Fire in the Sky


US: Mysterious Loud Boom Rattles Highland Park

Officials say a loud boom was heard -- and felt -- in and around Highland Park Tuesday evening but the cause of the noise remains a mystery.

More than an hour after the explosion was heard, firefighters were still unable to determine its cause.

Dozens of calls came in at 8:02 p.m. reporting a "loud sound described by some as an explosion" in the vicinity of North Avenue 52 and Monte Vista
Street, Brian Humphrey of the Los Angeles Fire Department said.

Those hearing the sound included members of a nearby fire station about a half-mile from where the sound seemed to emanate, Humphrey said.

20 firefighters have combed the area looking for anything out of the ordinary, but have come up empty.

Police theorized the sound could have been a backfire, and some people
even theorized a meteorite, Humphrey said.

"It was far louder than anything we have experienced," Humphrey said.


US: No Word On Cause Of Loud Boom In Portland

Oregon - Emergency dispatchers in the Portland area received several reports of a loud boom Sunday evening.

The FOX 12 newsroom also received numerous calls from people reporting what sounded like an explosion. The reports came from as far east as Boring and as far north as Vancouver.

The source of the boom is unknown. Jim Todd, of the Oregon Museum of Science & Industry, said the explosion was likely not a fireball.

"Certainly a fireball can produce such an explosion and be heard for miles in cloudy conditions," Todd said in a news release. "What is missing is the positive visual sighting reports."

Todd said radar has yet to reveal a fireball.

The Portland International Airport did not report anything in the area that would have created a sonic boom.

Representatives with the United States Navy and the Oregon National Guard also said they had no information on what may have caused the noise.

Fort Lewis Army Base and the McChord Air Force base were also unaware of anything that could have created the boom.

Many local Twitter users have speculated on what may have caused it.


Unusually Low Flying Meteor

On March 19th at 11:19 Central Time, a meteoroid entered Earth's atmosphere over the southeastern United States and disintegrated in a flash as bright as the crescent Moon. To the human eye, it appeared to be a garden-variety fireball, the kind that appears almost every clear night, but NASA cameras had a different story to tell.

"This was an unusually low-flying meteor," says Bill Cooke of NASA's Meteoroid Environment Office. Cooke and colleagues operate a pair of all-sky cameras, one in Huntsville, Alabama, and another in Chickamauga, Georgia. Both cameras caught the fireball, allowing rapid triangulation of its flight path. "It was first recorded at an altitude of 72.9 km (45.3 miles) and burned up at an altitude of 32.5 km (20.2 miles)."

That's low. Most meteoroids disintegrate around 70 to 80 km high. This one held together for a much deeper descent. "It had a lot of structural integrity. Maybe it was a metallic object," speculates Cooke. "Based on the brightness and velocity of the fireball, I estimate a mass of about 10 kilograms and a diameter of ~20 centimeters - a decent size!"


US: Huge bright green light falling over Southern New Jersey (fireball?)

Posted: March 23, 2010

Date: March 23, 2010
Time: 3:05 a.m.
Location of Sighting: Southern New Jersey.
Number of witnesses: 2
Number of Objects: 1
Shape of Objects: Round.

Full Description of Event/Sighting: My boyfriend and I were driving home on Broadway St in Pitman NJ (towards Glassboro) and we saw a bright green light fall from the sky. We only saw it for a few seconds before it disappeared behind trees. It came down at a rough estimate of a 70 degree angle falling from right to left. At first we thought it was a plane crashing, it was huge, but nothing happened after it vanished behind the trees.


US: Fireball Streaks Through Night Sky of Western Alabama

Fireball Streaks Through Night Sky of Western Alabama.
Vigilant sky watchers were treated to a fiery surprise in western Alabama sky on Friday, March 19.

Allsky meteor cameras at the Marshall Center and near Chickamauga, Ga., recorded a fireball streaking across the sky around 11:19 p.m. CDT.

Moving at a speed of 42,500 mph -- or 12 miles per second -- the meteor burned up approximately 20 miles up in the atmosphere. Although very bright, the meteor was deemed not large enough to produce meteorites.

Mid-March is typically a lull period for meteor shower activity, but several bright fireballs have recently been spotted over California, Mississippi and now Alabama.

Watch a short video clip of the meteor.


UK: Fireball shoots in from outer space

Channel Islanders have been left baffled after what looked like a meteor flashed across the sky on Sunday night.

