The mystery of the sonic boom heard on Saturday afternoon has been solved, with experts in the meteorological field confirming it was caused by a “bolide class meteor” that had entered the Earth’s atmosphere at around 14:53 hrs on March 20th. This rare daytime phenomenon of a fireball of space rock had been recorded by a weather satellite flying over the UK.
Residents in Crewkerne reported their experiences of the unusual event, which shook buildings, rattled doors and windows and caused the ground below to vibrate for a few seconds. Social media was buzzing with reports from across Somerset, Dorset and Devon with plausible explanations put forward as to what had caused the loud explosion type sound.
An earthquake was thought possible but quickly ruled out by The British Geological Survey and the Ministry Of Defence also ruled out a link to the sonic boom from any aircraft activity. Dr Ashley King from the UK Fireball Alliance said: “The fireball would have been going faster than the speed of sound. Somewhere in Devon, Dorset or Somerset a black rock fell out of the sky. It is likely to be glossy black with thumbprint sized depressions” ( as shown in our featured photo from UK Fireball Alliance).
While the UK Fireball Alliance believe it is likely there are fragments of the meteorite scattered on the land somewhere, the International Meteor Organisation think that it is more likely to have crashed into either the English or Bristol Channel. The UK Fireball Alliance, led by staff of the Natural History Museum, is a collaboration between the UK’s meteor camera networks and is keen to recover any fragments of the freshly fallen meteorite. They can be contacted through their website, www.ukfall.org.uk.