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A bright meteor has been sighted over Britain in the early hours. Witnesses have described the object as a green flash moving south to north for a few seconds, leaving a magnesium-white trail. Sightings have been reported in locations including London, Hampshire, Stafford and on the east coast of England at 03:16 GMT.

Its colour has prompted people on Twitter to describe it as the St Patrick's Day meteor.

Describing the meteor as "spectacular", Dr John Mason of the British Astronomical Association said it was bright enough to be categorised as a fireball. He believes it was a piece of cosmic rock which almost certainly came from the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. He said the green colour was caused by the meteor heating up the oxygen in the earth's atmosphere.

Richard Kacerek, from the UK Meteor Observation Network, told the BBC it had received reports from across the country. He said the network's camera at Church Crookham in Hampshire had captured the meteor from the west. "This is the biggest meteor sighting we have recorded," Mr Kacerek said. "It lasted for a few seconds. It was seen for hundreds of miles. We have received a number of emails."

 

 

 

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