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Meteor spotted in night sky in England and Wales

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Media captionThe light was captured on CCTV by the BBC in Cardiff

People have reported seeing a bright light, thought to be a meteor, in the sky in parts of England and Wales.

Sightings of the celestial body were reported on Twitter in areas such as Cornwall, Hampshire, Lancashire, south Wales and Worcestershire.

Suzy Buttress, of Basingstoke, described witnessing the bright light as a "once in a lifetime thing".

One scientist said it could have been a "random small piece of rock, probably from the asteroid belt".

'Ball with tail'

Ms Buttress, who was driving home on the M3 when she saw the light, told the BBC: "It was amazing, so big, bigger than a shooting star. It had a strange greenish tinge to it, with a definite tail behind it.

"This was definitely a ball with a tail. It took its time going across the sky. It went behind a cloud, then came out the other end.

"At first I hoped it wasn't an aircraft crashing. It's a once in a lifetime thing."

Richard Escott, a security supervisor for the BBC in Cardiff, explained what he saw.

"I was standing outside having a bit of fresh air and as I turned round I saw this very bright blue light which was dimming," he said.

"It was coming very steadily, progressing across the night sky, but it was at sort of building level and then died out to nothing. I saw it for about five, 10 seconds."

'Random fireball'

Professor Alan Fitzsimmons, an astronomer at Queen's University Belfast Astrophysics Research Centre, said the light was probably a "random fireball".

Though meteors from Halley's Comet can be seen at this time of year, he said it did not come from the comet.

He said: "When we see meteors coming from Halley's Comet, they come from a particular point in the sky - only above the horizon. Therefore we only see them in the very early hours of the morning, in the hours before dawn.

"It was probably a random fireball - a small piece of rock from an asteroid belt."

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