Scottish meteor sightings prompt 999 calls

Updated: 

Scottish meteor sightings prompt 999 callsYouTube


Dozens of people from all over Scotland called 999 on Friday night after worrying that the bright lights they saw in the sky were flares, fireworks or even a plane crash.

But experts explained that the dramatic light show was, most likely, a meteorite shower.

BBC News reports that the bright lights were visible from around 11pm and were seen as far north as the Shetland Islands, as well as in parts of central Scotland, including Edinburgh and Glasgow.

John Davies from The Royal Observatory, Edinburgh, told BBC News: "The space around the earth is full of lots of small pieces of debris, tiny pieces of rock that have been chipped off asteroids, dust that has fallen off comets and when these things burn up in the atmosphere we see them as shooting stars."

He added: "They happen all the time, a few every hour, but big ones are much rarer and this seems to have been a comparatively big piece.

"Obviously I don't know how big, but I would guess maybe a metre by a metre, the size of a tea chest."

A spokesman for Forth Coastguard said: "From talking to other stations and to the RAF it's almost certainly meteorite activity.

"Calls came in from all over the place, thick and fast. We've had people report possible plane crashes, and others the weirdest fireworks they've ever seen.

"Folk just haven't known how to describe what they've seen. It's quite extraordinary."

Click on the image below to see footage of the meteor shower...