A spectacular meteor whizzed across the skies of Europe on Sunday evening and was seen by people in Scotland, Germany, Switzerland and Austria, according to media reports in each country.
The American Meteor Society says reports came in of sightings by people in France, Italy, Luxembourg and Belgium as well.
A motorist in Tirol in Austria filmed spectacular footage of the large fireball from his car’s dashcam (below).
Locals reported a bright flash like a lightning bolt that sounded like thunder.
Video – Meteorite caught on dashcam in Austria
According to The Local, an Austrian English-speaking newspaper, experts say it is too early to determine where the meteorite may have crashed.
Meteor photographed at Loch Ness
John Alasdair McDonald, a Scottish highland tour guide, was out on Sunday evening taking pictures for the Facebook page of his business The Hebridean Explorer when he captured a beautiful image of a meteor over Loch Ness.
The Maritime Coast Guard Agency said the shooting star triggered several calls by people from Galloway, Dumfries, the Highlands and Cumbria, concerned it may have been a distress flare.
Mr. Macdonald said he used his Sony compact camera to capture the shooting star at about 9pm on Sunday.
Mr. Macdonald said:
“I was taking some new pictures to put on my Facebook page using a Sony RX100 compact camera. It was a beautiful, clear night and I got some nice pictures but capturing the meteor was a fluke. I will never take a picture like that again.”
Mr. Macdonald’s spectacular photograph. (Image: The Hebridean Explorer)
A meteor or ‘shooting star’ is a piece of debris from space that is burning up as it hurtles through our atmosphere. The ones that make it through and hit the ground are then called meteorites, i.e. meteors are flying while meteorites are rocks from space that have landed.
Video – What are meteors?
Emerald Robinson explains what a meteor is.