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Meteor captured by Jersey camera over English Channel

A "really bright" meteor has been spotted over the English Channel.

It was seen at about 22:45 BST on Sunday and captured entering the atmosphere and breaking up on a camera in Jersey.

Jersey and Guernsey are good places for observation as they are "often clearer" than southern England, Jim Rowe from the UK Fireball Alliance said.

The meteor was probably around the size of a handful of stones, Mr Rowe estimated.

He said it was likely a chunk of asteroid or comet which entered the atmosphere at a "pretty high speed and a fairly a shallow angle".

It exploded once "the pressure of the atmosphere became too much".

He said while thousands of smaller asteroids are dimly visible every night, "really bright" ones like the one captured on camera in Jersey on Sunday are seen in Britain only three or four times a year.

Mr Rowe said: "When it hit the atmosphere it was a lot bigger, but what you're actually seeing when it comes in as a meteor is it being destroyed by the heat and pressure that's generated when it hits the atmosphere."

'Seeing over cloud'

The reason more fireballs are seen in the south of England is because of the higher number of cameras, Mr Rowe said.

He said anyone who was interested in setting up their own observation camera could find details of how to do so on the UK Meteor Network's website.

Mr Rowe said there had been a couple of meteor events from the Channel Islands recently, describing them as a "really good place to see".

"I think it's often clearer, so you're seeing over the cloud in France, over the cloud in Great Britain.

"So the more cameras we can get into Jersey and Guernsey, then the more meteors we can find in France or England."


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