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Fireball 4

Hundreds in Ireland see fireball 'brighter than the full moon'

Astronomy Ireland says its received hundreds of sighting reports since Tuesday night - when what was described as a 'giant fireball' was seen blazing across Ireland's skies.

From Cork and Dublin to Belfast and Donegal - the heavenly object was spotted pretty much everywhere.

TheJournal.ie also had quite a few reports on the subject - as did BBC Northern Ireland and a raft of other media outlets.

"Clearly seen falling right to left over the sea towards Drogheda from Balbriggan at around 5.40pm, like a falling star for about 3-4 seconds before it burned out," was how Dubliner Jim Whelan described it.

"My son saw it this evening. He thought it might have been a giant shooting star, a UFO, or molten lava (he's 9 which I think explains the variety of possibilities ;-). He's hugely excited now to think it may have been part of an asteroid."

Comment: This is just one of several that have been spotted this week. Still unexplained, is the 'event' that turned night into day in Urals, Russia.

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Meteor with flame-like tail spotted over Atlanta, GA

leonid meteor
© en.wikipedia.org
Leonid meteor
More than a dozen reports were received Thursday evening by 11Alive News and by the American Meteor Society of a fireball over parts of metro Atlanta.

The reports began coming at about 9:30 p.m., with reports from the city of Atlanta, Alpharetta, Dalton, Johns Creek, Austell, Senoia, Lagrange, Loganville, Powder Springs, Villa Rica, and as far away as Macon.

Most of the reports described a flame-like tail on the meteor. No sound was heard from those reporting what they saw.

Astronomically, the Leonid meteor shower generally occurs every year between the 5th and the 30th of November, with a peak of November 15 to November 20. Meteors associated with this shower are generally tied to the passage of Comet Temple-Tuttle.
Fireball

A bird, a plane or a meteor? 'Unidentified flying object' spotted off Charlottetown

© Blanche Ward
On November 17, Blanche Ward of Charlottetown sighted an unidentified object flying slowly across the sky. She initially spotted two trails of smoke before identifying a small red dot with her camera.
When Blanche Ward of Charlottetown stepped outside her door on Monday afternoon, she spotted something unusual: there were two small trails of smoke slowly flying high across the sky.

Ward immediately rushed back into her house and grabbed her camera. When she zoomed in and took her shot, she saw a small red dot with the two lines of smoke trailing behind.

She says the object remained in the sky for one or two minutes before dropping below the horizon and out of view.
Fireball

Spectacular meteorite/fireball lights up Oklahoma morning skies (video)

A spectacular meteorite/fireball lit up the Oklahoma morning skies yesterday, Nov. 19th 2014. The large and bright fireball is seen streaking relatively slowly across the sky before flaring and leaving a smoke trail. There has been a stark rise in fireball sightings and impacts across the world over the last seven years, with sightings and reports of 'boom's associated with meteorite explosions in the atmosphere occurring almost daily.

Notable recent events include an apparent enormous overhead meteor explosion in the sky over the Urals, Russia, two days ago, and a similar event in Ukraine yesterday.

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Enormous overhead meteor explosion? Strange glow in the sky turns night into day in the Urals, Russia

© Vyacheslav Bulatov
A local observatory indicated nothing fell from the sky on the day of the flash.

Emergency services refuse to comment cause of extraordinary blast in the dark sky.

A huge flash lit up the early evening darkness, as shown by images taken from a dashcam on a road close to Yekaterinburg. The sky suddenly turns orange-red at 17.39 local time (though the dashcam records it as 18.39). For the next 11 seconds an orange light with yellow and white in the middle engulfs the entire sky.

'For a few moments night turned into dazzling day, then everything went dark again,' said one witness.

The explosion came on 14 November but images only appeared of it today; strangely no sound was picked up.

Theories for the explosion included a missile or an object from space. Yet it did not have the same shape or pattern as the Chelyabinsk meteorite which exploded over the Urals in February 2013.


Comment: This was probably another massive meteor fireball event. We suspect that a distinct fragmentation trail cannot be seen because there was very dense cloud coverage close to the ground, while the incoming object would have been very high up. The intense glow could be due to the same effects we saw over Recife, Brazil last month.

These seem to be plasma effects as incoming bodies interact with different charge layers of the atmosphere. Here's what NASA reported about Comet Siding-Spring's close brush with Mars last month:
"Imaging Ultraviolet Spectrograph instrument detected major changes as dust from the comet slammed into atoms and molecules in the upper atmosphere, high-energy collisions that caused the thin air to glow."
With this, the Recife event, and the 'Pacific lights' event the month before that, it looks like our atmosphere has reached a certain threshold of comet dust saturation.

Perhaps ancients' reports of 'the sky being on fire' are more literal than previously assumed?

Let the fireworks commence!

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NASA map downplays sharp rise in meteor fireball impacts over last 20 years

© NASA/JPL
NASA's Near Earth Object (NEO) Program published a diagram a few days ago, showing 556 mapped comet/asteroid fragment impacts on Earth over the last 20 years (see above). NASA says it's based on data gathered from 1994-2013 on small asteroids impacting Earth's atmosphere to create 'fireballs', adding that "the sizes of yellow dots (daytime impacts) and blue dots (nighttime impacts) are proportional to the optical radiated energy of impacts measured in billions of Joules (GJ) of energy, and show the location of impacts from objects about 1 meter (3 feet) to almost 20 meters (60 feet) in size."

