Multiple images from doorbell cameras and dash cams show a green ball of fire in the night sky

Last week, several UK residents submitted images online that show what appears to be a large green ball of meteor-like fire shooting down the sky, captured from a variety of devices including dash cams, cameras monitoring and doorbells.

The Somerset and South West regions of the UK witnessed the phenomenon on May 12 at 00:39 GMT, with over 250 people having so far reported the event to the UK Meteor Network (UKMON) to help follow its path.

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Late overnight on Thursday May 12, a streak of green light was seen across the night sky, no doubt witnessed by thousands of people in the South West of England, with sightings confirmed in Hertfordshire, the south of Wales, Hastings, Devon, Bristol, Oxfordshire, Dorking and West Sussex. Several sighting reports have been shared on networks such as the UK Meteor Network, the UK Fireball Alliance and of course, social media.

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According to Twitter, it is assumed that any fallen remnants of the meteor likely ended up in the Bristol Channel, with hobbyists and UKMON trying to calculate the predicted trajectory of the meteorite’s fall. The fireball’s green color may help decipher the meteoroid’s composition, with UKMON suggesting its color may imply a higher magnesium content.

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People reported the event via the UKMON website, having captured images and footage mostly on their video doorbells, with a few cases recorded using vehicle dash cams (see video below).

The astronomical event was also detected by the Fripon (Fireball Recovery and InterPlanetary Observation Network) and GFO (Global Fireball Observatory) camera systems. The tweet below from @ShamBaig shows amazing video of the green meteor captured by a doorbell camera in Slough, Berkshire.

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The meteor’s brief flight path from Wednesday evening to Thursday morning would have traversed an area as wide as Manchester to Cornwall. UKMON says the meteor actually entered the Earth’s atmosphere over parts of Somerset, UK. UKMON founder Richard Kacerek said their cameras captured “a very large meteor event which we call a fireball”.

The UK Meteor Network operates 153 detection cameras to detect and record passing fireballs and meteors across the UK, it said the fireball was picked up by fifteen of its cameras.

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Preliminary analysis collected so far from UKMON data shows that the terminal height of the fireball was approximately 30 km above ground and had a velocity of 6.9 km/ s.

An alternate angle shows exterior security camera footage from Croxley Green, Hertfordshire, uploaded to YouTube captured from what is believed to be a residents’ back garden.

Wow! Have you been lucky enough to witness this green ball of fire in action? Check your devices for footage from Thursday 12 May 2022 at 00:39 GMT, and if you happen to capture the phenomenal sighting on video, be sure to report your findings to UKMON by submitting a fireball report which will be sent to the International Meteor Organization World Fireball Database.

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