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Tue, 19 Mar 2019
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Fire in the Sky

Fireball 3

Meteor fireball blast over Bering Sea in December last year was 10 times size of Hiroshima

The fireball was 10 times more powerful

The fireball was 10 times more powerful than the Hiroshima bomb. File pic
Fireball over Kamchatka peninsula in December went largely unnoticed at the time

A meteor explosion over the Bering Sea late last year unleashed 10 times as much energy as the atomic bomb that destroyed Hiroshima, scientists have revealed.

The fireball tore across the sky off Russia's Kamchatka peninsula on 18 December and released energy equivalent to 173 kilotons of TNT. It was the largest air blast since another meteor hurtled into the atmosphere over Chelyabinsk, in Russia's south-west, six years ago, and the second largest in the past 30 years.

Unlike the Chelyabinsk meteor, which was captured on CCTV, mobile phones and car dashboard cameras, the December arrival from outer space went largely unnoticed at the time because it exploded in such a remote location.

Fireball 4

Meteor fireball falls in Russia's territory

Meteor over Krasnoyarsk Territory
© REUTERS/Ilya Naymushin
A truck drives along the M54 federal highway on the bank of the Us river in the Western Sayan mountains in Krasnoyarsk region, Russia, November 4, 2016.
An eyewitness filmed a glowing falling object on his car DVR in the night sky, near the village of Tura in the north of Russia's Krasnoyarsk Territory.

Earlier, the Yenisei TV channel published a dashcam video, which showed a falling luminous body. It is reported that the incident occurred on Friday evening near the village of Tura.

Fireball 2

Search begins for meteorite that fell on desert in Abu Dhabi, UAE - UPDATE: Second meteor fireball spotted in ONE week

UAE meteor fireball
© Abu Dhabi Astronomy Centre
The meteorite came through the Earth's atmosphere as a fireball.
Astronomers are searching for the remains of a fireball that fell from the sky into the Abu Dhabi desert.

The meteorite is believed to have landed south of Al Wathba after being captured on camera by Abu Dhabi's Astronomy Centre.

Meteorites can contain grains of stardust older than our solar system and hold information about its formation and the geological history of the Earth, Moon and stars.

But it will not be easy to find the remains of last Tuesday's fireball, thought to be a meteorite of one to three centimetres in diameter and weighing between two and 10 grams.

Abu Dhabi astronomers narrowed down the landing site to a desert area of about 15 square kilometres in the south-east of the emirate.


Update: The Khaleej Times on 13th March reports:
Another bright fireball, the second in a week, was spotted in UAE skies late Tuesday night (March 12) at around 11:50pm, local time.

This is actually the second fireball to be spotted in the UAE skies in one week, after the first one appeared on Tuesday night, March 5, at exactly 7:40:11, according to a senior official.

Eng Mohammed Shawkat, Director of the International Astronomy Centre Abu Dhabi, told Khaleej Times that investigations and calculations are underway to identify the route, altitude, speed, and expected location of the new meteor.

"The Centre has received many calls from eye witnesses who affirmed that they did see that bright fireball in the UAE sky late on Tuesday night."

This is actually the third meteor to be spotted in the UAE skies since the Centre was founded in 2016, he pointed out.

"The first super bright fireball was recorded on October 1, 2016, the second on March 5, and this is the third on March 12."

The new meteor, as was the case with last week's fireball, has been recorded by a special network of astronomical cameras, he added.

"These sophisticated cameras have been installed by the International Astronomy Centre at different parts of the country, and these are managed in collaboration with the US space agency NASA."

The network consists of several stations, each having 16 astronomical cameras pointed at the sky at all times, he elaborated.

"These automatically record any meteor(s) that appears in the sky, sending high definition clips to the station they are connected to, which are instantly transferred to the main center in Abu Dhabi."

Possible parts of burnt meteor located

Meanwhile, a team of experts from the Centre have managed to locate possible parts of the burnt meteor that fell in the UAE desert last week, Eng Shawkat exclusively told Khaleej Times.

"A team of four groups have been dispatched to the expected site of the meteor that fell on Tuesday."

Each and every group, equipped with special scan and search gadgets, was assigned to excessively search a particular area, he added.

"The 3.5-hour-long search, from 2:30pm to 6pm, ended in finding two possible samples; the first was a dark rock, while the second was a rock mixed with rusted iron."

On the spot tests showed some magnetic traits of the second sample, he explained.

"The experts at the centre immediately contacted NASA and shared the pictures of the samples collected."

The second sample of rust iron rock is mostly of an old meteor, he underlined.

"However, the Centre experts are to move to the second stage - and lab test the sample to identify its content and nature."

The first super bright fireball has been video recorded by two astronomical cameras; one fitted at the Ramah station, and one at the Al Wajan station, Eng Shawkat stated.

"Based on these calculations, the meteor was found to have been orbiting at a distance of 384 million km off the sun."

"The meteor was travelling at a speed of 67,000 kmph when it entered the Earth's atmosphere."

The object started burning at an altitude of 93km from the Earth's surface between UAE's Al Qooa and Umm Al Zamul areas, he pointed out.

