Bystanders all across the United Kingdom were in for a surprise Tuesday morning, as a bright flash of blue-green light illuminated the skies overhead at approximately 3:16 GMT. You could say, it was a St. Patrick’s Day treat from outer space!
And indeed it was – it appears that the bright flash was caused by a meteor entering the Earth’s atmosphere, and burning up before it could touch the planet’s surface. Such events are not uncommon, although this is believed to be one of the brightest flashes ever produced by a meteor in the area.
The color of the light trail produced by the falling meteor may have been caused by the presence of magnesium and other soft metals in the space rock. Certain elements burn different colors, and these colors produced the the light show observed in the skies this morning as the atmosphere burned the rock to small bits.
Footage of the event was captured and shared on the internet by Twitter user Paul Gilbert, along with several other people. Gilbert’s footage can be seen in the Tweet below:
As seen in the footage, the bright flash, which lasted not more than just a few seconds, was quite eye-catching. The BBC reports that the bright blue-green flash from the meteor was seen for hundreds of miles in regions spanning across England, Hampshire, London, and Stafford.
Such an event may not be particularly uncommon, but the color and the timing are certainly symbolic of St. Patrick’s Day and has created a lot of excitement that may refer to as ‘good luck.’