Watch footage of meteor fireball hurtling across country

Astronomers have caught the moment a meteorite turned into a fireball as powerful as a nuclear explosion just 21 miles above the Earth.

Footage of the “car-sized” meteorite burning up in the atmosphere was so good because it was destroyed much lower than the usual 50 to 70 miles up.

Experts believe it broke off an asteroid in orbit between Mars and Jupiter and headed towards earth at 100,000mph.

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Fragments of the rock which made it to Earth are worth ten times the price of gold.

The video was recorded by the United Kingdom Meteor Observing Network at Portadown on Sunday at around 10.10pm.

David Moore from Astronomy Ireland said: “This event was so bright that a piece or pieces may have survived the re-entry and landed as extremely rare and valuable meteorites.”

Amateur enthusiasts hoping for a quick buck by finding a piece may be out of luck though as they suspect from the trajectory it travelled across the UK any pieces would now be at the bottom of the Irish sea.

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Astronomy Ireland are appealing to any companies who operate CCTV cameras to check their recordings for Sunday night around 10.10pm to see if they recorded the fireball near the horizon as photographic records like this are extremely valuable.

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