Midlanders on meteorite hunt

People across the Midlands are on the hunt for a meteorite that fell to the earth somewhere in the country on Wednesday evening this week.

A fireball, thought to be a meteor, was spotted streaking through the sky by people all over the country at around 6pm on Wednesday, with several sightings reported in the Westmeath area.

Locals across the Midlands, and particularly around Mullingar, reported seeing a brilliant light trail across the sky, with one eye witness in the Rathowen area describing it as “a massive ball of fire with sparks flying from it” and “like an aircraft falling from the sky”.

If anyone is lucky enough to locate the grounded meteorite, it could prove to be a lucrative find - the last time a meteorite hit Ireland in 1999 the rock sold online for up to $500 per gram.

According to Astronomy Ireland, the fireball was travelling at 100,000mph, and the sighting only lasted a couple of seconds. It described the meteor as “a large rock - possibly the size of a car - striking our atmosphere and blazing into flames”. The indications are that the rock landed on the ground and not at sea, and there is a good chance that it will be found.

Astronomy Ireland is compiling reports to try to determine where the meteorite landed, and is urging witnesses to go to www.astronomy.ie and fill out a report on the sighting.


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