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Mon, 20 Aug 2018
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Fire in the Sky

Fireball 2

Bright fireball spotted over Bahia, Brazil

right fireball spotted over Bahia, Brazil on June 15, 2018

Comment: Translated from Portuguese with Google Translate.

A big bolide was seen in the skies of Bahia tonight (June 15). The BRAMON MDE1 / BA Station, run by Alexsandro Mota, recorded the meteoroid's passage through the atmosphere. The video is impressive and shows the meteor cutting across the field of view of the camera.

Check out: The clouds present at the moment, have somewhat disrupted the measurement of its brightness, but we estimate something around -8.

It was previously associated with the June iota Pegasids meteor shower, a minor rain proposed by Greaves in 2012 that has its radiant on the Pegasus Constellation. However, its definitive classification will only be possible if there is a second image that allows us to extract more information about the meteoroid orbit before entering the atmosphere.

Comment: Following the previous years documented increase in fireballs, 2018 seems to be continuing the trend. In just the last month SOTT has recorded the following:

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Meteorites recovered in Yunnan, China, following spectacular meteor fireball event

People look for chondrites in China
© Dai Zhenhua/For China Daily
People look for chondrites (inset) in a sugarcane field in Manlun village in Yunnan province on Monday.
A recent test reveals that the chondrites - stony nonmetallic meteorites - that hit Xishuangbanna, Southwest China's Yunnan province, about two weeks ago, are 4.5 billion years old - almost the same age as of the solar system.

The test was conducted by Xu Weibiao, chief scientist of the Purple Mountain Observatory under Chinese Academy of Sciences, after he received through special delivery one of the over 200 meteorites found in Xishuangbanna on June 11.

Under electron microscope, spherical masses can be seen randomly scattered on the surface of the meteorite test sample.

These are chondrule, which cannot be found in rocks on the earth but are unique to the meteorite. The formation of it can be traced back to 4.5 billion years ago when the sun was just a large nebula - a mass of gas and dust, Xu said.

Comment: See also:

Fireball captured blazing across China - Sonic boom reported, possibility of meteorites

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California resident captures 'giant flash' of meteor on home surveillance camera

Fireball over Fresno, CA
© YouTube/Kent Coffman Jr
On June 12, 2018, YouTuber 'Kent Coffman Jr', a resident of Fresno, California, uploaded footage of a meteor with a ''giant flash' from what appears to be a home surveillance camera.

According to the American Meteor Society, this same fireball was seen in Nevada, Arizona, Utah, Idaho and New Mexico.Their report can be found here.


Missile or space rock? Mystery object spotted over Washington state island, military denies missile launch

comet Washington Whidbey
© Skunk Bay Weather
A mysterious object was seen off the coast of a Washington state island last weekend. The military denies it was a missile launch.
A weather camera on an island in Washington state on Sunday captured a mystery object that appears to some to be a missile in ascent, Q13Fox.com reported.

The object was spotted at 3:56 a.m. over Whidbey Island, where there is a naval air station. But a spokesman from NAS Whidbey Island said there are no missile capabilities at the base.

Comment: Although the phenomenon hasn't been identified, it wouldn't be the first time a meteor was mistaken for a missile.

See also:


Space rock? Mystery 'explosion' and 'flash' leaves residents baffled in Ruthin, North Wales

© Robert Parry-Jones
Residents have been left baffled by a loud "explosion" heard in the early hours of this morning.

Homeowners in Ruthin were jolted from their sleep by the noise that was heard as far away as Haulfryn and Rhewl.

Some took to social media in a bid to find out what it was with others reporting seeing a "flash" and hearing the police helicopter overhead shortly afterwards.

In a local forum called Fans of the old Ruthin Blog, one person wrote at 12.55am: "Did anyone hear that explosion? Is everyone OK?"


Loud boom heard, felt in northern Arkansas and south central Missouri (Update)

West Plains, NO sign
© KY3
Did you hear it Wednesday? That loud boom. So loud in fact that people in northern Arkansas and south central Missouri heard it and were all asking the same question around noon Wednesday. What was that boom?

"It was just a loud boom," Richard Harrell said.

