Hunt is on for meteorite believed to have hit Bridgend after 'spectacular' fireball

The meteor fireball was captured on video by Bridget Box in Barry, Vale of Glamorgan

A "spectacular" meteor fireball that was seen over the UK last week may have dropped a meteorite somewhere near Bridgend.

The fireball, spotted shortly after midnight on Thursday 12 May, was widely reported on social media and recorded by more than 25 meteor cameras, as well as CCTV and doorbell cameras.

Eyewitnesses said they heard loud, thunder-like rumbles following the event – sonic booms as a result of the meteoroid’s rapid passage through the lower atmosphere.

The meteor fireball seen over Knighton, Powys, which is believed to have dropped a meteorite in Bridgend. Credit: UKFAA

Most of the rock is believed to have vaporised after entering the Earth's atmosphere but scientists from the UK Fireball Alliance (UKFAll) believe around 100g survived and "landed in an area north of Bridgend".

It's said to be "smaller than an apple" and "probably a glossy black or brown colour".

Dr Jana Horák from the UKFAII, said: “About 20 kg of rock from an asteroid entered the atmosphere at nearly 30 km/s.

"Most of that rock vaporised in the atmosphere within seconds, but we calculate that maybe 100 grams survived and landed in an area north of Bridgend.

"Looking for rocks smaller than an apple in Bridgend and the surrounding hills and woods is like looking for a needle in a haystack, so we’re asking people if they’ve found anything interesting or unusual over the weekend. It’s probably a glossy black or brown colour, maybe with the dark fusion crust broken off in places, but it won’t appear spongy or bubbly.”

Scientists at the Natural History Museum in London have offered tips for anyone who thinks they’ve found a piece.

Dr Ashley King said: “The meteorite won’t be hot and is as safe to handle as any other rock but, if possible, please don’t pick it up with your bare hands as that will contaminate the stone.

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"Also don’t test it with a magnet, as this could destroy valuable information. It may be in a place where rocks aren’t usually found, like on a lawn or footpath.

"Don’t take any risks looking for it, and don’t go into areas where you shouldn’t. But if you have found something out-of-place within the calculated fall area, we’ll certainly be interested to check it out.”