Mystery solved over fast-moving object seen in Suffolk skies on Christmas Day

A meteor over the skies in Sudbury on Christmas Day

A meteor was spotted above west Suffolk on Christmas Day - Credit: Chris Brinkley

The mystery over a bright, fast-moving object spotted soaring through Suffolk's skies on Christmas Day has been solved.

A meteor over the skies in Sudbury

The meteor could have only been the size of a tennis ball, a local astronomer said - Credit: Chris Brinkley

The large-looking object was seen racing across the horizon at around 3.45pm, with several people in Sudbury taking to Facebook to share the discovery. Sightings had actually been reported from as far south as Surrey and as far north as Hull.

Many believed the object could have been the International Space Station, although according to the NASA website, it was only visible over Suffolk during the morning.

Others joked it may have been Father Christmas or a UFO – although the true answer is still out of this world.

Astronomer, Neil Norman Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Astronomer, Neil Norman Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN - Credit: Archant

Hadleigh-based astronomer Neil Norman said the object was a fast-soaring meteor called a bolide.

He said: "A bolide is basically a fancy astronomical term for for a large meteoroid entering the atmosphere and burning brightly. 

"Surprisingly enough, it's size could have been only the size of a tennis ball – but with an entry speed of 17,000 miles per hour the friction would cause it to flow fiercely as it vaporized and eventually broke apart."

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