"It then flew to the northwest when the fire came to an end at an altitude of 35km close to Razeen area."

Eng Shwkat added that the meteor might not have entirely got burnt. "Parts of the meteor, mostly 2 to 10gm, have most likely reached the UAE desert, close to the Arabian Nights Village Resort."

Fireball 5

Impressive meteor fireball reported over SW France

SW France meteor AMS observers map
© AMS (screen capture)
AMS observers map - Event 1061-2019
The American Meteor Society (AMS) received 64 reports about a meteor fireball seen over Catalunya, Nouvelle-Aquitaine and Occitanie on Wednesday, March 6th 2019 around 20:58 UT.

Many of these reports describe an impressive phenomenon according to actu.fr. A resident of Lot-et-Garonne explains having observed a "meteoroid", "brilliant" , "sparkling" and so "close" that she had the impression that it was going to crash around her house .

"This is the first time I see a phenomenon as long and as big, I thought a plane on fire," said a resident from Tarn-et-Garonne. Another one even reported "a big boom" on the side of Tarbes.

On Twitter too, people wondered what they saw.

Fireball 2

Meteor fireball seen in Houston area, Texas

Just two weeks after a fireball was seen in the Sugar Land sky, another light has UFO enthusiasts looking up.

Jason Velazquez captured the video above on his dashcam as he was driving in Hockley around 11 p.m. on Sunday.

In the video, you'll see a little bright spot at the top of your screen move across the sky.

According to the American Meteorological Society's website, there were seven reports overnight of fireball sightings in the Houston-area including four in Cypress.

It appears several people may have seen some movement happening in the sky last night.

Fireball 2

Meteor fireball reported over Canadian Maritimes

Canadian Maritimes meteor
© AMS (screen capture)
Observers map of event 843-2019.
The American Meteor Society (AMS) received 57 reports about a meteor fireball seen over ME, New Brunswick, Nouveau-Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, Québec and Quebec on Saturday, February 23rd 2019 around 23:57 UT.

Eye witness reports from CBC Canada include:
"I saw a light travelling west to east, quite a bright ball cutting a trail," she said. "But it wasn't as fast as any meteor that we've ever seen. We've seen some fairly slow ones, but this was slower. But it wasn't as slow as an airplane. It was this unusual speed ... it looked like it was on fire."
"It was quite amazing, actually," he said. "It seemed so close. You could even see it looked like sparks ... on the tail of it. It was getting brighter. It was quite interesting."
A video of the event can be viewed here.

Alarm Clock

Source of loud boom heard, felt in Charleston, South Carolina still unknown

Mystery boom (stock)
Numerous people in and around Charleston, SC, reported on social media Monday a loud "boom" or the sound of an "explosion," which some said shook their home or other building they were in for several seconds.

The source of the boom and ensuing shaking is presently unknown. Many have speculated it was a possible earthquake, while some are suggesting it was a "sonic boom" from an aircraft breaking the sound barrier.

The National Weather Service in Charleston said it has received multiple inquiries, but hasn't received confirmation from the U.S. Geological Survey of a seismic event such as possible earthquake.

Fireball 2

Video shows meteor fireball blazing over Kansas

Kansas meteor
© YouTube/AMS (screen capture)
The American Meteor Society (AMS) received a report about a meteor fireball seen over Kansas on Monday, February 18th 2019 around 12:08 UT. A video has been uploaded to their website.

Fireball 3

Meteor fireball explodes above French island of Mayotte

meteor mayotte island
© @Bee_Mondroha/Twitter
A meteor has exploded above the island Mayotte, sparking concern on the French overseas department, located near Madagascar off the eastern coast of Africa.

Initial reports indicated an explosion had taken place somewhere on the island. The local authorities said on Twitter: "Tonight, several testimonies reported a noise that would have occurred in the Mahorais sky. At this stage no explanation could be provided. All states are mobilised to find an explanation of this phenomenon."

It later became clear a meteor had entered the Earth's atmosphere above Mayotte.

One resident said: "It's gone in the direction of the sea. It was a ball of fire that had a kind of tail and was going very fast.

"The fire was very bright on the front. The fireball travelled from Labattoir to head offshore."

Comment: Mayotte seems to be a lively place, especially below ground:

Fireball 2

Meteor fireball sighted in 5 countries in Europe, photographed by 3 sky cameras

meteor blackfield feb 15th 2019
© Paul Roggemans
Blackfield camera, UK
Fireball date: 15 February 2019 at 20:09:05 UT

Fireball ID: M20190215_200905
A large fireball, initially reported by the members of the public from 5 different countries, also known as IMO 741-2019 event.

15 February 2019 at 20:09 roughly over Antwerpen the Belgian meteor network has recorded a large meteor, known as a fireball.

The fireball has been spotted as far as Stuttgart, London and Versailles. UKMON camera in Blackfield has also recorded the same event.

Comment: The skies in Europe have been busy this week: See also: In the blink of an eye: Astronomers seek backup to capture strange stellar blackout with help of cell phone cameras