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Did a bright fireball crash to earth close to Ashbourne in the UK?

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Did a bright meteor crash to earth close to Ashbourne last night? STOCK PHOTO
The News Telegraph has been contacted by reader Michelle Brooks to find out if anyone else saw a possible meteorite crash to earth last night.

Michelle said she saw a bright, fast moving fireball streak across the night skies close to Waterhouses.

She said: "It happened about 11.20pm.

"My front room window faces directly North and I guess the position was NNE .

"t was low and the 'ball' disappeared behind a rooftop the tail disappeared very quickly as normal.

"From my perspective I'd say it was football sized not a tiny pin prick we usually see.

"It was also very low indeed, not far from horizon when it disappeared from my view behind a rooftop in the distance."

Sun

156 years ago today - the biggest geomagnetic storm ever recorded

© Irish Times
© Royal Astronomical Society
Sunspots sketched by Richard Carrington on Sept. 1, 1859.
On Sept. 2nd, 1859 a billion-ton coronal mass ejection (CME) slammed into Earth's magnetic field. Campers in the Rocky Mountains woke up in the middle of the night, thinking that the glow they saw was sunrise. No, it was the Northern Lights. People in Cuba read their morning paper by the red illumination of aurora borealis. Earth was peppered by particles so energetic, they altered the chemistry of polar ice.

At 11:18 AM on the cloudless morning of Thursday, September 1, 1859, 33-year-old Richard Carrington—widely acknowledged to be one of England's foremost solar astronomers—was in his well-appointed private observatory. Just as usual on every sunny day, his telescope was projecting an 11-inch-wide image of the sun on a screen, and Carrington skillfully drew the sunspots he saw.

On that morning, he was capturing the likeness of an enormous group of sunspots. Suddenly, before his eyes, two brilliant beads of blinding white light appeared over the sunspots, intensified rapidly, and became kidney-shaped. Realizing that he was witnessing something unprecedented and "being somewhat flurried by the surprise," Carrington later wrote, "I hastily ran to call someone to witness the exhibition with me. On returning within 60 seconds, I was mortified to find that it was already much changed and enfeebled." He and his witness watched the white spots contract to mere pinpoints and disappear.

It was 11:23 AM. Only five minutes had passed.


This map shows where auroras were sighted in the early hours of Sept. 2, 1859
Just before dawn the next day, skies all over planet Earth erupted in red, green, and purple auroras so brilliant that newspapers could be read as easily as in daylight. Indeed, stunning auroras pulsated even at near tropical latitudes over Cuba, the Bahamas, Jamaica, El Salvador, and Hawaii.

As the day unfolded, the gathering storm electrified telegraph lines, shocking technicians and setting their telegraph papers on fire. The "Victorian Internet" was knocked offline. Magnetometers around the world recorded strong disturbances in the planetary magnetic field for more than a week. Even when telegraphers disconnected the batteries powering the lines, aurora-induced electric currents in the wires still allowed messages to be transmitted.

Question

Incoming? Police unable to identify 'loud boom' that resonated over Karachi, Pakistan

An air of panic gripped residents of Karachi on Tuesday night when a loud boom resonated across the city. Even after hours of investigation by police and rescue services neither was able to ascertain the location nor the cause.

The loud boom occurred at about 10:15 PM and was heard in Nazimabad, Gulshan-e-Iqbal, Gulistan-e-Jauhar, Baldia town and even by journalists present at the Karachi Press Club.

Rescue teams and police were unable to locate where the explosion took place nor were they able to find any evidence of an explosion.

Comment: In due time perhaps news outlets will catch on that such loud booms with no identifiable source could in all likelihood be overhead explosions caused by meteorites. Was this the case in this instance? We may never know, but the phenomenon continues to appear regularly the world over.


Meteor

Unusual streaks of light seen in Hawaii skies

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© Reed Shook
Many residents across the state observed unusual streaks of light or a "fireball" over Hawaiian skies late Sunday night, raising questions about what it could possibly be.

People from Kona to Oahu's North Shore thought it was a meteor or government experiment. Turns out, it was just junk. Space junk. An abandoned Russian spy satellite -- the Cosmos 1315 -- which launched in 1981 fell to earth, burning up as it did.

"When it starts to re-enter the atmosphere its going about 18,000 miles an hour," says University of Hawaii astronomer Richard Wainscoat, "A lot of it is going to get vaporized but if there are really big pieces then some of them may make it down to the earth's surface."

Wainscoat actually missed the spectacular event.
"I'm pretty annoyed that I was asleep when this happened."


