Fire in the SkyS


Found: Pieces of space rock 2008 TC3 once seen heading for Earth

asteroid TC3 Sudan
© Mohamed Elhassan Abdelatif Mahir/Noub NGO/Muawia H Shaddad/U Khartoum/Peter Jenniskens/SETI Institute/NASA Ames)The small asteroid 2008 TC3 broke up in the atmosphere above Sudan on 7 October and left behind this wind-blown trail high in the sky.

The discovery of meteorites from an asteroid that exploded over Sudan in October completes an astronomical trifecta. For the first time, scientists have detected a space rock ahead of a collision with Earth, watched it streak through the atmosphere, and then recovered pieces of it. Analysis of the meteorites could shed light on conditions in the early solar system more than 4 billion years ago.

When the asteroid, called 2008 TC3, was discovered on 6 October last year, it was just 20 hours away from hitting Earth. Though the warning period was short, it was the first time a space rock had been found before it impacted the planet.

Orbital calculations predicted the object would plunge into the atmosphere above Sudan at 0246 GMT on 7 October, and it arrived right on time. Observations suggested it was no more than 5 metres across, too small to survive intact all the way to the ground and cause damage.


US: Fireball Lights Up Hawaii Sky and Causes Jaws to Drop

Flashy, colorful fireball awes sky-gazers.

"Look out!" shouted Gregory McCartney, who runs astronomy education programs at Ko Olina, as a fireball flew overhead. He thought his group of 18 was about to be hit, but the mysterious object suddenly disappeared.

Another isle resident who saw the green fireball in the sky the night of Feb. 9 "thought the world was coming to an end." Joanna Spofford, walking with her 3-year-old daughter in Kalama Valley, said, "It was the scariest thing in the world." Astronomers said the celestial apparition could have been a new meteor, possibly from "a clump of cometary material that hadn't dispersed enough to become an annual shower."

One thing it was not: debris from the collision of U.S. and Russian satellites. That collision did not happen until the next day.


Meteors Light Up Kentucky's Skies

Astronomers say bright lights in the sky and noises like thunder observed over much of Kentucky were meteors.

The Lexington Herald-Leader reported that after the reports came in from people in Kentucky and Texas late Friday, the Federal Aviation Administration cautioned pilots to beware of satellite debris, but the advisory was quickly withdrawn.


England: Fireball over Reading, Berkshire

Witness statement - MUFON report: I was travelling down the Birfield Road, Soutcote in Reading on 15th February 2009 at exactly 7pm. When me and my mother saw a strange object in the sky. It was moving in very fast circular movements and hovered up and down whilst moving straight across the sky.


US: Fireball spotted streaking across sky in Summerville, South Carolina

Summerville fireball
© Afton Dewland
A You on 2 report from Summerville shows a scene similar to one that played out in Texas over the weekend. A bright orange fireball streaking across the sky.

There were original reports that debris from the collision of U.S. and Russian satellites were the culprit...but those reports have since been refuted.

Afton Dewland sent this email along with the picture:

Comment: Here's info on the Texas fireball in case you missed it.


Argentina: More Fireballs Reported

Just as television viewers everywhere marvel about the daylight meteor/fireball/unknown object videotaped over Texas, Inexplicata has received an e-mail posting from Jorge Luis Figueras, photographic analyst with the Fundacion Argentina de Ovnilogia (FAO):

"[The incidents] occurred on Saturday, and regional members of the FAO are involved in researching it. At this time, eyewitness accounts span locations as distant as Casa de Piedra in the south of La Pampa, Viedma in eastern Rio Negro, Sierra Grande and Ramos Mexia, Cutral Co, Bariloche on the western end of the province, Neuquén proper, Zapala, Las Lajas and Chos Malal -- that is to say, two entire provinces 600 kilometers from north to south and some 500 from east to west. There is a strong likelihood that it was also seen in Chile.


Military denies link to 'fireball' reports, satellite collision

The U.S. Strategic Command said there was no connection to reports of a "fireball" in the sky over Texas on Sunday and Tuesday's collision of satellites from the U.S. and Russia.

"There is no correlation between the debris from that collision and those reports of re-entry," said Maj. Regina Winchester, of STRATCOM.


Video Update: Texas Fireball

Authorities in Texas are baffled after being flooded with reports of burning debris falling from the sky.


Texas, US: 'Fireball' not satellite debris, FAA says

It streaked across the Central Texas sky Sunday morning in a bright yellow flash with a boom, leaving a trail of smoke. The FAA thought it might be from Russia.

The media, bloggers and the Twitterverse followed the feds' lead.

But they were all wrong.

It turned out it wasn't debris from Tuesday's collision of two satellites over Russia after all, according to the Domestic Events Network of the Federal Aviation Administration.

Federal authorities now believe the source was not manmade.


Loud Boom Rocks Southern Kentucky

27 Newsweek started receiving phone calls tonight telling us a loud boom, or series of booms were heard this evening in Southern Kentucky.

So we called emergency officals, to find out what is going on.

Brian Reams of the Laurel county EMS tells us they've had calls from Jackson to London, about a loud boom.

He says there are no reports of any injuries or damage.