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Somerset meteor mystery solved - or is it?

By journalwells  |  Posted: February 20, 2013

By Oliver Hulme

meteor

One of the images captured by Annie Henderson

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Last week we asked the question “is it a bird, is it a plane?” as we tried to identify a mysterious light in the sky spotted by Annie Henderson on Shapwick Heath.

This week we can confirm that it was in fact... a plane. Probably.

Readers had their own suggestions. The amusingly named Phil Spaceuk suggested it might be an experimental ejector seat being tested by boffins at RNAS Yeovilton. Another suggestion was that it was the most successful launch of a bottle rocket ever.

There were many who also suggested that it was a lump of space rock, related to the meteor strike in Chelyabinsk, Russia.

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Another idea was that it was a cargo-carrying Atlas rocket on its way to the International Space Station.

The report was picked up by the international media and suggestions as far apart as an act of God to a secret Russian weapons launch were all put forward.

But the closest we have come to a definitive answer came from Professor Mark E Bailey of the Armagh Observatory, which runs a directory of all sightings of UFOs and lights in the sky in the UK.

Prof Bailey said: “To my mind, this is the contrail of a distant high-flying aircraft illuminated by the setting Sun. In my view it’s most unlikely to be a meteor. I would imagine that any meteor which was so bright as to have been visible in the twilight sky would have a much longer trail than this and would have been seen and heard by many others.”

But as many of the conspiracy theorists might have commented: “Well, he would say that, wouldn’t he?”

Click here to see more photos of the Somerset 'meteor'.

Read more from Western Daily Press

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  • siarad2  |  February 20 2013, 11:18PM

    High spread & short length for a con. trail & why red closest to the vehicle turning yellow

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