The sighting also created a lot of buzz on the Hawaii News Now Facebook page with dozens of users posting videos and photos of the curious event.

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© Nuran Dada

Comment: See also:


Fireball 4

Early morning fireball over St. George, Utah

© Stock image/St. George News
St. George — Reports came in to the Utah Highway Patrol Cedar City Dispatch Center Friday describing a fireball streaking across the sky south of SunRiver St. George just before 7:30 a.m.

A fireball occurs when a meteor enters Earth's atmosphere and burns brightly before being consumed by the fire, and is defined by the American Meteor Society as an object that is brighter than the planet Venus.

The American Meteor Society received reports from three observers in Lake Havasu City, Arizona, Flagstaff, Arizona, and Pahrump, Nevada, of a fireball about the same time as the Southern Utah sighting. San Diego-based Robert Lunsford, the report coordinator for the AMS, said it was probably the same object, but it likely burned up in the atmosphere before hitting the ground.

Comet 2

Bright meteor seen from Puerto Rico

A bright meteor was seen from Puerto Rico on the night of August 20, according to Sociedad de Astronomía del Caribe (SAC). The largest astronomy organization on the Caribbean Island says the meteor was seen at about 9:30 p.m. local time. "We got reports from the north and west side of the Island, but it is possible the meteor was also seen from other areas of Puerto Rico, SAC said.

Fireball 2

Large bolide seen over eastern Norway

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© Norwegian meteor network / sun observatory
Meteor seen from Harestua.
The activity of meteor swarm Perseids is at its greatest these days and several in Eastern Norway who were up in the night to see meteors, got a great experience.

A large bolide appeared 1:50:39 and lit up the night. It shone like the brightest full moon, was yellow-green in color, some also described it as blue and white, and was visible for 8-9 seconds. However, this was not one Perseid. Over parts of eastern Norway found the admittedly coming from Perseus, but it is a random perspective effect. It was slower and lasted much longer than any Perseid, and seen from elsewhere, it went in a different direction from Perseus.


Question

Could a meteorite have started the fire in Portland, Oregon man's front yard?


Patrick Story says the burned patch in the front yard of his Southeast Portland home lines up with a singed portion of a nearby bush.
A Southeast Portland man thinks a meteor might have caused a mystery fire in his front yard.

Patrick Story says he heard a loud boom outside his house on Wednesday night, coupled with a flash of light.

When he went outside, he found part of his front yard on fire in the shape of a circle.

Firefighters told him the fire was "naturally-caused," however they couldn't find any fragments. Story thinks it was a fallen meteorite.

"Because the bush was set on fire, you can kind of think there was a trajectory of something flying through the air," said Story. "Since it was the night of the Perseid Meteor Shower... you got to wonder."

Comment: This is a sad display of what a scientist thinks about meteors. Hopefully this is not representative of the profession in general. Yes, space is cold, yet how can a scientist given the recent well publicized meteor over Chelyabinsk, Russia and the many examples of meteors entering the atmosphere, burning up and exploding come to the conclusion that "they're simply too cold" in all instances? From an expert in the field, mind-boggling!

Pray tell, how did this meteor, which was obviously larger than a bb, light up the sky on Wednesday night during the Perseid shower?


Fireball 2

Fireball lights up the sky over London, Ontario

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© Western University
This photo shows a fireball shooting over London, Ont. on Aug 12.
Video released by Western University shows a bright fireball that quickly lit up the sky over London, Ont., on Wednesday night during a Perseid event.

According to Peter Brown, a professor with the department of physics and astronomy at Western University, the fireball was travelling at around 60 km per second.

Brown says the object was only about the size of a loonie but because of its immense speed, it was visible with the naked eye from Earth for about 1.5 seconds.

"At this speed, the fireball has the same amount of energy as 400 times its weight in dynamite," Brown said.

"The fireball was bright, much brighter than Venus and any other object in the sky. It was comparable to a half moon," Brown added.

Fireball 2

Nasa video of Perseid fireball over New Mexico

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Perseid fireball over the skies of New Mexico
Video observed by the Nasa All Sky Fireball Network shows the Perseid fireball over the skies of New Mexico on the morning of August 12.

August 12 and 13 were the two days when the Perseid shower was set to peak, with a huge array of meteors visible. The meteor shower was not just visible in the US but across the world, including the UK, with stargzers in the Midlands and the North having the best view of the meteors as cloud cover meant visibility was limited across southern England and Scotland.

The Perseids this year coincided with a new moon - for the first time since 2007 - creating the ideal dark sky conditions.

The meteors reached their peak on Wednesday and Thursday night when over 100 per hour were produced.