Fire in the Sky

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Incoming! Earth-grazing fireball lights up New Mexico sky

© Thomas Ashcraft
A comet fragment skimming Earth’s atmosphere was visible from New Mexico and Colorado on Tuesday evening.
An 8-inch fragment of a comet blazed orange across the sky at 62,000 miles per hour around nightfall Tuesday in a spectacle that was visible just south of Santa Fe.

Lamy astronomer Thomas Ashcraft captured the event on his Sentinel camera on loan from Sandia National Laboratories.

Ashcraft said the Meteoroid Environment Office at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., confirmed that the 5:47 p.m. event was the result of a rare Taurid earth-grazer that was about as bright as the first-quarter moon.

"Earth-grazers enter earth's atmosphere at a very shallow angle and skim along the top of the atmosphere. Some actually skim and then re-enter space," Ashcraft wrote in an email. "This fireball was visible for eleven seconds and burned brightly its entire path of at least 180 miles. This means it had some mass to it to be able to burn that long."

Earth-grazers are not rare, but brighter ones, such as Tuesday's fireball, are special, Ashcraft said. "I'm not sure of the last time but I can tell you that a fireball of this size is not a common event over one location," he said. "That it was a long path earth-grazer makes it much more special."

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Huge meteor fireball explodes across four states in the US

© hooeetube
Huge Fireball Meteor Caught on Security Camera somewhere in Midwest and Southern US 19/11/2015

Residents of four US states - Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, and Tennessee - have anxiously reported a loud blast. Their first suggestion was a meteor, but more frightening versions followed.

Some said, though, that they saw the actual meteor, and in some pictures, one can see a bright flash of light in the sky.

Comment: This youtube video shows a huge fireball meteor caught on Cincinnati resident Steve Hart's home security camera on 19/11/2015.

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Fireball falls behind TV reporter during liveshot in Oklahoma City

A fireball fell behind Ariana Garza during her live report on Monday night.

Comment: Global map of locations where fireballs have been seen so far in 2015:


'Explody' Taurid meteor fireballs filmed in Deadfall Basin, California

© Brad Goldpaint
A bright Taurid meteor falls over Deadfall Basin, near the base of Mount Eddy in California.
"The landscape was just at the verge of trying to silently explode with vibrant colors of red, gold and oranges," said photographer Brad Goldpaint as he described the autumn view during his hike to Deadfall Basin in California to set up his cameras to try and capture a few Taurid meteors.

But the landscape wasn't the only thing about to explode.

Later that night Brad captured a few "exploding" meteors that produced what are called persistent trains: what remains of a meteor fireball in the upper atmosphere as winds twist and swirl the expanding debris.

Brad created a time-lapse video from the event and slowed down the footage to highlight the trains.


Blazing meteor fireball photographed from Swiss Alps

© Ivo Scheggia
What's happening to that meteor? A few days ago, a bright fireball was photographed from the Alps mountain range in Switzerland as it blazed across the sky.

The fireball, likely from the Taurids meteor shower, was notable not only for how bright it was, but for the rare orange light it created that lingered for several minutes. Initially, the orange glow made it seem like the meteor trail was on fire. However, the orange glow, known as a persistent train, originated neither from fire nor sunlight-reflecting smoke. Rather, the persistent train's glow emanated from atoms in the Earth's atmosphere in the path of the meteor — atoms that had an electron knocked away and emit light during reacquisition.

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Meteor fireball disintegrates over Sri Lanka - November 13, 2015

© Astronomy Center
The International Astronomical Center (IAC) and the United Arab Emirates Space Agency hosted a team of veteran U.S. and German observers of spacecraft re-entries to study the re-entry of an approximately 1-meter piece of space debris near Sri Lanka on 13 November 2015. The reentry was seen in one of the videos between 06:18:34 and 06:18:41 UT.


Meteor fireball filmed over Winnipeg, Canada

Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada Fireball 1625 Local 13NOV2015

Posted to YouTube by Larry Gundrum 3 views

Thank you Larry Gundrum for the email and video!

Congratulations on your video capture.


Timelapse film of aurora and fireball in the night sky at Ballintoy, Northern Ireland

© Martin McKenna
Taurid fireball & Aurora - Nov 6th
Night Sky Hunter Martin McKenna filmed this stunning night sky time lapse of aurora, Taurid fireball and stars at Ballintoy church and harbour. Credit: Martin McKenna

Comment: See also the following report (which happened on the 8th November whereas the one above was recorded on the 6th).

Huge fireball seen all over Ireland

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Meteor lights up Siberian skies

© Levitan Video/YouTube
A huge fireball has been spotted in the skies over the Russian city of Chita near the border with China. An unidentified flying object, most probably a meteorite, made three extra bright flashes before burning out, according to eyewitness accounts.

A video claiming to show a bolide [meteor] burning out in the skies was posted on YouTube. Witnesses described the incident as an unusually bright flash that illuminated the skies just after midnight on November 12. The falling object left long tail of light behind it.


Bright meteor fireball photographed over Aberdeenshire, Scotland

© Leigh-Ann Mitchell
An aurora-hunting north-east photographer has captured a stunning image of a meteorite fireball falling to earth. Leigh-Ann Mitchell, from Ellon, had been out at the weekend scouring the night skies for any sign of the Northern Lights. The self-proclaimed "aurora chaser" settled at Pitfour Estate in Mintlaw, where she thought she had the best chance.

But the 40-year-old amateur snapper got more than she bargained for when she captured the moment a fireball from the Taurid meteor shower fell from the sky, combined with the heavenly aurora glow.

The shower is notorious for producing fireball flares, and experts said this year would be the best chance to witness them yet.

Comment: Interesting comment about it being the 'best chance yet' - is that perhaps because of the incredible uptick in meteor fireball activity?