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Fri, 20 Oct 2017
The World for People who Think

Fire in the Sky


Alleged 'fireball' streaks across Louisiana sky

West Monroe resident Obie Sims said he was enjoying a relaxing evening outdoors Thursday when he saw what appeared to be a huge bottle rocket streak across the sky about 10:45 p.m.

About a minute later, Sims said he heard a loud boom and his windows shook.

"I thought it was someone shooting fireworks," he said. "I must have just seen the tail of it and then it fizzled away."

Don Wheeler, an associate professor of natural science at Louisiana Delta Community College, said the occurrence was likely what is referred to as a "fireball", a small meteor that enters the atmosphere.

Wheeler said it is not unusual for meteors to enter the atmosphere, but the size makes fireballs more noticeable.

"It was likely the size of anywhere from a grapefruit to a basketball," he said. "Most often they are about the size of a key or even a grain of sand."

According to Wheeler, the larger size carries it deeper into the atmosphere and the speed of its journey often triggers a sonic boom.


On Anniversary of Tunguska, Meteor Plunges into Indian Ocean, Lighting up Perth sky

© PerthNow
AMAZING VIEWS: This picture was posted to Twitter by Pip Moir. She wrote " Very bizarre. View from cott. Looks like fire. What is that?!?''
This fiery streak in the sky amazed Perth beachgoers at sunset as a suspected meteor plunged into the ocean off the WA coast.

Pip Moir posted this photo she took at Cottesloe Beach to Twitter shortly after 6pm as puzzled onlookers debated what caused the colourful phenomena.

A spokesman for the Bureau of Meteorology said the weather bureau's radar would not pick up a fast moving object like a meteor.

Daniel Jongue, manager at The Naked Fig Cafe, said he noticed ''something on the horizon'' just before sunset. He said the fiery trail took about 20 minutes to dissipate.

''It looked like vapour. It was red, orange and yellow and quite beautiful,'' he said.

Perth Observatory and Astronomy WA could not be reached for comment last night.

Comment: Tunguska, Psychopathy and the Sixth Extinction

Tunguska, the Horns of the Moon and Evolution


Fireball sighted over Gloucestershire

Unidentified flying objects have been reported over Gloucester, re-igniting fresh theories on alien life.

Several reports have been made to police and astronomy websites flagging up the unusual sightings over Gloucester and Cheltenham on Friday, June 15, at around 11.30pm.

Carl Sumners, 23, who spent six years in the Royal Navy and had three tours in Afghanistan with the Commando Helicopter Force, told us what he saw over his house in Roman Road, Gloucester.

He feared the turquoise object was a meteorite heading for a populated area, so called the police.

"It was the size of a wheelbarrow, 2,000ft in the sky and travelling faster than a fighter jet," he said.

"It seemed to be on fire as it had an orange tail behind it. There must be some kind of logical explanation, maybe it was a meteor. It definitely wasn't a Chinese lantern or weather balloon."

Comment: With more and more sightings of meteors and meteorites all over the world, there are still those who would like the rest of us to close our eyes to what is really happening.


Daylight Fireball Dazzles Colorado, Grounds Fire Tankers

© Pierre Martin of Arnprior, Ontario, Canada.
A Perseid fireball meteor.
A dazzling daytime fireball zipped across New Mexico and Colorado yesterday creating a stir among law enforcement agencies, news organizations, radio stations and briefly grounded air tankers fighting wildfires west of Colorado Springs.

According to the Denver Post, Pueblo air-dispatch received reports of "balls of fire or something in the air." As a precaution, officials grounded flights to ensure no aircraft were hit. Flights resumed 90 minutes later.

The event occurred between 12:35 and 12:40 MDT Wednesday afternoon. Witnesses say the fireball lasted about 3 seconds about 45 degrees above the ground, heading from the north to the south and ending near the horizon, with a tail color ranging from bright white to yellow and red. Some of the nearly 20 reports received by the American Meteor Society report that the brightness of the fireball was brighter than a full moon; some reporting it brighter than the Sun.


