What was this streak of fire in the sky above Wrexham?


Hayley Collins

IT was described as looking like a plane on fire – or perhaps a tadpole.

Whatever it was, this distant object fired the imaginations of a father and daughter from Wrexham.

Jason Chandler and his daughter Jade were sitting on the rooftop terrace at their home when they spotted a bright orange fireball.

The pair, of St Giles Court, near Belle Vue Park, could not believe their eyes.
Jason, 40, said: “We saw what looked like a white cloud in the distance and as it went over Wrexham you could see that it was on fire.

“At first I thought it was a plane on fire. You could see the orange bit at the front.

“It looked like a tadpole, but as soon as it passed over you couldn’t see the ball of fire anymore.”

Ten-year-old Jade used her phone to take pictures of the amazing sight at about 6.30pm on Monday.

Jason says a vapour trial was clearly visible behind the fireball and the whole thing lasted for about five minutes before it disappeared from view.

“I know people think I’m mad, but I know what I saw and it was fantastic,” he said.

“I’d love to know if anyone else saw it too.”

Jason took up stargazing after moving into the St Giles Court property.

He said: “Since I’ve lived here I have started taking notice of things in the sky.

“It’s the first time I have ever seen anything like that in my life, but I knew straight away what it was. I saw two shooting stars after as well.”

After doing some research on the internet Jason believes he witnessed the asteroid 2010 TD 54 that passed close to the earth on Tuesday.

Estimated to be around seven metres in diameter, it was discovered on October 9 by the Catalina Sky Survey in Arizona during routine monitoring.

But experts at Jodrell Bank Observatory in Cheshire say it could not be the TD 54.

Dr Tim O’Brien, an astro-physicist at the University of Manchester, said: “It can’t possibly be the same asteroid.

“In space terms it did come relatively close to the earth, but it was still 28,000 miles away and the atmosphere doesn’t extend that far.

“You would need a telescope to see it because it’s not visible with the naked eye.”

Dr O’Brien suspects the pair witnessed a meteor.

“It’s possible they did see a meteor burning up in the atmosphere.

“They are called fireballs and they do happen relatively often – you will see a bright one every few months.”

Dr O’Brien added: “I have not had any other reports of one in the area, but it’s perfectly plausible.”

- Did you see the mystery object? Let us know by leaving a comment below.

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