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Mon, 08 Feb 2016
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Fire in the Sky


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

Fireball 4

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?


Incredible bright green meteor photographed off coast of Yorkshire, UK

© Ross Parry
Green meteorite
It might look like something from Close Encounters of the Third Kind - but there's an entirely logical reason for this eerie green light hovering in the sky above a home.

It's actually a meteorite - and was captured on camera by Peter Horbury as it flashed through the clear night sky near Whitby, North Yorkshire.

The remarkable sight was captured at the same time as the Taurid Meteor Shower passes Earth - with larger cellestial debris being more visible than usual.

Peter, 57, captured the snap at 1.30 am on Saturday after he headed to Hornblower Lodge in Whitby, North Yorkshire.

Fireball 2

Fireball snapped on photo in South Island, New Zealand

© Tim Maynard
Tim Maynard captured a photo of a meteor flying over Invercargill, New Zealand, on Monday, 11/8/2015.
An Invercargill man accidentally snapped a picture of a bright flash of light in the night sky on Monday.

Tim Maynard was taking photos on Stead St, near the airport, when he captured a picture of a meteor. He was unaware of the light trail until he looked back over the stills.

The picture was taken using a ten-second exposure, he said.

Southland Astronomical Society president Phil Burt said meteors were common, particularly at this time of year.

"There's a meteor shower that recurs regularly at this time of year. The activity increases for some nights so you are bound to see several," he said.

Fireball 5

Bright lights, loud explosion in Eastern Cape, South Africa could have been meteor

© Lisa Warren/NASA/JPL/AP
File photo of a meteor.
The Kouga municipality in the Eastern Cape is investigating rumours that a meteorite struck near the Patensie area on Sunday night.

A News24 user and several others described seeing flashes across the sky, as well as a loud explosion. "We have heard the same rumour and our emergency services are going out this morning to go and check it out," municipal spokesperson Laura-Leigh Randall told News24 on Monday morning. "The fire department did not get any calls on it."

Francois Greyling, a Democratic Alliance councillor in the Despatch area, who lives relatively near to Patensie, also heard an explosion. "I studied in Potchefstroom where the army did bombing practice which had a distinct thumping sound. I was watching a movie with the kids and the wife, when I heard what sounded like a bomb going off. "It immediately reminded me of that thumping sound," he said. Greyling said he "though nothing of it" until he saw people talking on social media about a possible meteorite strike in the area.

A News24 user said on Sunday night: "Massive explosion... a series of 'several lightning flashes' were observed in Paradise Beach [Jeffreys Bay] in a westerly direction at 21:00 on 8th Nov followed by about approximately 3 minutes later the sound of a massive explosion as though a bomb had gone off." JBay News tweeted at Nasa, asking, "Is it true that a meteorite landed in Patensie South Africa on 8th November?"


Fireball lights up sky, Twitter in Saskatchewan, Canada

© Bill Allen/Twitter
A Taurid meteor lit up the skies over Ralph, Sask., on Sunday night. 11/08/15
People in Saskatchewan are talking about a fireball that streaked across Saskatchewan skies last night.

It was a Taurid meteor that lit things up and was visible from Saskatoon to the Weyburn area.

Skygazers say it's a particularly good year for the Taurids — so named because they appear to come out of the Taurus constellation.

The meteor shower will continue for the next few days, but Saskatchewan skies are clouding over, so the golden opportunity may be over.

Meanwhile, as Sunday evening's meteor lit up the skies, it also lit things up on social media, with a variety of people tweeting about their sighting.

Among the lucky shutterbugs was Bill Allen, of the Ralph area near Weyburn, who captured a spectacular image of the fireball.


Huge fireball seen all over Ireland


Fireball (representative image)
Hundreds of reports of a massive fireball streaking across the skies over Ireland on Sunday night have been posted on social media.

Fireballs are caused when a large rock from space burns up in the atmosphere as it collides with Earth at speeds of the order of 100,000 mph.

Reports on social media suggest the fireball (featured over Kildare tonight in the video) was seen all over the island, including County Clare where one Clare Herald reader from Corofin said the sky lit up for five seconds as the blueish/greenish fireball crossed the country from west to east at approximately 8.13pm.

Anyone who saw the fireball is being asked to fill in an online report form on Astronomy Ireland's website 'astronomy.ie'.


Fireball explodes over Nydek, Czech Republic

© Via You Tube/Martin Popek
Nýdek, Czech Republic Bolide Fireball Meteor captured 0153 UTC 07NOV2015.

Fireball 2

Multiple meteor fireballs seen across US Northeast


A "heat map" of fireball spottings over the New Jersey region last night.
If you saw a bright objects race across the sky between 9 p.m. and midnight yesterday, you're not alone.

Some took to the internet to post reports about fireballs passing overhead.

According to eyewitness reports on the American Meteor Society (AMS) website, the fireballs ranged from yellow and orange to green.

A fireball is another term for a very bright meteor, according to the American Meteor Society (AMS). AMS says "several thousand" fireballs occur each day, but they are rarely seen.

"The vast majority of these, however, occur over the oceans and uninhabited regions, and a good many are masked by daylight. Those that occur at night also stand little chance of being detected due to the relatively low numbers of persons out to notice them," a fireball FAQ from AMS notes.