"I thought it kind of sounded like a bomb," Sadie Hutchinson added.

"It felt like somebody actually ran into the building," Michael Romero told KY3.

Dispatchers at West Plains Police Department were busy for nearly two hours taking calls from all over West Plains and the surrounding area, with folks asking, what was that sound?

Comment: Update: On June 8, 2018, KTTS reported that more booms were being reported across the Ozarks:
People in Rogersville and Ava tell KTTS News they heard a noise rattle windows and ceiling tiles just before noon today. A similar sound was reported last night around midnight by someone in Ava.

The booms were first reported to the National Weather Service on Wednesday. It's still unclear what's causing it.

Meteorologists have speculated that it could be anything from a sonic boom from a military plane to a meteorite.
On the same date, KY3 in Missouri reports that the booms were heard in Marshfield, Good Hope, Cabool, Houston, Oldfield, and Seymour around midday Friday.

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Asteroid might have impacted Earth over South Africa on Saturday

Astronomers found the asteroid - now labeled ZLAF9B2 - Saturday morning, hours before closest approach. Trajectory models, observer reports and a video all suggest it struck Earth's atmosphere over South Africa on Saturday.
Asteroid ZLAF9B2
© Richard Kowalski
Asteroid ZLAF9B2
A small asteroid discovered on Saturday morning, June 2, 2018, surprised astronomers when its trajectory suggested it would pass very, very close to Earth just hours after being detected. The object has been given the temporary designation of ZLAF9B2. There are reports of sightings of a bright meteor, as well as a video that may be related to the event, from Barend Swanepoel in South Africa. He reports the video (see below) as being:
... taken near my dad's farm between Ottosdal and Hartbeesfontein.
Another witness in South Africa described the meteor as very bright, and showing a yellow color.

This space rock had an estimated size of only 10-16 feet (3 to 5 meters) in diameter. If it struck (and sometimes they do, and meteorite pieces are found), it was too small to cause serious damages. In contrast, the impressive meteor seen over Chelyabinsk, Russia, in February, 2013 was an estimated 60 feet wide (20 meters). It broke windows in six Russian cities and caused more than 1,500 people to seek medical attention, mostly due to injuries from flying glass. The June 2 asteroid wasn't big enough to do anything like that, but it was big enough to produce a spectacular, very bright meteor.

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Fireball captured blazing across China - Sonic boom reported, possibility of meteorites

fireball china june 1 2018
YouTube channel 'Exoss Citizen Science' reports a fireball sighting today in China:
A HUGE fireball (meteor) appeared over Jinghong city, China yesterday, June 1 (13:40 UT)! Sonic booms were reported, indicating the fireball likely penetrated lower than 30 km and quite possibly dropped meteorites!

Video: Xiao Jia Gong Gong via @Exos Citizen Science
Local Chinese news outlets report that the phenomenon was seen from Simao, that it was very bright, lasted about 2 seconds and was accompanied by two loud noises - presumably sonic booms. One Mr. Zhou from Dongfeng, Jinghong, heard the noise from inside his home.

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Meteor fireball over the Mediterranean Sea

This meteor event was recorded over the Mediterranean Sea on 23 May 2018 at 1:37 local time (23:37 universal time on 22 May).

The event was produced by a fragment from an asteroid that hit the atmosphere at about 90000 km/h. The fireball began at an altitude of around 89 km over the sea, and ended at a height of about 19 km.

The analysis of its atmospheric path shows that this was a meteorite-producing event. The meteorite would have fallen into the sea.

The event was recorded by the meteor observing stations operated by the SMART Project (University of Huelva) from the astronomical observatories of Calar Alto, La Sagra, La Hita and Sevilla.


Space rock? Loud house-shaking boom heard in southern California

San Diego mystery boom
© Fox5
A loud boom was heard around San Diego Wednesday afternoon.

A Carmel Valley resident sent a tweet at 12:26 p.m. asking if the noise was a sonic boom. Another person said their house rattled around the same time.
Felt it over here in Carmel Valley, too quick for an earthquake? Sonic boom?

- R Dub (@r_dub_1) May 16, 2018
FOX 5 reached out to local military bases to find out if they were involved in making the noise.