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Mon, 20 Feb 2017
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Fire in the Sky

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China: "Super UFO" (Or Possible Fireball?) Spotted in Both Beijing and Shanghai

On the night of August 20th, numerous people and pilots in both Beijing and Shanghai reported seeing a strange ball of light that grew bigger and bigger over the cities' skies. The topic has been creating quite a lot of buzz among Chinese netizens, with many claiming that the strange glow was actually a "Super UFO". Several pilots who were mid-air at the time reported seeing a huge white ball flying at an altitude of 10.7km, one that appeared several hundred times larger than the moon. The mysterious phenomenon was visible for 20 minutes and was reported to the East China Air Traffic Control Bureau. As usual, no official explanation for this mysterious sighting has been given.

© Unknown


Blazing Starry Trail: Accountant Finds Sixth Comet in Nine Months

A Kreutz Sungrazer comet.
He spends most of his day at office and commuting to and from Mumbai in crowded suburban trains but accountant Shishir Deshmukh still finds time to look at the stars and pursue his passion for astronomy. And he has just discovered his sixth comet in just nine months, the first by an Indian.

His latest discovery was a Kreutz Group comet Thursday evening.

"I feel very thrilled by my discoveries, the first by an Indian. It gives great pleasure. Although I am an amateur astronomer, I have made a small contribution to the world of astronomy," an excited Deshmukh, who works as an assistant accounts manager with a leading realty group, told IANS.

The Kreutz Group of comets is named after a German astronomer, Heinrich Kreutz, who discovered that these types of comets - which travel around the sun and consist of a solid frozen nucleus part and a long luminous tail - have their orbits very close to the sun.

"These comets are generally very fragile, barely a few metres long and keep disintegrating throughout their orbit," explained Deshmukh, a commerce graduate from the University of Mumbai with an M.Phil in information science.


Corsica, South Dakota, US: Meteor flashes across area skies Tuesday

A Mitchell police dispatch log that described a "strange sighting near Corsica" shortly before 10 p.m. Tuesday was one of many such meteor sightings, said Mike Buss, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Sioux Falls.

A Mitchell police dispatch log that described a "strange sighting near Corsica" shortly before 10 p.m. Tuesday was one of many such meteor sightings, said Mike Buss, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Sioux Falls.

Buss said he began receiving reports shortly after 9:30 p.m. of a meteor, which streaked across the sky and gave a bright burst of light. The event had many reported sightings, he said.

"It was described as a bright flash with a greenish blue tail and it was pretty luminous - I mean, you could see your shadow on the ground," Buss said.

The meteor is believed to be from remnants of the Perseid meteor shower, which is visible each August.


Meteorite blasts across skies of Peru leaving forest fires in its wake

Blazing with the fury of a mini-sun this amazing video shows the moment a suspected meteor streaked across the sky over the city of Cusco in Peru.

It was captured blasting through the upper levels of the atmosphere at 2pm yesterday afternoon, leaving an iridescent trail in its wake.

Astonished residents watched as the impressive natural phenomena eventually disappeared over the horizon.


US: Weird Lights Flash Across Night Sky Tuesday - Alexandria, Minnesota

Did you see something unusual streaking across the sky Tuesday night? You're not alone.

Echo Press reader Brian Alvstad posted this on the newspaper's Facebook page Wednesday: "Find out what the heck that meteor or asteroid or comet was that flew in the sky around 9:45 last night [Tuesday]...it was green and purple and you could tell when it broke through the atmosphere. Pretty much the coolest thing ever."

After hunting around on the Internet, the newspaper found a blog - lunarmeteoritehunters.blogspot - that included several sightings of a fireball or meteor from sky watchers across the Midwest on Tuesday night.


Malta: Burning UFO thought to be a fireball

A strange object spotted by residents in the skies above Birżebbuġa on Saturday night could have been a "very bright meteor", also referred to as a fireball, according to the Astronomical Society of Malta.

It has attempted to shed light on the outlandish sighting, described by curious resident Charles Caruana as resembling a "hot air balloon" because it was clearly on fire.

Mr Caruana, who filmed the sight, said it advanced at speed from Żurrieq and over the water polo pitch towards the Freeport until it disappeared in the distance within minutes.

It was about 9 p.m. when he caught sight of it and zoomed off to get hold of his camera, saying it was the size of a car and was neither too high nor too far.

Mr Caruana excluded that it was a flying saucer because it was alight, but was still curious to know what it was. His curiosity was not satisfied when he went to buy the newspapers the next day.


Canada: Burning Fireball Lights Up Sky

© Portage Online
Example of a fireball. This is not a photo from Tuesday night.

A number of southern Manitoba residents noticed something unique in the sky last night. Scott Young is an astronomer at The Manitoba Museum, and shares they've already received quite a few reports.

Young tells us people were able to watch it for a few seconds, and it was one of those once in a lifetime kind of experiences. If you did witness it he says consider yourself one of the lucky ones. Young explains they are currently collecting as many as reports as possible, and have activated their meteorite search team. He adds even if they narrow it down they'll be covering a lot of ground and that takes a lot of people. Anyone interested in volunteering in the search can contact the museum.

He shares only 13 actual meteorites have ever been found in Manitoba even though people bring potential meteorites to the museum once a week, and have for 40 years. Young tells us they receive calls daily about events or sightings in the night sky.


Shape-Shifting Sunspot

Every time you look, sunspot 1271 has a new outline. For the past two days the active region has been in a constant state of change, altering its shape on an hourly basis. Click on the image for 48 hours of shape-shifting:

These rapid changes have caused the sunspot's magnetic field to criss-cross and tangle. The magnetic field now has a "beta-gamma" configuration that harbors energy for M-class solar flares. Any such flares today would be approximately Earth-directed because the sunspot is not far from disk-center.

Sunspot 1271 is so big, it's catching the attention of observers unaided by solar telescopes. Sarah E. Baur of Anaconda, Montana, noticed it yesterday through the smoke of a nearby fire:


Meteorites Possible From Irish Fireball

© Unknown
A fireball, similar to the one pictured, was observed over Irish skies on 23 August 2011
Astronomy Ireland (AI) has confirmed that a fireball meteor entered the atmosphere above Ireland in the early hours of Tuesday morning (23 August 2011).

The organisation added that meteor fragments are likely to have reached the surface but it remains unclear at this stage if the impact occurred overland or in the Atlantic Ocean.

Astronomy Ireland says it has already received dozens of reports of a bright fireball shooting across Irish skies at approximately 12:15 AM on Tuesday. 60-70% of reports received came from the Greater Dublin area with other reports being received from Tipperary, Meath, Cork, Mayo and Kerry.

Initial reports suggest the fireball moved westward in a line from north Dublin to south Mayo, meaning anyone living to the north of this line would have observed the fireball to the south and vice versa for those living south of the Midlands.


Scotland: Unidentified Falling Object Seen Over Loch Ness

© Wikimedia Commons
Scottish police are scratching their heads over a mysterious occurrence at Loch Ness this weekend, The Scotsman newspaper reports.

On Saturday night several eyewitnesses saw an object falling into or near the loch. Some describe it as a white light, others as a blue light. People said it was a balloon, or an ultralight, or a parachute. Some people said it didn't fall at all, merely passed over the tree line.

In other words, nobody has the faintest idea what they saw.

So many people called emergency services, however, that it's certain something strange was going on in the skies, and the police, the coastguard, a lifeboat crew, and the Royal Air Force went in search of it. Several hours of looking in the water and along the shore turned up nothing.