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Mon, 23 Apr 2018
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Fire in the Sky


Blue Flash Above Setting Sun

We've all heard of the green flash, the fleeting emerald light that sometimes appears just above the setting sun. Once thought to be a fable, the green flash was popularized by Jules Verne in his 1882 novel Le Rayon Vert (The Green Ray). Now it is generally known to be real.

But what of the even rarer blue flash? Turns out, that's real too. Peter Rosén photographed one from Stockholm, Sweden, on Feb. 29th:

Blue Flash on Setting Sun
© Peter Rosén
Image Taken: Feb. 29, 2012
Location: Central Stockholm, Sweden
"I was shooting the sunset when, suddenly, just as the sun was about to disappear behind the treetops, there was a mighty blue flash," says Rosén.

Blues flashes are formed in the same way as green flashes: a mirage magnifies tiny differences in the atmospheric refraction of red, green and blue light. Blue flashes are generally harder to see than green flashes, because blue flashes blend into the surrounding blue sky. When the air is exceptionally clear, however, the blue flash emerges.


What Was The Bright Flash In The Sky Tuesday Night?

© Michael McCormack
A webcam focused on the Memorial Bridge captured this image of a bright meteor reported by viewers across the region. The camera was set to a 4-second exposure.

Manchester, New Hampshire -- It was reddish-orange and only appeared in the sky for a moment or two, but it has a lot of people in the area asking questions.

Several people in New Hampshire reported seeing a bright object in the sky about 10 p.m. Tuesday.

Witnesses said it was a colored, glowing ball that was bright for few seconds and then vanished.

Melanie Wilson, of Concord, said she was driving home from work on Airport Road when she saw the object above her car. She said the thought it was going to land on the highway, and she slowed down.

But in a flash, it was gone.

"It was scary and neat," Wilson said.


Incoming Fireballs: Man Claims Meteorite Find

© Lana Haight
This photo shows rocks purported to be from a meteor that flashed across the Saskatchewan sky this week.
Rocks being offered for sale online

A man claims to have found the first known meteorites from a fireball that lit up the sky over Saskatchewan and Alberta Tuesday night.

A posting on Kijiji shows two roundish and blackened rocks a man says he found on the side of a highway north of Rockhaven. One of the rocks is listed for sale for an unspecified price and the other rock is shown suspended by a magnet.

Now geologists and astronomers who study meteorites are trying to get in touch with the man in an attempt to verify whether the rocks are connected to Tuesday's meteor sighting, which rattled houses as it zoomed over North Battleford.

Richard Huziak, a Saskatoon amateur astronomer and member of the Prairie Fireball Network, says the rocks in the picture look like chondrites, which match meteorites found after the Buzzard Coulee meteor crashed in central Saskatchewan in 2008.


Raining Fire: February fireballs really shake things up

Meteorites seem to be dropping everywhere. First China and now today comes word of fresh cosmic booty on the ground north of the town of Rockhaven (a wonderfully appropriate name) left in the wake of a brilliant fireball that appeared over Alberta, Canada this past Tuesday evening.

The meteor was described as blue-white and as bright as the moon. Some went even further and compared it to the sun. Observers reported hearing low rumbling noises for several minutes after it broke up and disappeared. These are all good signs that material survived the fiery, high pressure flight through Earth's atmosphere. The first specimens of what appears to be a very fresh meteorite were picked up not long after the fall on a road north of Rockhaven and can be viewed HERE. Yes, one of them is already up for sale!


Space Junk Falls on Brazilian Village: Reports

Space Junk
© NASA/Orbital Debris Program Office
Each dot represents a bit of known space junk that's at least 4 inches (10 cm) in low-Earth orbit, where the space station and shuttles roam. In total, some 19,000 manmade objects this size or bigger orbit Earth as of July 2009; most are in low-Earth orbit. Countless smaller objects are also circling the planet.

A chunk of debris from an old European rocket apparently fell from space Wednesday (Feb. 22) and crashed in a small village in Brazil, according to Brazilian news reports.

The piece of space junk, a spherical object, crashed at around 6 a.m. local time in the village of Anapurus in the state of Maranhão, according to the Brazilian newspaper Jornal Pequeno.

The metal sphere, which measures roughly 3.3 feet (1 meter) across, landed near a house and damaged some trees as it plummeted to the surface, according to the Jornal Pequeno.

The newspaper reported that residents of the village heard a loud bang and saw a bright flash of light before the object made its impact. Dedicated satellite observers were quick to offer suggestions about what the object could be and where it may have come from.

Ted Molczan, of Toronto, is a respected satellite spotter and a member of a network of devoted amateur skywatchers around the world. On the online satellite-tracking community satobs.org, Molczan noted that the time of the crash and its location strongly indicate that the metallic sphere could be part of a spent European Ariane 44L rocket body.


Derry residents allowed to return home after mystery explosion

© Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images
Police said the loud explosion could be heard all over Derry
Police say they have failed to find the source of the blast, which could be heard all over the city.

Residents in Derry who were forced to flee their homes on Tuesday after reports of a loud explosion were able to return on Wednesday afternoon.

Mystery still surrounds the origin of the blast, which could be heard six miles away at the city's airport.

A security operation in the Spencer Road and Fountain Hill areas on Wednesday morning failed to find any explosive device, although the Police Service of Northern Ireland said further searches would be carried out over the next few days in the districts.

Superintendent Chris Yates said one line of inquiry was that the incident was an attack on police. He said they were investigating reports of masked men being seen in the area around the time of the incident.

