Meteors put on cosmic show over Derry

A suspected meteor shower lit up the night skies over Derry at the weekend.

The celestial objects were spotted shooting across the sky in the early hours of Sunday morning by Derry man Niall Smith who says he saw the meteors as he drove up Brookhill at around 1230am.

" There were six of them in total," he told the Journal yesterday.

" They were bright orange almost red, like balls of flames burning with a tail behind them.

" It was an exhilarating experience to see them,2 he said.

He said the lights passed over the hills of Donegal before disappearing from view.

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John McFarland of the Armagh Planetarium yesterday confirmed at least one meteor would have been present over Derry in the early hours of Sunday.

" While we have nothing on our cameras for the time suggested at least one meteor passed over at around 1:37am," he said.

Meteor showers are caused by small fragments of cosmic debris entering the earth's atmosphere at extremely high speed.

They vaporise due to pressure from the air, leaving a streak of light that can be seen from the earth but usually disappears very quickly.