Fire in the Sky

Fireball 5

Damage control? Fireballs seen over western U.S. were 'likely' Chinese rocket


People from Arizona to Canada have reported seeing bright lights in the sky as a Chinese rocket burned up in the atmosphere.

Witnesses described the lights as a group of about three dozen fireballs moving slowly from south to north late Monday. Canadian photographer Neil Zeller says it looked like a cluster of fireballs followed by a long orange tail.

A NASA official told the Salt Lake Tribune the lights were a Chinese rocket booster that broke apart about 11 p.m. Mountain Time.

Calls to NASA from The Associated Press were directed to U.S. Strategic Command, who couldn't immediately confirm what it was.

Mike Hankey with the American Meteor Society says his organization got more than 150 reports of the event from nine Western states and Canada.

Source: AP

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Daytime meteor fireball blazes over Melbourne, Australia - 25 February 2015

Lucky skywatchers who spotted a rare daylight meteor streaking across the Victorian sky might never see one again in their lifetime, said one astronomer.

Reports of the burst of flame across the blue sky started flooding through on social media at about 10.30am on Wednesday, with one describing it as a "fireball asteroid".

Astronomical Society of Victoria spokesman Perry Vlahos said he had heard reports of the sighting across the state, from Mildura to Wangaratta to Melbourne.

"It appears to have come in from the western sky burning with a bright orange colour and leaving a white trail behind it," he said.

Mr Vlahos said the soaring fireball was probably a space rock that has been pulled in by the Earth's gravity and burned up in the atmosphere.

The flaming rock did not hit the ground, he said, meaning it was a meteor as opposed to a meteorite.

Comment: "It is very rare that they saw it. I would say those that did wouldn't see another one in their lifetime." Really? These fireball / meteors are actually not so 'rare' these days! See here


Florida fireball with boom

The American Meteor Society received over 90 reports so far about a bright fireball event in northern Florida just east of Jacksonville. Observers from as far north as August GA reported seeing a bright light in the sky. Over 15 of the reports described a window rattling delayed boom. Above is a heat map of the witness reports.

The estimated trajectory plotted from the witness reports shows the meteor was traveling from the south west to the north east and ended its flight about 30 miles due west from Jacksonville, FL.

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Early morning fireball streaks across Pittsburgh, PA sky

Anyone awake and looking skyward early Wednesday morning in the Pittsburgh area got a surprise.

A bright fireball was reported by more than 30 people and captured by NASA cameras, according to the American Meteor Society, which records such sightings.

The meteor was seen at 4:45 a.m. from parts of Pennsylvania, Ohio and New York, according to a NASA blog.

The bright fireball was seen on NASA cameras and posted to YouTube by the meteor society. The video below comes from the Allegheny Observatory near Pittsburgh, the NASA blog says.

The Lehigh Valley area got a view of a bright meteor less than two months ago.

Anyone who sees a fireball can report it to the American Meteor Society on the nonprofit group's website.

Comment: Forget About Global Warming: We're One Step From Extinction!

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Meteor turns night into day over New York, Ohio and Pennsylvania

Buffalo -- While most of us were sleeping Tuesday morning, something bright streaked across the skies.

Now, NASA's Meteoroid Environments Office confirms the fireball that many Western New Yorkers reported seeing around 4:50 a.m. Tuesday morning.

Bill Cooke, the lead person at the Meteoroid Environments Office, says the meteor was seen over Ohio, New York and Pennsylvania.

Currently, the American Meteor Society shows on its website dozens of self-reported logs from people who submitted reports that they saw the meteor. Those are currently considered "pending" logs and have yet to be reviewed. At least two of them are from WNY including reports from Lockport and Cheektowaga.

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Meteor: Shooting star plummets from New Zealand night sky

Captured from a dashboard camera, Josh Sherborne was on his way to the gym when out of nowhere the sky illuminates from a meteor.

