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Meteor lights up night sky across south Cumbria and north Lancashire
SCORES of South Lakes and north Lancashire residents reported seeing a huge meteor shower shoot across the night sky last weekend.
The fireball sparked emergency calls to police with some people believing an aircraft had crashed in Cumbria.
Stuart Atkinson, of Kendal’s Eddington Astronomical Society, said the space rock was a single fireball passing through the Earth’s atmosphere on Friday night, around 11pm.
He said the last large meteor to travel across Cumbria’s sky was in March but it was not as big as this one.
And it was only spotted for a few seconds compared to Friday’s ‘shooting star’ which was seen for approximately 11 seconds.
People described seeing a ‘huge orangey-red flame’ wavering through the sky.
Stargazers reported spotting the ball in Kendal, Carnforth, Over Kellet and Windermere.
“It was a single ball but as pieces broke off, it looked like there was more than one,” said Mr Atkinson.
“The changing of colours was created by a chemical reaction as different minerals in the rock reacted with the atmosphere.
“I unfortunately was working on Friday night so I didn’t see it. I had some quite excited calls from people who did see it.”
Paul Carrier, 75, of Windermere, was walking his dog when he spotted the spectacular phenomenon.
“It was one of the most fantastic experiences of my life,” he said.
“It felt like I had all the time in the world to concentrate on the flame. I initially thought it was fireworks going up. It looked like the type that shoots up and then explodes. There must have been 100 or possibly more than 100, little bits behind it.”
Nigel Hunter, of Carnforth, said: “I just watched it track out across Morecambe Bay. It was the most vivid thing I have seen in the night sky.”
Police received several calls from concerned members of the public who had seen green lights streaking across the sky.
“People thought at first an aircraft had come down,” said a police spokesperson.