Friday night’s 'meteor' sighting sparks enquiries from North East Lincolnshire residents
MORE than 4,000 people checked the Grimsby Telegraph's website for information after unidentified bright lights lit up the skies on Friday night.
Local stargazers were baffled at about 11pm when what looked like shooting stars shot through the sky, as reported on thisisgrimsby.co.uk.
More than 4,000 people logged on to check out the story uploaded overnight.
Humber Coastguard received 29 calls from people believing it to be a flare of distress, and 10 people contact Humberside Police.
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Coastguard spokesman Matt Atkinson, said: "We received 29 calls in total. People though they were flares for people in distress but we have confirmation that it was something from space."
It was seen across the UK, and thought to be a meteor – a theory shared by a local astronomer who believes it was space debris, meteors or satellites burning up in the Earth's atmosphere.
Mike Brightmore, committee member of the Cleethorpes and District Astronomical Society (CDAS), said that there was no way of predicting the event.
"It was totally unexpected and those who saw it were just lucky enough to be looking in the right place at the right time. Whatever it was, it was quite slow-moving which is why so many people were lucky enough to get a glimpse, and even photos of it," said Mr Brightmore.
CDAS has an observatory with a powerful telescope at Beacon Hill Allotments, off Montgomery Road, in Cleethorpes. Enthusiasts meet on the first Wednesday of every month, but also have a monthly meeting for beginners on the Friday of the following week.
Mr Brightmore says that recent events such as Friday's meteor shower and the Transit of Venus on Tuesday, June 5 this year, usually result in a surge of public interest.
He added: "Events such as these which are visible in the sky and get national media coverage always encourage people to take an interest in the skies.
"Professor Brian Cox has spurred on a lot more young people to get involved with his TV programmes – I think they can relate to him more than some other astronomers.
"If people want to take up astronomy as a hobby, we would always encourage them to come and see us first so we can give you advice on telescopes and what to look for in the skies."
Find out more
For an introduction to the skies, visit the observatory on Friday, October 12, or visit www.cleethorpesastronomy.org.uk.