Fire in the Sky


Canada: Fireballs spotted in Edmonton sky

Ah to be an early riser: first to the paper, first to the coffee, and, of course, first to the occasional fireball scorching through the sky.

Twice in as many mornings this week early birds have reported fiery objects in the atmosphere above Edmonton.

On Thursday at about 7:15 a.m., a fireball was spotted travelling low along the horizon from the northeast to the east, according to the Telus World of Science. The next day, on Friday, a second was eyed in the west at about 5:50 a.m.

US: Mysterious 'fireball' sighting over Massachusetts not science fiction

As Ernest Merrill was driving down Route 113 in West Newbury on Saturday night, he glimpsed what many astronomers refer to as a once-in-a-lifetime sighting - a fireball falling from the sky.

Merrill's friends think he's crazy, but scientists say it's entirely possible. Referred to by astronomers as a "fireball," it is caused by a larger-than-average particle, perhaps from a Leonid meteor shower, shooting through the earth's atmosphere and blazing a fiery trail to the treeline.

The object was like nothing 67-year-old from Salisbury and his wife, Laura, had ever seen before.

"We were riding along, and it was dark," Merrill said. "We were talking about the moon, and all of a sudden this thing came into the Earth's atmosphere and was shooting across the sky with a tail, like fire coming off and going all the way toward Haverhill. We watched it going down, and it finally disappeared by the trees. It came into the Earth's atmosphere and it was burning up as it was coming down."

That fiery display, similar perhaps to what Merrill saw on Saturday, is a rare occurrence that meteor experts track as "fireball sightings,"
As regular Sott readers know, fireball sightings are not all that rare now. All one needs to do is put the word fireball, or meteor in our search engine and you will see lots of reports of these "rare" sightings.


Meteor turns night into day with bright explosion over South Africa

© Lunar and Planetary Institute, Universities Space Research Association
Satellite image of the Vredefort Dome meteor impact crater: South Africa is home to the world's largest and oldest (known) meteor impact crater
"What people saw last night was almost certainly a meteor," Claire Flanagan an astronomer at the Johannesburg Planetarium said.

People saw a bright "greenish, bluish" light heading towards Pretoria at about 11pm on Saturday night.

"It moved over the Gauteng Province towards Limpopo... it travels very fast and was about 90 kilometres up," said Flanagan.

The meteor was a hot topic of discussion in the forum on

"I saw a light flash the sky at about 8pm, at first I thought I was imagining it, but my friend also saw it," wrote someone who saw the meteor.

"... Maybe it's people getting abducted by aliens...I walked in the house looked out [and] the sky was lit. It looked how it normally [does] at 5am."

Comment: Update: This is allegedly a video of "the meteor that passed through South Africa and landed in Botswana on Saturday":

Update 2: A new video has surfaced showing this event in all its spectacular glory!


US: Did meteor hit near Dugway, Utah?

There's new evidence that Wednesday morning's spectacular fireball meteor may have landed in Utah.


Queensland, Australia: Green object that lit up sky a chip off an old meteor

Experts say a fire ball that streaked across the sky above south-east Queensland last night was a "chip off the old block of some asteroid".

The meteor was spotted by people from the Sunshine Coast, the Gold Coast and across Brisbane around 9.45pm.

Witnesses said the meteor was a green glow travelling from south-east to north-west, leaving a visible trail for 10 to 15 minutes.

Speaking on ABC radio this morning, Sir Thomas Brisbane Planetarium curator Mark Rigby ruled out space junk as an explanation.

Mississippi, US: Sonic Boom's Source Still a Mystery

Keesler confirms jet training

Pascagoula - The boom that rattled windows in Pascagoula and Moss Point, swamped police phone lines and brought entire neighborhoods of people out of their homes to see what was happening was almost as much a mystery Wednesday as it was Tuesday night when it happened.

Keesler Air Force base told city police around 8:45 p.m. Tuesday the boom was caused by military jets on a training exercise in the Gulf, but that the jets were not from Keesler.

On Wednesday security at the base reconfirmed the jets had contacted the tower Tuesday night and were told there was a training exercise.

But what jets, and whose jets were flying at supersonic speeds over the Gulf at night?

Kansas, US: Biophysicist confirms Liberal boy's meteorite discovery

The 2-inch-diameter gun-metal black rock that 10-year-old Chandler Harp found Saturday in his Liberal backyard traveled a long way to get there.

Liberal meteorite
© The Hutchinson News/(Courtesy photo)
The triangle-shaped fresh iron meteorite discovered in Liberal fell to Earth from as far away as 100 million miles.
"There's no question in my mind whatsoever that what they have is a meteorite," said Don Stimpson of Haviland, a biophysicist who owns the Kansas Meteorite Museum and Nature Center on U.S. 54/400 near Greensburg.

US: Meteor the size of oven lights up the night sky, alarms Utahns

A fast moving meteor lit up the night skies over most of Utah just after midnight Wednesday. Moments later, the phones lit up at KSL as people across the state called to tell us what they saw and ask what it was.

Utahns are still talking Wednesday about what scientists are calling a "remarkable midnight fireball." The source of all the excitement was basically a rock, falling from space. When a meteor enters the atmosphere, it gives off a lot of heat and light.

Folks at the Clark Planetarium say this rock was big--between the size of a microwave and washer-dryer unit.

Huge fireball explodes over western US

As forecasters predicted, there was a surge of Leonid meteors during the late hours of Nov. 17th. Preliminary counts from the International Meteor Organization exceed 120 meteors per hour.

A remarkable midnight fireball that "turned night into day" over parts of the western United States last night was not a Leonid. Infrasound measurements suggest a sporadic asteroid not associated with the Leonid debris stream. The space rock exploded in the atmosphere with an energy equivalent to 0.5 - 1 kilotons of TNT.

Approximately 6 hours later, observers in Utah and Colorado witnessed a twisting iridescent-blue cloud in the dawn sky.

© Jeff Kendrick
Image taken: Nov. 18, 2009
Location: Looking South East of SLC, UT just before dawn 11/18/2009
Details: First appeared as a ring when the eastern sky was dark. Disappeared completely as the sun came up

Meteor lit up night sky, caught on video

Boise - A number of people called our newsroom, e-mailed us, and were talking about it on Twitter.

A meteor streaked across the night sky-- lighting it up as if it were daytime.