Bizarre fireballs spotted over British skies last night

Bizarre fireball spotted over Hull last night ‘may have been a meteor from the annual Lyrid shower’

  • Rebecca Holmes saw the fiery event happen from her home in  Bransholme, Hull 
  • Images but no video circulated online of the bizarre celestial event  
  • Experts say it was most most likely caused by a meteor from the Lyrid shower 

A bizarre burning fireball was spotted last night over Hull, with images capturing the moment the inferno burned up in the atmosphere as it plummeted towards Earth. 

The Humberside ‘bright orange’ object was spotted by several people moving slowly over the city leaving a trail in its wake before disappearing.

Experts believe the unusual occurrence was a meteor, potentially linked to the annual Lyrid meteor shower due to commence this week.

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A bizarre burning fireball was spotted last night over some parts of the UK, with images captured in Hull and Cambridgeshire. The Humberside ‘bright orange’ object was spotted by several people

Rebecca Holmes saw it from her garden in Bransholme, near Kingston upon Hull. 

She said : ‘I was sat in the garden, my husband was doing some gardening and I looked up and it was so bright orange and it was just gliding really slowly like something was burning but it was definitely too slow to be a shooting star.

‘It was weird it looked like either a plane or a rocket or something.’

In fact, it was most likely a meteor, potentially an early visitor from the annual Lyrid meteor shower, according to the experts. 

Brofessor Brad Gibson, Director of the E.A. Milne Centre for Astrophysics at the University of Hull, told MailOnline: ‘Without more context, the most likely explanation as to the object reported in the sky over Hull on Sunday evening is that it was a meteor.

‘Between April 16 and 25 every year, we see the annual Lyrid meteor shower. 

‘During this time period, it is possible you could see anything between 10 and 15 visible per hour in the sky.

‘The Lyrid meteor shower is caused by debris which has been left by Comet Thatcher, which last visited the inner Solar System over 150 years ago in 1861. 

‘It is expected to return in the year 2276, and will burn up as it enters the Earth’s atmosphere.

‘As said previously, without more context as to this particular sighting, it is difficult to give a definitive explanation. 

‘However, based on the time of year, it is entirely possible that the object reported by residents in Hull formed part of the Lyrid meteor shower.’

Last week, a similar event occurred in Cambridge.

Dr Robert Massey, deputy executive director of the Royal Astronomical Society, said: ‘The burning object moving through the sky on Wednesday night looks a lot like an aircraft contrail to me.

‘While it is impossible to say exactly what the object is without further evidence, it looks like an aircraft contrail that is laminated by the setting sun.’  


An asteroid is a large chunk of rock left over from collisions or the early solar system. Most are located between Mars and Jupiter in the Main Belt.

A comet is a rock covered in ice, methane and other compounds. Their orbits take them much further out of the solar system.

A meteor is what astronomers call a flash of light in the atmosphere when debris burns up.

This debris itself is known as a meteoroid. Most are so small they are vapourised in the atmosphere.

If any of this meteoroid makes it to Earth, it is called a meteorite.

Meteors, meteoroids and meteorites normally originate from asteroids and comets.

For example, if Earth passes through the tail of a comet, much of the debris burns up in the atmosphere, forming a meteor shower.

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