The fireball was first spotted in Guernsey before hurtling over the east of Jersey seconds later. Residents in both islands reported that the unidentified object was moving very quickly and very low across the sky.

Patrick Devaney, a Guernsey teacher, said that he watched the 'meteor' shoot from Herm diagonally over St Peter Port and towards Jersey.

Jersey Met Office confirmed that it received a report from an Islander in Gorey of what appeared to be a meteor 'dashing very low and very fast' across the sky at about 10 pm on Sunday. But Jersey's Air Traffic Control department said that it had not detected anything on its radar.


US: Unexplained 'boom' generates calls to 911 center

Maysville, Kentucky - Concerned citizens reported hearing a loud boom and feeling possible tremors to the Maysville Emergency 911 Dispatch Center Thursday night.

Maysville Police Chief Kent Butcher and Maysville-Mason County Emergency Management Director Jack Fultz said Thursday the reports of the unusually loud boom, which apparently caused buildings to shake and windows to rattle, started coming into the dispatch center around 9:25 p.m. Fultz said at one time, he was told about 50 calls came into the 911 center, most from Mason County, but some were from citizens in Brown County.

Fultz said he felt the repercussions of the boom at his home, located in western Mason County near Dover and he immediately checked the National Geological Earthquake Web site, but there were no reports of earthquake activity in the Ohio River Valley region.

During business hours Thursday, Fultz said he was told by Larry Dixon, area manager for Kentucky Emergency Management Morehead Office a similar incident occurred in Pendleton County earlier this week, but the boom and subsequent aftershock were attributed to activity at Black River Mine.


Ohio: Unexplained Boom Heard in Brown and Neighboring Counties

Georgetown - People in the eastern reaches of the Tri-state are trying to figure out what the big noise was that they heard in the sky Thursday night. Brown County dispatchers say they heard a booming sound their station in Georgetown, and had calls from Mt. Orab in the northern part of the county, and from Ripley and Aberdeen on the river. Some Mt. Orab callers said it shook their homes.

Police in Hillsboro got seven calls shortly after 9 p.m. from people saying they had heard a sound. One thought it might have been in the neighborhood, but several other callers described it as a sonic boom. A Hillsboro dispatcher who was in Highland County toward Chillicothe saw a fighter jet that appeared to be in training dropping flares as it crossed the sky, but she didn't notice any boom sound.

Bracken county dispatchers say they had a couple calls from the east side of Augusta from people who said it shook their trailers. The sound was also heard in Mason County in Kentucky.


Fireball Over Southwestern Nebraska

© Cloudbait Observatory
This bright fireball occurred at 05:25 AM MDT over southwestern Nebraska. This meteor was not associated with any known shower.

Data has been recovered from the following cameras: The image at left is from the Cloudbait camera.

The meteor began very close to the border corner between Colorado, Kansas, and Nebraska. It first appeared at a height of 100 km, descended at a zenith angle of 40° and stopped burning following an intense terminal explosion at a height of 77 km. The meteor had an average speed of 44 km/s (99,000 mph).

Both the speed and entry angle are at the upper bounds of where we might expect meteorites to survive. Also, meteorites are usually associated with bodies that fragment much lower than this one. High altitude winds at the time were to the south at 32 m/s, which suggest that any meteorite strewn field would be shifted south of the meteor ground path by up to 20 km


Louisiana: Loud boom heard in area last week likely a "meteor"

A meteor hurtling through the atmosphere faster than the speed of sound likely caused the sonic like boom that startled many residents in LaSalle Parish and throughout north central Louisiana late last Monday afternoon.

The loud noise, first believed to be a sonic boom or gas pipeline explosion, happened just before 5 p.m. on Monday and was heard from the Arkansas-Louisiana line, to the Mississippi River, to Natchitoches and to below Alexandria.

Earlier, experts said a high-speed aircraft probably made the sound, but checks with air bases in the area found no planes were in the air at the time.

Law enforcement officers in several parishes, including LaSalle, searched for a possible pipeline explosion, but found nothing.

Later, residents of Memphis, Tennessee said they saw a fire ball traveling through the skies and a resident of Bunkie claims she saw a gray mass with no flames moving through the sky at the about the same time the loud boom was heard on Monday.

Louisiana Delta Community College meteorologist Don Wheeler said evidence indicates a meteor was the apparent cause of the sonic boom.