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‘Perfect timing’: Meteor travels across UK skies on same night as historic space launch in Cornwall

A meteor traveled across UK skies last night – coinciding with a historic space launch in Cornwall.

In a tweet, the Met Office confirmed reports of the meteor – encouraging individuals who managed to spot it to share footage.

One of those who managed to catch a glimpse of the meteor was Daz Bradbury, who witnessed the natural phenomenon from Peckham, southeast London.

Capturing the meteor at 8.01pm on his Nest camera, Mr Bradbury compared it to an airplane for scale.

Another Twitter user, @PHILDEL, who witnessed the meteor from Horsham, West Sussex, wrote that it moved slowly across the sky with a really long tail.

They wrote: “Longest and largest meteorite sighting I’ve ever experienced!”

Laura, from Rickmansworth in Hertfordshire, caught the meteor on camera at about 8pm from her front room.

“I had just turned my computer off and looked up out of the window, it was perfect timing,” she told the PA news agency.

“It was large in the sky, orange with an orange blaze behind it, not what I would describe as a long shooting star tail but a shorter orange one.

“Then it just disappeared… popped out of the sky. It seemed like it hadn’t really happened. I tried to tell my husband but they didn’t quite believe my account!”

The spectacular sight comes on the same night that a modified Virgin Boeing 747 named Cosmic Girl took off from Newquay Airport, with a 21m LauncherOne rocket attached to its wing.

Unfortunately, an “anomaly” prevented the rocket – which had a payload of nine satellites – from reaching orbit.

The Start Me Up mission is part of the government’s National Space Strategy, laying out how the UK will become the first European country to launch satellites into orbit.

Read more: Jumbo jet carrying first orbital UK rocket takes off

On January 3, delighted skygazers witnessed another meteor, known as a Quadrantid meteor. At the time, it was described among the strongest and most consistent meteor showers.

Meteors are pieces of debris which enter Earth’s atmosphere at speeds of up to 43 miles per second (70 kilometers per second), vaporising and causing the streaks of light we call meteors.

(c) Sky News 2023: ‘Perfect timing’: Meteor travels across UK skies on same night as historic space launch in Co

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