‘Once-in-a-lifetime’ video captures actual moment meteor explodes in the sky

Rob Waugh

A photographer captured a once-in-a-lifetime video of a meteor exploding in the night sky over a castle in Shropshire.

Photographer Nick Jackson was trying to capture a long-exposure ‘star trail’ shot, with stars looking like circular streaks of light – but caught a Orionid meteor explosion instead.

The Orionid meteor shower – remnants of Halley’s Comet – happens every year in October, and lit up the skies with up to 20 shooting stars per hour this year.

It’s been described as a once-in-a-lifetime video SWNS

Jackson had gone to Clun Castle, in Shropshire, to capture his long exposure shot – but then saw a meteor fly across past the camera.

Jackson said, ‘I immediately thought, ‘I hope that was caught in the frame’.

He took the image at Clun Castle SWNS

‘It’s very unusual to see a meteor that big. Because I was shooting the star trail, I couldn’t check the footage immediately.’


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‘It was a sheer stroke of luck that I just happened to be shooting the series of images when it happened.

‘With things like that, you’ve got to be in the right place at the right time.’

Nick Jackson who caught the rare moment a meteor exploded and then disintegrates into the night sky above Clun Castle SWNS

Jackson created a video using 30 images, showing the meteor flying into frame then exploding – with two more visible in the background.

He said: ‘To the naked eye, it’s over in a flash. You just see a streak of light and a bright ping and then it’s gone.

It exploded in the sky in front of Jackson’s camera (Picture SWNS)

‘However, the camera captures all the detail of the aftermath.’

‘There are very few images out there that have captured this before. I posted it on Facebook on some astronomy groups and it just blew up over the weekend.

‘People were saying, ‘You’re a lucky guy, that’s a once-in-a-lifetime thing’.’