Residents in many parts of Ireland spotted a massive glowing green fireball flying across the night sky on Monday. According to the country's local astronomy organization, the fireball was most likely a meteor that burned up in Earth's atmosphere. Those who witnessed the incident reported seeing the fireball at around 7:00 pm on Monday.
One of the eyewitnesses, a man named Sean Linehan, was driving that evening through the village of Banteer, which is situated in Ireland's County Cork. As Linehan was driving along, a bright greenish orb appeared and darted across the sky. Based on the footage captured by Linehan's dash camera, the fireball appeared for a couple of seconds before completely disappearing. "Just caught this on my dashcam outside Banteer, Cork," Linehan posted on Twitter after sharing the video to his followers. "Bright meteor/fireball flashing across the sky. Footage doesn't do it justice, very cool."
Linehan wasn't the only one who spotted the fireball. According to a representative from Astronomy Ireland, the organization received multiple calls from various areas regarding the object. Although different festivities are currently being celebrated in Ireland, the organization ruled out the possibility of fireworks as being the main cause of the fireball. According to the organization, the object was simply too big to be a firework. "We've had sightings all over the country," the spokesperson told the Irish Mirror. "From Cork to Clare, Fermanagh to Dublin, Sligo, Galway. It wasn't a firework folks, despite the week that's in it. They don't make them that big yet. Sounds like a meteor or a fireball."
Although the organization strongly believes that the object was caused by a meteor, Astronomy Ireland said that it did not come from an expected meteor shower. Usually, meteor showers come from the trail of debris left by a passing comet. Sometimes, fragments from the debris trail enter Earth's atmosphere and burn up. It is also possible that the fireball was caused by space junk from a defunct satellite.
"Meteors are rarely expected," the spokesperson from Astronomy Ireland explained. "They're just pieces of rock, or space dust colliding with Earth's atmosphere and burning up. Comets are the ones we can predict."