Yates said the explosion was heard all over the city on Tuesday.

"It shook houses, shook windows and was heard as far as City of Derry airport.


"Fireballs of February"?

In the middle of the night on February 13th, something disturbed the animal population of rural Portal, Georgia. Cows started mooing anxiously and local dogs howled at the sky. The cause of the commotion was a rock from space.

"At 1:43 AM Eastern, I witnessed an amazing fireball," reports Portal resident Henry Strickland. "It was very large and lit up half the sky as it fragmented. The event set dogs barking and upset cattle, which began to make excited sounds. I regret I didn't have a camera; it lasted nearly 6 seconds."

Strickland witnessed one of the unusual "Fireballs of February." "This month, some big space rocks have been hitting Earth's atmosphere," says Bill Cooke of NASA's Meteoroid Environment Office. "There have been five or six notable fireballs that might have dropped meteorites around the United States."

A fireball over north Georgia recorded on Feb. 13th by a NASA all-sky camera in Walker Co., GA.

Video link

It's not the number of fireballs that has researchers puzzled. So far, fireball counts in February 2012 are about normal. Instead, it's the appearance and trajectory of the fireballs that sets them apart.

"These fireballs are particularly slow and penetrating," explains meteor expert Peter Brown, a physics professor at the University of Western Ontario. "They hit the top of the atmosphere moving slower than 15 km/s, decelerate rapidly, and make it to within 50 km of Earth's surface."

Comment: We've been searching for any historical references to this so-called "February Fireballs" suggestion, but nothing has turned up so far. Is NASA spinning another yarn?? As James McCanney explained in Planet-X, Comets & Earth Changes, NASA's real role is to keep the public misinformed about the threat from cometary debris:
As this book goes to print, all the major observatories of the world are being taken off line. Astronomers are being told not to discuss "Planet X" with the public. As with [Hale-Bopp], NASA has shut the door on release of information. They are positioning their scientists to become part of the nightly national weather programs, and to be in position to defray any public awareness of what is truly happening with the Sun and our planetary system. (p. 84)

The truth is that NASA, the NSA, and other government agencies are prohibited by law from disclosing to the public anything that would cause a national panic. So too they will try to prevent dissemination of my theories about comets because it might cause a public to redirect its allegiance as a new and potentially dangerous comet comes into the solar system. While the government officials are using tax dollars to build safety caves for their "shadow government" in case of "major disaster", they are leaving the public out to dry with no forewarning or protection. (p. 83)
The past month has seen a number of enormous fireballs and overhead explosions, attracting a lot of attention around the world, so is NASA here indulging in a little Orwellian creative writing to present the recent fireballs as part of a recurring phenomenon that "has been observed for decades", when in fact it is entirely new (in the modern era anyway)?


"Huge fireball" streaks through Edmonton sky

You may go your whole life without seeing a meteor. But Andy Steblyk has already seen two in less than four years.

First, there was the big meteor that made international headlines in November 2008. Steblyk had a front row seat as he was driving south of Grande Prairie. And then Tuesday night as he was driving in downtown Edmonton, Steblyk saw something very similar in the eastern sky.

"A huge fireball, and the tail was just sparkling," recalls Steblyk. "It's like something you'd see in a cartoon or in a movie."

"Even telling the story again, it makes me shake a bit that I get to see this kind of stuff. Not too many people get to see one in their lifetime, and I got to see two," adds Steblyk, estimating that the whole thing lasted between five and seven seconds.

At first he thought the flash of light was a plane crash. But as it kept falling and getting brighter, Steblyk noticed how similiar it was to what he saw in 2008. He says with luck like this, he knows exactly what he needs to do next.

Comment: Was Andy Steblyk just 'lucky' or is there presently a greater probability of anyone in the region seeing more than one fireball in his or her lifetime? Meteor statistics suggest that many more of us will have the opportunity to 'wish upon a shooting star' in the coming years.

Canada: Halifax 'fireball' probably a meteor, 2 February 2012

Meteor Flashes Through Edmonton Sky, 13 January 2012

Fireball streaks across early-morning sky in Edmonton, 31 March 2009

Fireball spotted in Edmonton sky, 27 November 2009

Fireball over Edmonton, 20 November 2008

Meteorites hit near Redwater, passed over Edmonton, 29 May 2007


Meteor Rain in China

The newspaper News of Shenzhen in Chinese today announced, that in the Chinese province of Qinghai was a strong meteor rain, during which on the land fell a several dozen meteorites, the largest of which reached a weight of 12.5 kg (see the photo, left).

It is reported, that the local residents heard two loud explosions in the sky and then saw the traces of fire falling meteorites. While the investigated area is only about a few square kilometers, scientists may be able to find more meteorites in this place. How to say the Chinese scientists - all meteorites are the fragments of a large meteorite, which crashed, when it entering in the Earth's atmosphere.


Shooting star spotted in Canadian skies

Calgary - Social media was abuzz about what appeared to be a meteor shooting over the city Tuesday night, with sightings also reported from Edmonton and parts of Saskatchewan.

One reader told the Herald she saw the bright green fireball northeast of Cochrane shortly before 9 p.m. followed by a sparking tail of yellow and orange.

Alan Dyer, an astronomer with Telus Spark, encouraged people to file reports online here.

"If we get at least a few dozen reports, we can begin to triangulate the location," he said, adding witnesses should indicate where they were when they spotted the meteor.

He said most meteors burn up entirely before making it to earth.

Source: Postmedia News