A Fireball in the Night: Image of the Month

An intruder from beyond Earth’s atmosphere can be seen in this image of the 21 September  fireball taken by amateur astronomer Colin Campbell from his garden in Lisburn.

image of Fireball

Space debris on a one-way trip.(Image credit:Colin Campbell)


Here is how Colin describes how he captured this remarkable image:

 I was out in my garden experimenting with taking a few shots of the stars when what I initially thought to be a fireball came into view, breaking up into many bright pieces and moving quite slowly across the sky. It really was quite stunning, like a slow moving firework. I quickly swung my camera up and got this shot, a 5 second exposure taken at 22:55:52 BST / 21:55:52 GMT/UTC. The fireball was travelling directly east to west and overhead. The image shows it grazing Alpheratz, the top left star in The Great Square of Pegasus. I’d describe it as ‘fire’ coloured – orange/yellow; no sound that I noticed.

It is a really dramatic shot which captures this spectacular event for everyone unlucky enough to miss it with their own eyes.We are very grateful to Colin for sharing it with us.

(Article by Colin Johnston, Science Communicator)