Fire in the Sky

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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.

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Fireball meteor captured on camera over York, UK

© The York Press, UK
Fireball meteor captured on camera over York.
York residents watched in amazement as they saw a fireball fall from the skies this morning.

Bishopthorpe mum Chantelle Byford captured this photograph of what is presumed to be a meteor, at 7.43am.

She posted it on Facebook, in the York Past and Present Group, prompting an excited response.


Loud explosion heard in Rankin and Hinds counties, Mississippi

Lowe Street in Richland, where one resident said the explosion type noise was heard.
Saturday night many residents in Rankin and Hinds counties heard what they're describing as "an explosion".

We contacted officials and were told by the Richland Police Department that they received a lot of calls Saturday night inquiring about the loud explosion type noise. We were told officers searched several areas of the city and did not find what caused the loud sound.

A resident on Lowe Circle in Richland said she heard the noise between 9-9:30 p.m. Saturday night. The resident said the noise sounded like thunder.

We received several Facebook messages asking if we knew what the 'explosion' was. Some viewers said it shook their homes and from comments the noise, whatever it was, was heard from Richland, Brandon, Pearl, Florence, Jackson, and Star.

A viewer, who called into our newsroom, said her sister heard the sound and she lives in the Crossgates area of Brandon. The caller said her sister told her the noise sounded as loud as five or six transformers blowing.

Our news crew searched several locations in the city of Richland, but was unable to locate evidence of an explosion.


Slow fireball filmed over Argentina

A bystander has caught video of a mysterious floating fireball that appears to hang over the sky in Argentina. With no explanation available many are claiming it to be a UFO.

The video was actually taken at the beginning of January but has only just been uploaded onto the internet. According to UFO Sightings Daily, local residents in Frías spotted the fireball and at first believed it was nothing more than a meteor.

Of course meteors move at very high speeds when entering the Earth's atmosphere and so tend to appear and disappear in seconds.

Comment: Not necessarily. Some fireballs move uncharacteristically slowly. Apparently thousands of people observed this fireball ('genuine' UFOs are rarely observed by so many people simultaneously). See also:


Overhead meteor? Mysterious explosion in Wellington, New Zealand

© Thinkstock
What happened in the Wellington suburb of Strathmore is unclear, according to police.
Was it a meteor? A gas cylinder? Or perhaps a bomb?

Nobody seems to know. But the one thing that is certain about the loud bang that shook the Wellington suburb of Strathmore last night is that it was not Superman.

What is widely being treated as an explosion in the eastern suburb about 9.30pm, is being put down by police as an unexplained mystery.

Ahuriri St resident Kevin Cree said a lot of police cars cordoned off the end of his road last night.

Armed Offenders Squad members and police dogs were also called but, by this morning, there was no clue about what caused the blast.

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Asteroid that buzzed past Earth has its own moon

© YouTube
Asteroid 2004 BL86
Radar images revealed an asteroid that passed by Earth this week has its own small moon.

Asteroid 2004 BL86 made its closest approach Monday morning at about 745,000 miles - more than three times the distance from Earth to the moon.

Scientists working with NASA's Deep Space Network antenna released the first radar images of the 1,100-foot-wide asteroid - which is orbited by a 230-foot-wide moon.