Did you see the fireball on 31 December?

News is coming in that a bright fireball was seen across much of the UK at about 5.35 pm on 31 December.

Initial reports suggest that its trajectory began over the North Sea to the east of Middlesbrough and ended near Penrith in Cumbria. Its brightness was estimated as similar to that of the full Moon, and some reports suggest that it lasted as long as 20 seconds.

Fireball events are usually caused by natural space material plunging to Earth and vaporising in our atmosphere. The east-to-west trajectory strongly implies a natural origin, as most satellite debris is in a west-to-east orbit.

If you saw the fireball, please give us as much detail as possible using ourĀ fireball reporting form.

Update 2 January

Here’s a detailed report on the object by our Meteor Section Director Tracie Heywood.