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Sat, 29 Apr 2017
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Fire in the Sky

Fireball 5

Meteor fireball streaks across U.S. East coast skies

Did you see a fireball Tuesday night? You weren't alone.

A bright meteor was spotted from New York to Kentucky about 8:40 p.m., prompting more than 100 reports to the American Meteor Society. A high concentration of sightings came from the D.C. area.

"It was the brightest meteor I've ever seen," one Arlington resident wrote.

"I have seen fireballs before. This was the closest one I've ever seen," one Leesburg resident reported "This appeared to be very close and bright. Like you could see the ball of fire at the end of the trail almost."

According to the American Meteor Society, fireballs are very bright meteors, about as bright as Venus in the morning and evening skies.

About 10 to 15 meteorites fall to Earth each day, but sightings are rare since streaking fireballs often fall over the ocean, or during daylight hours when they can't be seen.

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Large blue meteor fireball illuminates sky over Sweden

© Jessica Dellsjö
Bright blue fireball over Sweden on March 20, 2017.
A very large blue fireball illuminated the sky over Sweden around 20:30 UTC (21:30 CET) on March 20, 2017. The event was so powerful that the whole sky lit up, Swedish All Sky Meteor Network astronomers said.

Images of the event immediately started appearing on social networks, with people from the cities of Stockholm, Uppsala and Örebro all reported seeing the event. Reports from eastern Uppland mention sonic boom associated with the event.

"This is something that happens a few times a year," Eric Stempels of the Swedish Allsky Meteor Network project told The Local.

"Because it can happen during the day, when it is cloudy or far from populated areas, these events usually don't get much attention," he said, adding that this one fell in the north-eastern Uppland region.

Experts believe that this particular bolide may have been unusually large and Stempels estimated that it is possible it was between the size of a fist and a football.

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Dashcam captures meteor fireball over downtown Denver, Colorado

© YouTube/Coordman
Meteor Recorded on Dashcam Downtown Denver, CO:

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Meteor fireball seen in the skies above Greater Vancouver

A fireball was sighted speeding across the skies of the Metro Vancouver area late on March 16.

This footage, filmed by Tammy Kwan, a staff writer for Vancouver weekly newspaper The Georgia Straight, shows the bright ball visible above a stretch of Lougheed Highway in Pitt Meadows, British Columbia. In her writeup for The Georgia Straight, Kwan wrote that she had captured the video on her dashcam, and the sky "suddenly flashed green and then pale yellow."


Meteor fireball lights up the sky near Orange, Australia

The meteor is spotted by a motorists travelling on the Escort Way.
A meteor fireball blasting to Earth was spotted near Orange on Wednesday night.

Video footage of the bright light with a fiery tail was identified by skywatching expert Rod Somerville.

"That one to me looks just like a nice bright meteor, known as a fireball," he said.

The footage was taken from a car travelling on the Escort Way near Boree about 7.45pm and uploaded to YouTube by David Bell.

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Exploding meteor fireball causes panic in Pakistan´s mountainous north

© YouTube/Wapgee Inc (screen capture)
A suspected meteor lit up the skies above Pakistan´s mountainous north late Wednesday, officials said, with panicked residents reporting a mysterious light whizzing past and the sound of multiple, powerful blasts.

The incident occurred around 9PM, when citizens in the city of Gilgit and the surrounding Ghizer and Diamer districts saw the bright object racing through the night sky above the region´s remote, soaring mountains.

"I saw a light flash through the sky and then there were multiple blasts," Ghizer district resident Javed Iqbal told AFP Thursday.

"I felt as if something had hit the roof of my house. I rushed outside with my family members and saw everyone getting out of their homes. The blasts had shaken the whole valley," he said.

His story was echoed by others, including Shabir Mir of Gilgit, who said he saw the object "disappear into the mountains", followed seconds later by what sounded like more than one explosion.

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Meteor fireball recorded over Southern Germany

© YouTube/OGVT - Observatoire géophysique, Val Terbi (screen capture)
#Meteor over Southern #Germany recorded in #Montsevelier #ValTerbi #Jura on 03/11/2017, 00:57:43 UTC

Comment: A meteor was recorded from the same observatory four hours earlier over the Canton Ticino region of Southern Switzerland.

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Bright green, fragmenting meteor fireball reported over northern UK

© Google/AMS (screen capture)
The American Meteor Society (AMS) has received 24 reports about a fireball seen over England and Scotland on Wednesday, March 1st 2017 around 18:54 UT.

Responding to a request by the UK Meteor Network for information, some tweets include:


Loud boom and reports of fireball sighting over Texas

Abilene - Many people reported to KTXS that they saw a fireball moving across the sky Sunday evening just before 9 p.m. Most of the reports came from an area from Abilene to Snyder.

People in the Snyder region also reported hearing a boom like that of a transformer failing or a sonic boom that a jet might create.

Based on the reports, it appears that something fell from the sky and got close enough to the ground that the sonic boom it created was audible to people on the ground in parts of our area. However, we have not received any reports of anything crashing to the ground.

The object could have been man-made space debris like a piece from a spent rocket. But we have not heard of any of these reentries from NASA or our military. More likely it was a piece of "rock" wandering around in our solar system that fell into our atmosphere.

As the object falls deeper into our atmosphere friction with air molecules increases and heats the object. This creates the streak of light in the sky. Most of the time the falling object burns up before hitting the ground.Since the falling object is likely traveling at several thousand miles per hour, it creates a sonic boom. If it is close enough to the ground, we may hear it.

Checking for a possible noise maker, the USGS earthquake site indicates no measured earthquakes in the state of Texas Sunday or Sunday evening.

Comment: Footage of the meteor was also captured by a police officer in Weatherford, Texas.

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Meteor fireball sighted over South Island, New Zealand

© Photo Twitter (@iangriffin)
Clear skies around the country allowed for sightings of what may have been a meteor (not pictured) last night.
Reports of a bright light shooting across the skies last night have come in from around the country, including Dunedin.

ODT Online submitter Peter Simkins relates looking out of his window in Broad Bay towards Port Chalmers and seeing a ''yellow streak of light plummeting to earth''.

Other sightings have come in from in Blenheim, Porirua, Lake Ferry, Martinborough and New Plymouth.

Some people posted on social media about seeing the sky light up, while others described the light as being green in colour. Fairfax is this morning reporting that it may have been may be a Russian cargo rocket re-entering the earth's atmosphere.

One woman posted on Facebook that she saw the light in Lower Hutt.

"Yup saw it clearly in Lower Hutt. It was huge and the tail colorful."

The Herald was unable to contact an expert to comment on the sighting tonight, but a person at the University of Canterbury's Mt John Observatory said descriptions provided indicated people had seen a meteor.

According to Nasa, small chunks of rock and debris in space are called meteoroids.

They become meteors, or shooting stars, when they fall through a planet's atmosphere; leaving a bright trail as they are heated to incandescence by the friction of the atmosphere. Pieces that survive the journey and hit the ground are called meteorites.