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'Space junk' in sky over Cross Roads causes a stir
A Cross Roads couple spotted what was believed to be ‘space junk’ or a meteor in the night skies above their home.
Michael and Wendy Dowden, of Lees Bank Avenue, were among people across the UK who saw the same phenomenon that night.
Mr Dowden, 65, a self-employed manufacturer’s agent, said he and his wife, who works as a hairdresser, were in their conservatory shortly before 11pm last Friday.
He said: “At the back of where we live it’s just all open fields down to the railway. We were watching television when out of the corner of my eye I noticed this bright light.
“At first I thought ‘it’s a very bright moon tonight’, but when I actually looked I saw this glowing, green-coloured object coming towards us in the sky, leaving an orange tail behind it.
“It seemed quite low – as if it was only about 200 feet up – and it was coming from the direction of Long Lee towards Haworth.
“We watched it moving very quickly above the fields and as it went towards Haworth it burned itself out.
“Until it disappeared the green bit seemed solid but the orange tail behind it was fragmenting. From the start to the finish we saw it for no more than ten or 15 seconds.
“It’s the first time I’ve seen anything like it in my life. At the time we didn’t know what it was – though later I did wonder if it had been a meteor. Then the following morning we saw it was on the national news.”
People from many other locations in the UK also reported seeing bright objects in the night sky last Friday.
Some experts have suggested the objects were so-called space junk, which is man-made debris from spacecraft burning up in the earth’s atmosphere.
Dominic Curran, secretary of Keighley Astronomical Society, said the footage he had seen after the event supported the space junk theory. “This wasn’t like a classical meteor shower, which is something that happens at particular times and can be predicted to within two or three days,” he said.
“This was clearly something that broke up on re-entry into the atmosphere. There are millions and millions of pieces of space junk up there – it’s not just America and Russia who have space programmes now.”