Bang over Weston could have been caused by comet or asteroid

PUBLISHED: 12:00 08 August 2017 | UPDATED: 12:10 08 August 2017

Did a comet or asteroid cause the bang over Weston?

Did a comet or asteroid cause the bang over Weston?

Pixabay

A small comet or asteroid could have been the cause of a sudden flash and loud bang over Weston-super-Mare in the early hours of Monday morning.

People all over the town, and as far out as Kewstoke and Banwell, reported hearing the noise which made some windows shake at around 1.20am on Monday.

Many reported on social media that they had seen a flash of light before hearing the sudden bang.

The RAF yesterday ruled out the noise being a sonic boom caused by one of its aircraft, but a new theory has now come to light.

MORE: RAF rules out causing loud bang over Weston.

Space experts have said it may have been a comet or asteroid entering the earth’s atmosphere and then exploding.

Jay Tate, director at the Spaceguard Centre which monitors comets and meteors, said: “You would not get a flash with a sonic boom, so it does sound like it is a small piece of comet or asteroid entering the atmosphere at about 35,000-55,000 miles an hour.

“It would be like an egg hitting a brick wall - it would blow itself to dust.

“The flash is caused by the sudden conversion of kinetic energy into heat and light.”

Mr Tate said it is difficult to know how big it would have been because he does not know how bright the flash was.

But he said it could have been around the size of a football, or even up to the size of a small car.

MORE: 4 of the best places to star gaze near Weston.

Mr Tate said: “The brighter the flash, the bigger it would have been.”

Other theories include a firework, but this is unlikely to have been heard over the six-mile distance between Wick St Lawrence and Banwell – both areas in which people reported hearing the sudden bang.

Storm maps do not show any lightning strikes for the whole of the UK on Sunday night and Monday morning.

An RAF spokesman said there was no way to find out if a civilian or military aircraft from another country could have caused the noise – or if it was generated by an aircraft at all. But the flash of light makes it less likely to have been an aircraft.

More from Weston Mercury

17:00

A determined Weston woman has completed a gruelling seven-month swimming challenge to raise money for Weston Hospicecare in memory of her partner’s mum.

Read more
Weston Hospicecare Weston-super-Mare
16:00

The fun and fervour of this year’s carnival may only just have begun to die down, but 50 years ago attention focussed on bringing the event back to Weston’s streets.

Read more
14:00

One of the hottest rising talents on the British music scene will be performing at a gig in Bristol in 2019.

Read more
17:37

Homemade crafts and items were sold in aid of one of Weston’s best-loved sites.

Read more

Entries are still being taken for this year’s Turip Prize.

Read more

Avon and Somerset police are targeting drivers without insurance as part of a county-wide initiative which started on Monday.

Read more
11:00

A former teacher who taught at a school in Uphill is hoping to reconnect with former pupils and staff.

Read more
09:53

A GP practice has agreed to improve safety for its patients in a bid to get the go-ahead to build a surgery.

Read more
Congresbury Yatton
08:23

There are few stories better known than the birth of Jesus.

Read more
06:55

A GP practice has agreed to improve safety for its patients in a bid to get the go-ahead to build a surgery.

Read more
Congresbury Yatton

Most Read News

Read Online

Image
Read the Weston Worle and Somerset Mercury e-edition E-edition

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 10°C

min temp: 4°C

Useful Links

Advertise in the paper
Submit a Story
Subscribe to the paper
Competitions
Send Your Letters
Order Photos
Family notices
iwitness24
Facebook
Twitter
Reader Travel

Family Notices 24

Newsletter Sign Up

Weston Mercury twice-weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Show Job Lists