Science

The shooting star seen in the skies of Scotland and Ireland was actually a satellite fragment.

It was neither a UFO nor a sign of Queen Elizabeth II. On the evening of Wednesday, September 14, people in Scotland, Northern Ireland and even northern England were able to see for about twenty seconds what at first glance seemed to be a shooting star crossing the sky. The UK Meteor Network, a network of British scientists specializing in the study of meteors, received about 800 reports about it, according to The Guardian reporting the information.

The phenomenon lasted a good twenty seconds, suggesting that the object causing the spectacle must have been larger than a simple shooting star, which usually goes out in just a fraction of a second. The object is perhaps the size of a golf ball or even slightly larger. Many videos and images have been posted on social media, and some netizens have wondered—even worried—about the phenomenon. Theories and attempts at explanation are multiplying.

Experts from the British Meteor Network analyzed the collected data and reported numerous sightings. According to their estimates, the object could end up in the ocean. It will probably never be found.

⋙ Shooting stars, planets, full moon: what will we see in the sky in September?

The remains of the Starlink satellite

But, at the risk of disappointing UFO enthusiasts, it looks like the meteor is the remnant of a Starlink device, a satellite Internet connectivity system launched by SpaceX, the company founded by Elon Musk. British Meteor Network astronomer John McLean told the Guardian it was likely space debris because the object was moving too slowly to be a meteorite. SpaceX has launched thousands of satellites to form a constellation of satellites orbiting the Earth to provide internet connectivity wherever you are.

Garbage fell into the ocean

On Thursday, September 15, the group tweeted that it was most likely space junk. He added: “There were almost 800 reports of a fireball that was seen over the UK last night. A preliminary trajectory has been calculated by the International Meteoritic Organization and indicates that what we now believe to be space debris has fallen into the Atlantic, south of the Hebrides.”

Traffic jam in space

John McLean told the Guardian that Starlink satellites are “deorbiting fairly regularly as they have a limited lifetime in space.” “We expect more than 40,000 satellites in the next few years. Soon, one in five objects you see in the sky at night could be a satellite,” he laments. Indeed, if this debris is not dangerous, then it is the cause of inconvenience and inconvenience for astronomical observations.

Read also:

Comet, asteroid or meteorite: what’s the difference?

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In Norway, a meteor lights up the skies of Oslo and causes panic

In Norway, a meteor lights up the skies of Oslo and causes panic

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