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Meteor fireball fragments over Montech, southwestern France, 10 February 2015

File photo of the meteor fireball that lit up northern Spain in September 2014
Translated by

A meteor crossed the sky over Tarn-et-Garonne on Tuesday evening. Witnesses in the area have generally been cautious about coming forward, afraid of not being taken seriously. Mr Charrier of Saint-Aignan for his part didn't hesitate to tell us what he saw as he was driving on the Route de Castelmayaran (see yesterday's edition). This led to other witnesses coming forward, like Gabrielle, a resident of Montech:

"I was enjoying my favourite TV show when I saw this spot in the sky. It was at around 7.30pm. At first I thought it was a plane flying low in the sky. But it didn't have the same colour," confided the clearly shaken pensioner. Gabrielle next heard an abrupt sound. "I thought an apple had fallen or something. But there was nothing on the ground," she said. I saw my kitchen towel flap against the fruit bowl, before righting itself naturally. And I felt a light trembling."

An earthquake?

She next thought it might have been "a little earthquake. I've felt them before in the Pyrenees. This was kind of different. And that doesn't explain the trail in the sky." The testimony of Mr. Charrier also supports that of a resident of Lamothe-Cumont, confirming the previous two versions:

"I was in my living room when I saw a fireball. It was followed by sparks and was moving very fast before disappearing from view behind the nearby hills."

No sign of impact has been detected on the ground. The gendarmes say they haven't received any accounts about this event, but our fearless witnesses swear they didn't dream up the incident.

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Meteor-fireballs seen over Sonoma and Humboldt Counties, California

Multiple North Coast residents from Valley Ford to Santa Rosa and Fort Bragg reported seeing what they described as a meteor streaking northwest across the sky toward the ocean on Saturday afternoon.

Emergency dispatchers began receiving calls just before 1 p.m., said Sgt. Cecile Focha, spokeswoman for the Sonoma County Sheriff's Office. The initial report was of an airplane crash, which turned out to be unfounded. Units from Valley Ford Fire, Bodega Bay Fire and Gold Ridge Fire and the Sonoma County sheriff's helicopter, Henry 1, were dispatched to an area 4 miles west of Valley Ford, but found no evidence of a meteor or other debris.

"Everyone responded as if it was a plane crash," Focha said. "There was no evidence of where the object landed. Something got lobbed at the earth."

Witnesses described seeing a glowing fireball streaking across the sky for about 10 seconds. Some said it burned bright white. Others said it changed color from red to blue to green."It was amazing," said Mark Morelli of Santa Rosa, who saw it while driving down Guerneville Road. "The tip was bright green and it had a really long tail."

Barbara and Nick Makris were walking on their ranch just north of Bodega Bay when they saw the light streak northwest out over the Pacific."It looked like a tadpole," Barbra Makris said. "We watched it for about 10 seconds, then it extinguished. It was pretty exciting."

Firefighters combed grassy fields and farms in the rolling hills near Valley Ford searching for any debris that may have sparked a blaze, Valley Ford Fire Chief Matt Epstein said."We never did find anything that came in contact with the earth," he said. "Once we realized it was not a crash, our biggest concern was if anything hit a structure or started a fire."

Comment: The American Meteor Society recorded 29 accounts within a 15 minute window for this fireball. In addition, there were many reports for the time period of 6:00-6:30 PM in the San Francisco Bay area as well.

Overall there have been 165 reports from January 1 to 31, 2015, in California (1 month) and 1216 reports for all of 2014 (CA).

Look up and observe! The skies are telling us something important!

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Incoming: Sonic booms heard and bright light seen across northern New Zealand skies due to meteor

An artist's rendition of a meteor entering earth's atmosphere.
Bright flashes and sonic booms in the night sky above the North Island are most likely a chunk of asteroid or a meteoroid bursting through the Earth's atmosphere and burning up.

Bright lights and explosions in the sky have been reported from Auckland to Nelson, and the Coromandel to New Plymouth, and even people in Christchurch and on the West Coast.

The event happened about 10pm. People reported that their doors rattled with the impact.

Descriptions of the light ranged from white and orange to green and blue.

The official twitter page for Auckland Civil Defence & Emergency Management said it was "definitely not lightning, most likely a #meteor".

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Meteor caught on Devon beach camera, UK

© The Telegraph, UK
Footage shows a glowing object - described as a meteor - streaking through the night sky before appearing to burn up or land in the sea in Devon.

The video was shot from a fixed camera at Dawlish Beach, Devon, UK early on Wednesday morning. The operator of the fixed camera later wrote online: "What was caught on camera the other night? Was it a bird or a plane, maybe even superman".

The video was caught by a camera that overlooks the Dawlish railway line - which was destroyed by storms one year ago this week.