A Different Kind of Climate Catastrophe

© Neily Trappman Studio
A few years ago, as a hobby, and pass-time, I set out to see if I could work out a better way of identifying potential sites to go meteorite hunting. I had learned to do battle damage assessment from aerial reconnaissance photos a long time ago in the Army. And the blast damage, and ground effects from an explosive event, are pretty much the same, no matter what the source of the explosion might be. It's only a question of scale, and explosive force. Visually, there is very little difference in the appearance of a bomb crater, and an impact crater of the same size. So a forensic technique of reading the patterns of movement in the emplacement of blast effected materials on the ground applies well in the search for potential impact related geology. The quality of the image data now commonly available to anyone with a good PC, an internet connection, and a copy of Google Earth, is excellent. In the past five years, the publically available image data has really come into its own. And today's 21st century satellite imagery allows us to study the surface of the Earth at a level of detail our fathers could never have imagined.

Back in the 1920's, using aerial photography, a geologist named J. Harlan Bretz noticed evidence for the mega-floods that sculpted the Grande Coulee, and the 'Channeled Scablands' of eastern Washington. Bretz was the first to use Aerial photographs to detect, and map, catastrophic mass movement of the Earth's surface materials when he described the scarring of a catastrophic glacial flood event at the end of the last ice age, in an event he called The Spokane Flood.

Aerial photography allowed him a perspective from which patterns of fluid flow, and catastrophic mass movement of terrain materials, could be perceived on a scale that had been unimaginable until he described them. What he had found, were the patterns of fluid flow, like the ripples you see in the sedimentary deposits of a stream bed, but these 'ripples' are hundreds of feet high. Bretz saw them as empirical evidence of a major catastrophic flood event, on a scale that the standard theorists of his day thought was inconceivable.


Possible Meteor Streaks Across Colorado Sky Wednesday

© thinkstock
This is just a stock photo, but if anyone got a picture of the alleged meteor in Summit County Wednesday, send it our way at newsroom@summitdaily.com
Reports of a bright and fiery object falling from the sky in Summit County Wednesday afternoon spurred speculations ranging from a UFO or a meteor to plane debris, according to the Summit County Sheriff's Office.

At 1 p.m., the Summit County Communications Center received multiple calls about the object, with the majority coming from the Breckenridge Golf Course, according to Sheriff's office spokeswoman Tracy LeClair. Clear Creek County also had similar reports, she said.

"It was quite interesting," said resident Mary Grace McAlister, who witnessed it along with a friend at the Breckenridge Golf Course. "It looked like a bright light falling to the earth ... it looked like something was on fire, and we couldn't tell if it was an airplane."

The sheriff's office sent out special operations technician Mark Watson to investigate, who interviewed several witnesses. Because they didn't have a point of reference, it was hard to determine where it might have landed, but Watson is suspecting it ended up somewhere near Guanella Pass.

There have been no reports of missing or crashed airplanes, so it is currently believed to have been a meteor, LeClair said.

"It was like nothing I've ever seen before," McAlister said. "We were real lucky that both of us saw it, because no one would have ever believed us."

The two called 911 because of heightened anxiety about fires, McAlister said.

A possible meteor shower also grounded heavy air tankers fighting the Springer Fire near Lake George in the Pike National Forest Wednesday, the Denver Post reported.


Third daytime fireball seen in US this year, Meteor grounds air tankers fighting Colorado forest fire

© Christian Murdock, The Gazette
An apparent meteor grounded heavy air tankers fighting the Springer fire near Lake George for nearly two hours Wednesday afternoon, leaving firefighters without air support.

But the fiery phenomenon left people from as far away as New Mexico in awe.

The planes were near Lake George when a pilot noticed debris falling from the sky, said Ron Roth, spokesman for the Rocky Mountain Area Coordination Center. The pilots were not sure whether it was "space junk" or a meteor, Roth said.

"We're just glad it quit," Roth said. "A rather odd phenomenon."

Several other reports pointed to a rare, once-in-a-lifetime sighting.

