the country

This is the stunning moment a huge fireball which lit up the sky on Thursday was captured over Church Crookham.

Dubbed the 'St Patrick’s Day meteor' because it caused a green flash, the spectacle was filmed by UK Meteor Observation Network (UKMON) co-founder Peter Campbell-Burns from his home off Gally Hill Road at 3.16am.

Speaking to Get Hampshire , he said: “Several cameras in the UKMON network recorded this meteor but being an early starter I was the first to report it to the team.

“Our cameras monitor the night sky constantly looking out for meteors and record anything that moves. Next day we review our recordings - it is a bit like a fisherman checking his nets, you never know what you have might have caught.

“This meteor was so incredibly bright that I thought at first that it was a landing light on an aircraft approaching Farnborough.

“Only when I was able to replay the whole video did I realise that this was an unusually bright fireball event.

“It was also recorded by our stations in Devon, Wiltshire, the south coast and even as far away as Northern Ireland.

“It was just out of view of a camera operated by the National History Museum, but it did show just how bright this event was and the extent to which it lit up the night sky.”

Mr Campbell-Burns, an IT consultant who is chairman of the Farnham Astronomical Society, said the group has yet to do a full analysis of the data it has collected.

“We hope to publish details - the altitudes of its start and end points, its velocity as it travelled through the atmosphere, and whether this is meteor is part of a stream meteor or just a random event,” he added.

“Speeds vary, typically 12 kilometres to 72 kilometres per second; anything faster than this is unusual and is too fast to be of solar system origin.

“The trail we see across the sky can start at altitudes of over 100km above the surface of the earth.”

People reported seeing a bright flash of blue or green light in the skies at about 3.20am.

It is believed the unusual spectacle was caused by magnesium in the meteor.

One Twitter user said the meteor was also sighted in Germany, reports Mirror Online.

Ash Vale resident Richard Kacerek, co-founder of UKMON, said two explosions were heard from the same meteor.

He also said that a fragment of the meteor could break away and fall to earth.

Mr Kacerek said: “It was actually two explosions from the same meteor - a smaller one and the larger one - signals that the final one has potential a fragment surviving and falling to the earth.

“Lots of people are reporting the green one - this is completely plausible.

“It’s possible that there is a hint of green - it depends on the composition of the rock.

“It is a very highly heated rock because it passes through the atmosphere then it picks up heat and speed and depending on this the gas or light refractions can be seen as green.

“I’ve been working at the network for three to four years and seen quite a few fireballs but over that time this is the biggest one.”

Police received numerous calls from people across the country who reported witnessing a blue, white or green light shooting across the sky.

Others said they also heard a loud rumbling sound, leading some to speculate that the phenomenon was either a meteor or a sonic boom.

The Met Office later confirmed the incident was “not weather-related” and no thunder storms were recorded on Wednesday evening (March 16).

Mr Campbell-Burns and Mr Kacerek, who runs his web design business from the aptly named Comet Close, founded UKMON four years ago with just a couple of cameras set up at their homes in Church Crookham and Ash Vale.

Their network has since expanded across the south of England as far as Devon, north to Cardiff and Worcester and even as far away as Northern Ireland.

It now boasts more than 20 cameras covering most of the UK skies – and, according to Mr Kacerek, as far away as Paris.

UKMON is active on social media, on Facebook at UK Meteor Network and on Twitter at @UKMeteor Network , and its two founders are urging anyone interested, to log on and share in the fun.

The group’s website, www.ukmeteornetwork.co.uk, provides live coverage and people can register their own sightings.

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