express– A major fireball occurred over northeastern Europe on January 22, as a meteor hit Earth’s atmosphere. The blast from the incoming small space rock was so powerful that it could be seen on both sides of the Channel. Almost 200 people witnessed the phenomenon, with residents of the UK, France, Belgium and the Netherlands all lucky enough to see the spectacle.
A video of the event has emerged from the Netherlands which shows the event in all its glory.
In the brief film, a small streak of light can be seen growing in size over the horizon.
As the space rock approaches landfall, you can see that it simply burns up and disintegrates before it hit the floor.
Residents of the UK went in their droves to the International Meteor Organisation (IMO) to report the sighting.
Craig said: “It was by far the biggest and brightest thing I have ever seen of this type.
“Very, very bright, very large and the longest visible path I’ve seen too. Wow moment for me.”
Chris added: “I just happened to glance up and caught it descending. It was like a flare fizzling out as it descends.”
Katherine stated: “This just appeared in the sky like a flash and flew down to the horizon in a second – amazing.”
Bikas said: “I distinctly remember seeing a minuscule flash about a minute beforehand and then the explosion of a bright green and then white flash and a fall of matter.”
Fireballs occur when a meteor or another space rock hits the atmosphere.
Air seeps into the pores of the rock, pushing it apart and causing it to explode.
The International Meteor Organisation (IMO) said: “Fireballs are meteors that appear brighter than normal.
“Due to the velocity at which they strike the Earth’s atmosphere, fragments larger than one millimetre have the capability to produce a bright flash as they streak through the heavens above.
“These bright meteors are what we call fireballs and they often strike fear and awe for those who witness them.”
Perhaps the most famous fireball in modern history came when a meteor exploded over Chelyabinsk in 2013.
The explosion, caused by a 65.6ft (20m) meteor, was so powerful it smashed windows across the city and injured more than 1,000 people.