Fire in the Sky

Fireball 4

Bright green fireball seen over Northern Ireland, Scotland

© Screenshot via Belfash Telegraph
A mysterious fireball set social media ablaze as hundreds took to Twitter to report a bright object falling from the sky.
Shortly after 10pm on Sunday night the first queries started popping up on the internet with some speculation about what the fiery sphere was.

@xBobbyJean was one of the first to Tweet, saying: "Just saw what seemed to be a fireball travelling southwards across the sky - odd! Did anyone else see it? #Belfast.

Many were quick to joke of an alien invasion of a foreign military attack but others realised they had witnessed a spectacular meteor, according to Tolis Christou from the Armagh Observatory. "Judging from its brightness, I would say it was a chunk of rock, about the size of a grapefruit, independently orbiting the Sun until it had a misfortune of coming across our planet", he said.

"Upon entering the atmosphere, friction - air molecules bouncing off it - caused it to heat up and glow. This light that we see from the ground is what we call a meteor. Eventually, the intense heat caused it to vaporise completely before reaching the ground. "It appeared to emanate from the vicinity of the constellations Draco the Dragon and Ursa Major (Big Dipper). If we were to stay up all night every night, we would expect to see one as bright as that every month approximately. The casual observer would probably see one every year."

Mr Christou said that by judging from its apparent path across the sky, this event was not related to the Lyrid meteor shower which peaked on April 22/23. At peak activity this shower produces 15 or 20 meteors per hour. Reports of the fireball weren't limited to Northern Ireland, as residents of Dublin, Galway and others in Scotland shared their visual experiences.

Comment: Ireland has seen its share of fireballs this November: This meteor was also seen in Scotland:

Fireball 2

Green meteor fireball filmed over Cape Town, South Africa

What was this mysterious green light striking the sky of South Africa on November 28, 2015?

The strange green light was spotted by hundreds of baffled residents from Durban, Cape Town and Johannesburg...
seems legit or its vfx 50/50 "@LiveMagSA WHAT WAS THAT? Anyone else see that green light flying over Soweto? #UFOSA"

— PhetogoTshepoMahasha (@PTMahasha) November 30, 2015
Hundreds of people reported through social networks a strange green light in the sky over Cape Town, Durban and Johannesburg at around 11pm on November 28, 2015.

Fireball 2

Bright meteor shoots through Northern Lights over Iceland


The Leonid meteor shower happens every year at this time, as our world crosses the orbital path of Comet Tempel-Tuttle
There were excellent viewing conditions for the Northern Lights last night at the same time as the peak of the Leonid meteor shower. Icelandic astronomy website Stjörnufræðivefurinn has published stunning footage of a meteor shooting seemingly through the Northern Lights.

The video, published first on the Facebook page of Stjörnufræðivefurinn was shot over Reykjavik last night and shows the Northern Lights cascading in the sky in real time. One minute into the video a meteor can be spotted and then it burns up in the middle of the Northern Lights display. Watching the video in HD is reccomended.

The Leonid meteor shower happens every year at this time, as our world crosses the orbital path of Comet Tempel-Tuttle. Like many comets, Tempel-Tuttle litters its orbit with bits of debris. It's when this cometary debris enters Earth's atmosphere, and vaporizes, that we see the Leonid meteor shower. In 2015, the peak night of the shower was from midnight to dawn on Wednesday.

See the video here below.

Fireball 2

Loud boom heard over Central Kentucky

Many across central Kentucky heard or felt what was similar to an explosion on Thanksgiving evening around 9pm.

After investigating and gathering information, I believe there is a high probability that this was a meteor or meteors that broke the speed of sound, creating a "sonic boom". A sonic boom is the sound associated with the shock waves created by an object traveling through the air faster than the speed of sound.

Sonic booms generate enormous amounts of sound energy. They sound just like an explosion.

Many saw what looked like a shooting star or a streak of light in the sky, which backs up this theory.

If you have photos or video of the possible meteor, we invite you to share them with us on our LEX 18 News Facebook Page.


Meteor fireball over West Michigan caught on video

A Wood TV8 employee captured video of what appears to be a meteor over West Michigan.

The video was recorded by a dash cam on Tuesday night over I-196 near Zeeland.

Meteors light up as they cross the sky because they are burning up as they enter Earth's atmosphere.