Six reports of a meteor - seen from Winter Park, Colorado Springs and Raton, N.M. - were received by Chris Peterson, a research assistant with the Denver Museum of Nature and Science. The American Meteor Society received seven separate reports, mostly from Colorado Springs.

"These things happen all the time, but usually they just aren't seen during the day," Peterson said.

It likely wasn't one of the more than 22,000 pieces of "space junk" floating around the earth.

Officials at the North American Aerospace Defense Command, which tracks man-made objects that threaten North America, did not report any scheduled entries or objects over North America, said Lt. Col. Mike Humphreys, a spokesman.

Comment: It's possible that a passenger jet was downed by an overhead meteor or cometary explosion in late May 2009:

What are they hiding? Flight 447 and Tunguska Type Events

This is the third (at least) such event in the US alone this year.

2 April 2012 April 2 Texas daytime fireball confirmed, another Meteor seen in Chicago Wednesday

23 April 2012 Second 'Rare' Daytime Fireball Explodes Over US This Month, Van-sized Meteor NOT part of Lyrid Shower


Unusual Sight Captured on Camera

© Gary Brooker
Rare Sight: Oamaru man Gary Brooker, near Moeraki at the time, captured this image of a bright object in the sky on June 3.
A bright blaze shooting across the night sky has been caught on camera by Oamaru man Gary Brooker.

Mr Brooker was driving north along State Highway 1, near Moeraki, when he spotted the bright trail at 6pm on June 3.

''I was coming home along the main road and I spotted it going down so I stopped and took a photo.

''I didn't think it was a plane because the vapour trail would have been white, but this was burning.''

He said there was an obvious object leading the trail, which he believed was a piece of ''junk''.

''I wouldn't have a clue (how fast it was going). I was doing 100km on the main highway, but I had enough time to put my foot on the brake, stop and take a photo and then it was gone.

''Somebody said it could have been out near Australia. It could have been miles and miles away, but it was so bright.''

It was the first time Mr Brooker had witnessed such an event. He has since shared his discovery with other people, including a friend who has researched the sighting online.

And it turns out Mr Brooker was not the only one who witnessed the rare event over New Zealand.

Another sighting, believed to be the same object, was recorded on the internet, along with another photo, Mr Brooker said.


Green fireball streaks across sky in southern England


File photo
'A green fireball' streaked across the sky above Beaconsfield on Friday night, according to motorist Graham Lee.

The freelance photographer thinks he might have seen a meteor while driving home on the M40 and discovered several others had reported the sighting online.

Graham, from Whiteleaf near Princes Risborough, told the BFP: "I was on the M40 coming to the Beaconsfield junction at about 11.30pm and it came from left to right....

"It only lasted a few seconds and I thought it was a firework, but thought crickey that's far too large and far too fast.

"It was as bright as the sun and looked like a green fireball. I felt quite privileged to have seen it."

A website called The Latest Worldwide Meteor Reports lists several sightings of 'fireballs', 'flashes' and 'green lights' at about the same time, in various locations around Oxfordshire.

Ralph Campbell, Chairman of Aylesbury Astronomical Society, said Graham had probably seen a meteor, which is also known as a shooting star.


International Space Station damaged by meteor

© ISS - Digital Camera, ESA
A meteor photographed burning up in the atmosphere in August 2011 by an astronaut aboard the ISS
Everyone knows what a pain it is when you get a chip on your car's windshield from a bit of flying grit. But on Earth it is usually fairly easy to call someone in to repair it.

NASA are currently evaluating a similar spot of damage to one of the viewing windows on the International Space Station to see if that needs to be replaced.

The chip that left a visible scar on the outer pane was caused by a tiny meteoroid or scrap of space debris travelling many times faster than a bullet. It hit one of seven panes in the orbiting outpost's European-built Cupola - the space equivalent to a conservatory.

This particular impact is not thought to put the six astronauts on board in any danger. But it is a reminder that space is a dangerous place.

Astronauts aboard the ISS use the zone as a place to relax and watch the views of Earth and sky. It has provided some stunning images and videos recently of aurora displays and other spectacles including the recent Transit of Venus.