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Fri, 12 Feb 2016
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Fire in the Sky


Did You See That Fireball?

© Unknown
Spaceweather.com is seeking reports of a possible fireball or other bright lights in the sky over North America on Jan. 18th around 4 am EST.

The area of particular interest extends from Lake Michigan to southern parts of Ontario and upper New York state. Did you see anything? Submit your reports here.


US, Indiana: Meteorite Reported This Morning.....Historical Viewing-Area Meteorites

Meteorite Over Carroll County This Morning:

Kelly Britton reported a meteorite just south of Delphi this morning at 5:20 a.m. Here is her account from her email:
Didn't know if anybody saw what I saw this morning, 5:20am just south of Delphi. I saw a low flying light streak with a red glow around it and it was moving fast. First, I thought it was a plane going down at the Delphi airport, I thought no it was going way to fast for that. I've looked around on the local net and haven't saw anything yet. As low as it was you would of thought you could see something on the ground?
I have not had other reports, but it sure sounds like a meteorite that burned up in the lower atmosphere. She stated in a second email, it looked like it had to have been 100′ from the ground. Most of the time they burn up much higher than that, but the distortions caused by the curvature of the earth make them appear much closer to the ground. That is not to say a meteorite could end up in someone's field..........it has happened before.


Western Australia Meteorite Excites Scientists

© Phil Bland

A unique meteorite that smashed into the West Australian outback last year is exciting the scientific world.

The ancient rock has an unusual composition and is being studied by scientists around the globe.

Now in the Natural History Museum in London, the meteorite is undergoing preliminary analysis and will be returned to the WA Museum when those tests are complete.

Curtin University department of applied geology Adjunct Professor Phil Bland said the meteorite, which is roughly the size of a tennis ball, could reveal vital clues to the origins of the universe.

Not only is its chemistry proving intriguing but scientists were able to track its fall to earth to determine where in the solar system it came from.

There have been more than 50,000 documented meteorite falls over the past 200 years but scientists know the origins of just 10, highlighting the importance of the latest find.

Meteorites are the oldest rocks in existence and contain a 4.56 billion-year record of solar system's formation and evolution.

The latest meteorite's orbit was tracked using a series of stargazing cameras set up in remote areas of WA under a special international project involving Curtin University, the Imperial College London, Ondrejov Observatory in the Czech Republic and the WA Museum.


Two Major Fireballs Over North America on January 19

The American Meteor Society has received 39 reports of seven separate fireball events over North America on January 19th.

Two of these were widely seen events. Both of these events occurred near 21:00 EST. The first occurred over the northern Midwest and southern Canada. There is some wide scattered timing of this event and the possibility exists that this may be more than one fireball.

The second occurred over the southeastern states and was seen from Florida north to North Carolina. There is good agreement for the timing plus it seems to been a bit brighter with a majority of those reporting that the peak brightness exceeded that of the full moon.


Big, green and glowing: Was it a meteor seen in mid-Michigan and other states?

© Unknown
Whatever it was, it was green.

When Alma College Geologist Murray Borrello was driving south on Wright Avenue in Alma Wednesday evening and a big green light flashed across the sky in front of him, other motorists traveling south put on their brakes.

"You couldn't not see it," he said. "It would have caught your attention. It was a good sized object.

"Is it space junk? Something that fell from an airplane? I don't know. I had a kind of sick feeling. It was big, green and glowing. I've seen shooting stars. I've never seen green ones, but others have. It was weird."

No calls came into Gratiot County's 911 central dispatch, but that wasn't the case in the metropolitan Detroit area.

Several Oakland and Macomb county police departments received calls from people saying they saw something weird around 9 p.m.

In the mid-Michigan area, Borrello wasn't the only one to see it.


UK: 'Fireball' Soars Across Penarth

Was it a bird? Was it a plane? No: it was a fireball over Penarth - according to one town resident anyway.