It's possible the meteor was part of the Leonid meteor shower. That shower peaked on Nov. 17 and 18, according to NASA, but lasts through the end of November.


Mysterious cloud appears over 6 States baffling stargazers

© Glen Wurden
This mysterious cloud in the sky of New Mexico was shot by Glen Wurden on November 24, 2015
A mysterious cloud suddenly appeared in the sky on November 24, 2015.

And it baffled a whole lot of stargazers over at least 6 US states.

Do you know what it was?
© Glen Wurden
Can you imagine spotting that at 5:40am and during half an hour without knowing what is going on there?


Bright meteor fireball seen and heard over Petersburg, Alaska

This map shows the five reports of people seeing a meteor early Saturday morning.
Petersburg was abuzz with talk of a big bang early Saturday morning. Some people believe it was lightning and thunder while others think it might have been a meteor.

On the sidewalks, at the stores, at the bars, people have been talking about a loud sound they heard around 2:30 a.m. Saturday. Most have never heard anything like it before.

Life-long Petersburg resident Devren Bennett was asleep at home in Tlingit and Haida Housing Subdivision. Like many others, he was jolted awake.

"I woke up from dead sleep to what sounded like a jet sitting on top of our house with the engine wound up all the way," Bennett said. " First thought was a landslide of some sort but there's no mountains around my house that would cause anything like that, otherwise I had no idea."

"So did you actually feel something?" I asked him.

"Absolutely, you could definitely feel the vibrations," said Bennett.

Fireball 5

Meteorite falls near border between Costa Rica and Panama

© La Prensa
The fishing boat La Garza 1 reported the fall of the meteorite to authorities.
A meteorite of unknown size fell early Tuesday morning in Panama's Pacific coast, near the Costa Rica border, without causing any significant damage, officials said.

"The rock fell into the Pacific Ocean, on the border between Panama and Costa Rica, near the Isla Baldones and the town of Puerto Armuelles (Chiriquí)," explained the director of Panama's Sistema Nacional de Protección Civil (Sinaproc), Jose Donderis.

The falling meteorite was spotted by fishing vessel, reporting it to the Sinaproc.

This is the first meteorite to fall in Panama since 2007, when another fell on the town of Farallón, 120 kilometres west of the Panama City, destroying a ranch.

© Google Map
Sources: La Nacion; La Prensa

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Comet Catalina grows two tails, photographed at dawn

© Chris Schur
Comet C/2013 US10 Catalina shows off a compact green coma and two tails in this photo taken this morning (Nov. 22, 2015) at dawn from Arizona. The green color comes from carbon compounds fluorescing in UV sunlight.
Amateur astronomer Chris Schur of Arizona had only five minutes to observe and photograph Comet Catalina this morning before twilight got the better of the night. In that brief time, he secured two beautiful images and made a quick observation through his 80mm refractor. He writes:
"Very difficult observation on this one. (I observed) it visually with the 35mm Panoptic ocular. It was a round, slightly condensed object with no sign of the twin tails that show up in the images. After five minutes, we lost it visually as it was 2° degrees up in bright twilight. Images show it for a longer time and a beautiful emerald green head with two tails forming a Y shaped fan."
Schur estimated the comet's brightness at around magnitude +6. What appears to be the dust tail extends to the lower right (southeast) with a narrower ion tail pointing north. With its twin tails, I'm reminded of a soaring eagle or perhaps a turkey vulture rocking back and forth on its wings. While they scavenge for food, Catalina soaks up sunlight.


Meteor caught on security camera in Cincinnati, Ohio

Saturday, November 21, 2015, 11:11 AM - Security cameras aren't just for security, if you get the timing just right.

Cincinnati, Ohio, resident Steve Hart caught a glimpse of a fireball streaking across the night sky earlier this week.

"I installed these security cameras in August, and I've never seen anything like this," Hart wrote on Facebook. "This camera records movement and stores it up to 6 days, and when I saw this, I pulled it off of the DVR and saved it to my computer. I wish I would have been outside to see it!"

The American Meteor Society received around 75 reports of a fireball at about the time Hart captured it on camera, from as far away as Missouri and Kentucky, and as far north as Michigan.

As amazing as it is, it seems like a regular old space rock burning up in Earth's atmosphere -- not like the bizarre phenomenon spotted over southern California earlier in November.