David Moore, editor of Astronomy Ireland magazine, told the Irish Times that the meteor, which experts say was probably around the size of a car, may have produced the same energy of a World War 2 atomic bomb. He said his organization received hundreds of reports of the fireball.
“It was most likely a rock from space exploding in the atmosphere, we’re still trying to gauge how big it was and where it might have landed,” said Moore.
“If you were in space looking down, you would have seen Ireland lit up for a few seconds. People in urban areas with their lights on watching their TVs with windows facing the right direction have reported seeing it.
“We were getting reports from Valentia Coast Guard of flares being released, but it was the wrong colour for one of their flares, so they were getting lots of reports last night as well.”
Sightings were also reported over northern England and Wales.
Moore says they are looking for witnesses to come forward to help them locate where the meteorite landed. The last landed meteor to be discovered in Ireland was found in 1999, in Co. Carlow.
“We are desperately seeking people to fill out the report form on Astronomy.ie. The sad fact is less than one in a hundred people in every single event like this ever fills in the form,” he said.
“There has to be dozens, if not hundreds, of records of this fireball seen on Irish cameras on Sunday night, and to date we’ve only ever received one video report [which was from the 1999 event].”