Video: ‘Meteorite ball of fire’ spotted in night skies

Shocked: Maggie Dellard
Shocked: Maggie Dellard

A breathtaking ‘supermoon’ visible in the Sussex sky last week led to another astral discovery for a Horsham woman.

Maggie Dellard went out into the garden of her home in Pines Ridge to look at the moon after seeing reports of the phenomenon on television - and was shocked to discover another startling spectacle. “I looked up and there was this big meteorite flying over Tanbridge School,” she said. “It was a big ball of fire with a tail behind it.

“I called out to my husband Keith to come and look, but it totally vanished by the time he came out.”

Maggie, 73, said: “I just can’t believe I am the only person in Horsham to have seen it. It couldn’t have been anything else but a meteorite.

“It seemed really close. It went past an oak tree and then it just went totally black, almost as if it had gone out like a switch.”

She said she had never seen a meteorite before “but this was not a shooting star, everyone has seen shooting stars. This was a big ball of fire. There was no mistake. It was a meteorite. It was a privilege to have seen it.”

Now Maggie, president of the Sussex County Women’s Indoor Bowling Association, is convinced that the piece of space debris must be lying somewhere on the ground in Horsham.

She is eager to hear if anyone else spotted the fireball in the sky which she saw at around 10.35pm on January 31. If you witnessed it, email

l A meteorite is a solid piece of debris from a comet or asteroid that originates in outer space. Until lunar samples were obtained for the first time in 1969, meteorites were the only extraterrestrial samples studied. Two members of Sussex Cricket Club reported a meteorite crashing to earth during a match against Middlesex in 2010. It broke in two, with one piece hitting one of the men and the other crashing at the boundary.