Meteor blitz over Earth

Meteor shower has sparked reports of UFO sightings.


Sightings of massive fireballs in the skies over Germany in the past week led to a surge in UFO reports. According to NASA, there have been reports from around the world of similar sightings. Scientists belive it could be a meteor blitz, because Earth is orbiting through a swarm of space debris at the moment. NASA says there have been other sightings in the US, Canda, the Netherlands, Northern Ireland and Japan.  

David Asher from the Armagh Observatory in Northern Ireland says the fireballs are most likely from the annual Taurid meteor shower. Every year, in late October and early November, Earth passes through a river of space dust associated with the Comet Encke. These tiny grains, about the size of pebbles or small stones, hit our atmosphere at 65,000 mph. When these grains hit Earth they make a vivid streak of light, which we call meteors. As these meteors shoot out of the constellation Taurus, they are called Taurids.

Most years the shower is weak, producing no more than five rather dim meteors every hour. But occasionally, the Taurids put on a show. Fireballs streak across the sky, ruining night vision and interrupting fishing trips. They can be as bright as the Moon. In 1993 the Quarterly Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society predicted that 2005 would be a "swarm year" with many Taurids, and so far it looks like they were right. According to the International Meteor Organisation, the Taurid shower peaks between 5–12 November, but can last for up to two weeks, so keep an eye out.