Translator Elisabeth Griffin was left with hot flushes recently after seeing what she described as a 'fireball' soaring overhead.

The Cornerswell Road resident had gone for a relaxing stroll when she saw the sizzling sight above Victoria playing fields.

"I was taken aback by this unusual but fantastic object in the sky," she said.

"I knew it wasn't a plane immediately because it was too big and too bright.

"It literally stopped me in my tracks as I saw it pass me overhead - it must have taken about a minute."


Unusually bright shooting star prompts sighting reports from Chicago to Indiana

An unusually bright shooting star shot across the sky Wednesday night, prompting sighting reports from the Chicago area to Indiana, a local astronomer said.

A green-tinted burst was reported by amateur astronomers in LaPorte, Ind., just after 8 p.m.., said Adler Planetarium Astronomer Chris Lintott.

The shooting star, which was a meteor probably about the size of 10 grains of salt, likely won't hit the ground and won't become a meteorite, he said. Meteoroids are pieces of material traveling through space that become meteors when they streak through the Earth's atmosphere and meteorites if they strike the ground.

At least two motorists on Chicago-area expressways also reported seeing the flash.


Probe to Survey Comet Dented by Deep Impact Mission

© NASA/JPL-Caltech/UMD
Deep Impact's impactor hit Comet Tempel 1, spewing debris, but the mission was not able to see the resulting crater
NASA's Deep Impact mission pounded a comet in 2005, but failed to see the resulting crater. Now, scientists will get a second chance to glimpse the damage when a second spacecraft flies by the comet on 15 February.

In an unprecedented experiment, NASA smashed a 372-kilogram impactor into Comet Tempel 1 on 4 July 2005 as part of its Deep Impact mission.

A flyby spacecraft recorded images of the impact from a safe distance, but the cloud of impact debris and a flawed camera made it impossible to see the crater itself. Studying the crater could have revealed more about the interior composition and structure of comets.

Now, another spacecraft is about to make its own fly-by of the comet, offering a second chance to image the structure.

Called Stardust, the spacecraft collected material from Comet Wild 2 in 2004 and sent it in a capsule back to Earth, where scientists have been studying it ever since.


Google, Dreaming lead to ancient crater

An aboriginal dreaming story about a star crashing to earth with a noise like thunder has led to the discovery of an ancient meteorite crater in central Australia.

A Sydney astronomer, Duane Hamacher, found the bowl-shaped crater in Palm Valley, about 130 kilometres south-west of Alice Springs, by searching on Google Earth.

He was inspired to look there after learning of traditional stories told by the local Arrernte people about a star that had fallen into a waterhole called Puka in the valley.

© Google Maps
Mr Hamacher, a PhD candidate at Macquarie University, said that reality matching the Dreaming story could be a case of pure chance. ''But if so, it's an incredible coincidence,'' he said.

He is part of a team led by CSIRO astronomer Ray Norris that is exploring the possibility that Aborigines were the world's first astronomers.

Traditional Aboriginal wisdom about the heavens was impressive, Mr Hamacher said.

''It is impossible to survive on a continent like this for 50,000 years and not have an intimate knowledge of the natural world around you, including the night sky,'' he said.

He searched historical records for Aboriginal stories with references to comets, meteors and cosmic impacts, and looked for matching astronomical events.


Ireland: Search on for 'Huge' Meteorite

© RTÉ News
Astronomy - A meteor streaks across the sky during a meteorite shower in Spain.

The search is on for fragments of a meteorite which blazed across Irish skies yesterday evening.

The meteor - described as 'huge' by Astronomy Ireland - is known as a fireball.

Astronomy Ireland says it is likely to be a piece of a comet or asteroid that passed near Earth's orbit sometime in the past.

It appeared in the moonlit sky at approximately 6pm, or shortly after.

If it survived the fall to Irish soil, keen treasure hunters may fetch hundreds of Euro per gram of meteorite if found.