The skies over the UK erupted in fire early on St. Patrick’s Day as a meteor exploded twice on its descent into the atmosphere. Observers noted that the meteor seemed to let off an unusual green or blue fireball, possibly caused by the presence of magnesium. The meteor boasted a size equal to only 1 in 12,000 of our interstellar guests, according to the UK Meteor Network, which caught it on film.
“It is a very highly heated rock because it passes through the atmosphere then it picks up heat and speed and depending on this the gas or light refractions can be seen as green,” said Richard Kacerek, cofounder of the UK Meteor Network, in a statement.
While the meteor was brightest over London, it was visible as far away as Scotland and, yes, even Northern Ireland.
“I’ve been working at the network for three to four years and seen quite a few fireballs but over that time this is the biggest one,” said Kacerek.
The two explosions visible in the video suggest that a fragment may have actually survived in tact all the way to the Earth’s surface. So if you’re in the UK, and you find a smoking green rock on the ground, please be careful. We’re not sure the luck of the Irish extends to third degree burns, even on St. Patty’s Day.Photos via UK Meteor Observing Network; BBC; Giphy