Note the random distribution of impacts around the globe. But note also what the map and accompanying NASA report do not indicate: the year-on-year distribution of those impact events over that 20-year period. This omission enables them to give the following misleading subheading to their report:
It happens all the time: small asteroids impact Earth's atmosphere
By not providing a year-on-year breakdown of the impacts, and by including their rather banal headline, NASA leaves us to assume that these events were more or less evenly distributed over those 20 years - on average, 27 fireball events of note in 2013 (556 total events/20 years). But we have serious doubts about this.

We know from the American Meteor Society that there were nearly 3,500 observed events in 2013 alone - and just in the US. Check out the data for yourself: browse through the AMS Events database. Select for events in 2013 with both 'sound' and 'fragmentation' reported. Note how many of last year's 184 US fireball events, that were large enough to be both seen breaking up and heard exploding, were witnessed from multiple US states. Now go back to the NASA world fireball map from 1994-2013. Assuming its random global distribution is accurate, we can try a little exercise in extrapolation to get a figure for significant fireball events globally in 2013.
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Meteor sighted passing over Georgia, Southeast U.S.

SouthEast meteor
© American Meteor Society
The American Meteor Society received at least 10 reports of a meteor over the Southeast on Tuesday, November 11, 2014.
At least five reports of a meteor going overhead were received from Georgia Tuesday evening - and up to 10 reports came from neighboring states according to the American Meteor Society. The reports came from Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia between 6:45 and 7 p.m. Tuesday. According to the reports, the fireball appeared blue to white to orange in color as it passed overhead.

The meteor did not make a sound as it passed according to all of the reports received. The Georgia reports came from Blackshear, Ranger, Cumming, Morven and along Interstate 20 east of Atlanta. Other reports came from Greenville and Pawleys Island in South Carolina, from Garner, NC and Moneta, VA.

Two reported meteors were seen over Georgia's skies last week -- one on Monday and another on Thursday. Scientists say that meteors pass through the atmosphere with regularity. Two major observatories in north Georgia -- one at North Georgia College and State University in Dahlonega and a second one at the Tellus Science Museum in Cartersville -- are part of a network of six cameras across the Southeast and 15 such observatories across the nation that watch the skies for fireballs.
Fireball 4

'That huge Texas fireball' captured on dashcam - Just one of many meteors recently exploding over U.S.

A meteor five times brighter than a full moon lit up the skies above Texas over the weekend, officials said Monday. Residents across Texas reported seeing the streaking fireball at around 8:45 p.m. Saturday. The American Meteor Society, a group that tracks fireball sightings, said it had received more than 300 reports from witnesses in the Lone Star State. "This was definitely what we call a 'fireball,' which by definition is a meteor brighter than the planet Venus," Bill Cooke, head of NASA's Meteoroid Environment Office, told CNN. "This was a very bright event." So bright that it was picked up on a NASA camera more than 500 miles away in the New Mexico mountains, Cooke said, "which makes it extremely unusual."


Comment: See also:

Video of huge fireball meteor streaking over Eastern U.S. states

It should be clear by now that the dramatic rise in observations of meteor fireballs is out of the ordinary and cannot solely be attributed to a rise in cam-phones and dash-cams. Something wicked this way comes...



Fireball 4

Fireballs and shaking ground in central Texas

KXAN viewers from all over Central Texas reported seeing a meteor Saturday night that many described as "lighting up the sky." Reports indicate the meteor, likely a small rock or piece of space debris, entered the atmosphere about 8:45 p.m.

While KXAN cannot confirm the authenticity of the video below, viewers who have seen the clip say it appears to be the same meteor they saw Saturday night. The YouTube user who posted the video says it was captured using a dashcam while driving in San Antonio.

Some witnesses describe seeing two objects, and a greenish-blue tail - likely from the meteor breaking apart. Some say it appeared as bright as fireworks, briefly turning night into day.

Comment: It should be clear by now that the dramatic rise in observations of fireballs is far out of the ordinary and cannot solely be attributed to a rise in observers and their technology. See below video which has summarized some of SOTT.net's research and views on the matter:


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Fireball 4

Warning for Earth: Comet Siding Spring's near-brush with Mars triggered 'mind blowing' meteor shower

© NASA
Comet Siding Spring's close flyby of Mars last month dumped several tons of primordial dust into the thin martian atmosphere, likely creating a brief but spectacular meteor shower with thousands of shooting stars per hour had any astronauts been there to see it, scientists said Friday.

The comet dust also posed a much more serious threat than expected to an international fleet of spacecraft in orbit around the red planet and roving about its surface. While engineers did not think the comet posed a major hazard, the orbiters were maneuvered to put them on the far side of Mars during close approach. Just in case.

As it turned out, that was a smart decision.

"After observing the effects on Mars and how the comet dust slammed into the upper atmosphere, it makes me very happy that we decided to put our spacecraft on the other side of Mars at the peak of the dust tail passage and out of harm's way," Jim Green, director of planetary science at NASA headquarters, told reporters during a teleconference. "I really believe that hiding them like that really saved them, and it gave us a fabulous opportunity to make these observations."

Comment: If NASA et al had been paying even the slightest attention to what is happening here on Earth, rather than guess-timating with their fancy gadgets what might have happened on Mars, they'd realize they have plenty of real-life exploding comet fragments and comet dust to analyze right here at home.

Check out the astonishing afterglow caused by this exploding meteor over Recife, Brazil last month:

Meteor fireball sets the sky on fire over Recife, Brazil

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