Fire in the Sky

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Meteor fireball startles the population of Chihuahua, Mexico

meteoro México
© El Heraldo de Chihuahua
Last Saturday night, at 9 pm, a fireball turned the night sky into day across several towns in Chihuahua, Mexico. Eyewitnesses reported having seen the object burst into small pieces and disintegrate after having traveled for a few minutes, leaving a white, yellow, orange and green trail on its path.

In Parral, three explosions were first heard, and several calls were made to the authorities inquiring about their origin. At the same time, in San José de los Bailón, eyewitnesses stated that they had seen a fireball crossing the sky "as if if had been fireworks, except that it was travelling in a downward trajectory!".

At the time of the sighting, a primary school was celebrating a graduation, and the children and parents present gave accounts of the "magnificent light show" they had witnessed.

In yet another town, Providencia, a family observed the phenomenon. José Luis Aguirre said that "it was like a shooting star, but brighter, and we saw this extremely bright light blaze across the sky from one end to the other. It was amazing."
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Fireball over in Malaga, Granada and Seville, Spain, only 4 days after two others were observed

meteorito Málaga
© Instituto de Astrofísica de Andalucía
The last meteor recorded in Malaga, in 2005
On June 26th, social media networks were flooded with messages from excited eyewitnesses of a "meteor sighting" in the skies above Malaga, Granada and Seville. The next day, the sighting was confirmed by the Institute of Astrophysics in Andalucia: It was doubtlessly a meteor fireball. Unfortunately, no images were taken.

Mr. Ortiz, a scientist working for the observatory, said: "The curious thing about it is that 4 days previously, also in Malaga, two other consecutive fireballs had been observed, with similar characteristics and occurring only 16 minutes later than the latest one."

Police camera films meteor fireball over West Midlands, UK

A camera fitted to a West Midlands Police car films the moment a bright meteor shoots through the night sky

Police car cameras are usually used to catch images of suspects, but in the early hours of Monday morning West Midlands Police captured a meteor fireball shooting across the sky.

The video clip was taken from a traffic car while it was travelling towards Junction 4 of the M42 at Shirley just after 3am.

The meteor is believed to have broken into pieces as it entered the Earth's atmosphere and was visible across Wales and the west of England.


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Kola fireball meteorites found in Russia

Kola Fireball
© Asko Aikkila/Finnish Fireball Network
Amateur astronomer and physics teacher Asko Aikkila caught this image of the Kola fireball on videotape in Kuusamo, Finland on April 19, 2014. The picture has been processed to enhance the details.
A spectacular fireball that crackled across the sky near the Russia-Finnish border on April 19th this year left more than a bright flash. A team of meteor researchers from Finland, Russia and the Czech Republic scoured the predicted impact zone and recently discovered extraterrestrial booty.

Comet Siding Spring clears the fence over Mars' satellite-filled outfield

Siding Spring’s orbit
© NASA/JPL-Caltech
Graphic depiction of Siding Spring’s (aka comet C/2013 A1) trajectory as it swings around the Sun in 2014. On Oct. 19, the comet will have a very close pass at Mars-just 86,000 miles (138,000 kilometers) from the planet.
Like a runner rounding third base on his way to home plate, comet Siding Spring will sprint past Mars this October while making a beeline for the Sun. Siding Spring's buzz of the red planet will afford us not only an unprecedented peek at a fresh comet, but also front-row seats for a historical look back at the ancient Solar System.

"Comets like this one, which formed long ago and remained for billions of years in the icy regions beyond Pluto, still contain the primeval building materials of our solar system in their original state," said Dr. Dennis Bodewits, lead researcher on the UMD astronomy team that used NASA's Swift satellite to estimate the comet's size and activity.

Siding-Spring is a new comet coming from an old place: the Oort cloud. The Oort Cloud, named for the astronomer who predicted its existence, is a spherical shell of icy bodies that dwell between five thousand and 100 thousand AU from the Sun. One AU is equivalent to the distance between the Sun and the Earth.

"Comets formed early in the evolution of the solar system," Bodewits told Astrobiology Magazine, "while material was accreting to form planets. When proto-planets became large enough, a population of comets was dynamically ejected into the Oort cloud, where some remain stored until today."

Comment: We have been witnessing an awful lot of asteroids and comets streaming through our solar system and some grazing the planets too, though media want us to treat each event as a independent incident. What is happening in the solar system?

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Green fireball seen over UK

© Norman Lockyer Observatory
A green fireball meteor seen over the UK has been captured on camera by an observatory in Devon.

The "bolide" meteor was seen in the West Country, Wales and the West Midlands at 03:04 BST.

The fireball is reported to have been green in colour and bright enough to cast shadows.

It was captured by two special meteor cameras at the Norman Lockyer Observatory at Sidmouth in Devon.

Elsewhere, a West Midlands Police traffic officer saw the fireball while travelling on the M42. It was filmed by the car's on-board CCTV.

An eyewitness in Cardiff described the meteor as "spectacular".

It is reported to have broken into several pieces as it entered the Earth's atmosphere.

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Spain: Bright fireball seen in Toledo's skies - June 22, 2014 (VIDEO)

bola de fuego España
© Observatorio de La Hita
An asteroid fragment weighing approximately 10 kilos (22 pounds) was recorded by the SPMN meteor station at La Hita Asronomical Observatory, in Toledo, after entering the atmosphere on June 22nd, at 01:20 am. It was travelling at an average speed of 75,000 kilometers per hour (46,600 miles per hour) and disintegrated before reaching the ground.
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Explosive Bolide over Brasília, Brazil

Posted to YouTube by Carlos Bella


Fireball reported over Melbourne, Florida Saturday, June 27, 2014

Recorded by Sky Sentinel:

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Did a meteor hit? Scientists in Odessa at a loss to explain 2 meter tidal wave that rushed ashore preceded by an obtuse sound of an explosion

Seismic graph
Scientists in the city of Odessa have failed to explain for the causes of an unusually tall tidal wave that rushed ashore Friday in the city's beach areas and in the neighboring port town of Ilyichevsk.

"Measuring equipment didn't register any tremors of the crust or any other geophysical events that might have triggered a tsunami of this kind," Dr. Konstantin Yegupov, the chief of a seismic survey station at the Odessa State Academy of Construction told reporters.

He said the researchers had not confirmed the versions of either an underwater blast or the so-called rump wave.

"All the evidence available to us points to a local surge of the sea, presumably in the area of Chernomorka and the wave moved from the northeast to the southwest but we can only theorize about the nature of that surge," Dr. Yegupov said.

A special commission has been set up by the regional branch of the state service for emergency situations response to establish the causes of the phenomenon.

Comment: We have placed this article temporarily in the category Fire in the Sky as, at the moment, a cosmic origin appears to be the most likely reason.