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Stargazers' delight as fireballs set to streak across sky

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A man observes a Perseid meteor shower during the comet's previous visit to the Earth's atmosophere

A man observes a Perseid meteor shower during the comet's previous visit to the Earth's atmosophere

A man observes a Perseid meteor shower during the comet's previous visit to the Earth's atmosophere

LOOK up. Fireballs are expected to streak across our skies in the coming nights following a spectacular meteor sighting on Wednesday night.

A green-tinged meteor was observed flashing across the night sky along the east coast with sightings reported in Louth, Dublin and Wexford.

Astronomy Ireland spokesman Conor Farrell told the Herald: "The fireball on Wednesday night was probably part of the Eta Aquarids, the debris left by Halley's Comet. The earth's atmosphere usually ploughs through the debris around this time every year.

 

Flashed

"There are definitely more meteor showers at the moment. We'd encourage people to look up at the sky after midnight over the next few nights.

"If it's a clear night and 10 minutes are spent getting the eyes used to the darkness, then there's a good chance of seeing a meteor. It's worth spending about 20 minutes looking up to see something.

"People can report seeing fireballs by going on to our website astronomy.ie," he added.

Wednesday's meteor flashed across the sky around 9.45pm. Widespread sightings were also reported in England and Wales.

Space scientist Maggie Aderin-Pocock said the meteor, though unusually large, would probably have been no bigger than a closed fist and would have travelled at speeds of around 150,000mph.

aokeeffe@herald.ie


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