Thursday, 4 February 2010
People throughout the midlands are searching for the meteorite that fell to Earth last night.
Astronomy Ireland says the meteor was spotted over Ireland at around 6pm yesterday.
It says the rock from space was seen blazing in the air by people throughout the country.
Astronomy Ireland says it is unlikely to have injured anyone as it would have 'slowed down when it entered the atmosphere'.
Valentia Coastguard said it has had reports of sightings from people living in Mullingar, Limerick, Ballybunion and Bantry.
Barry Murphy in Crimlin, Co Cavan, said he originally thought it was a plane coming down when he saw it last night.
He described it as being about 2ft square, 'pure white with flames at the back of it'. He said he is convinced that it crashed soon after he saw it in the sky and he searched in a field near his house but has not yet found the meteorite.
YouTube footage purporting to be the fireball is a hoax and had been on the Internet since 2008. Astronomy Ireland's David Murphy said the fireball only lasted a couple of seconds and the footage on YouTube is probably a rocket launch and not a meteor.
The only footage that may have been filmed of the fireball, he says, is likely to come from security cameras that may have caught the meteorite falling.
Astronomy Ireland is compiling reports to try to determine where the meteorite landed and is encouraging people to log what they saw through its website - astronomy.ie.
In February 2003 a meteorite 'middle man' in the UK offered up to £20,000 for samples of a meteorite that may have fallen in Ireland.