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Wed, 26 Oct 2016
The World for People who Think

Fire in the Sky


Meteor? 'House-shaking explosions', 'flash of white light' and 'smell of cordite' reported near Bristol, UK

The Portishead Marina
People have been left mystified into the cause of a series of late night 'explosions' near Bristol which caused their houses to 'shake.'

People living in the Port Marine area of Portishead reported hearing a number of loud bangs and seeing flashes of bright white light coming from the direction of Phoenix Way Saturday night.

The first explosion was heard around 7pm with others at around 10.30pm and 11.30pm. More were heard into the early hours of Sunday.

Some residents said the explosions were of such force they 'felt their houses shake.'

Others said the flash of white light was so bright it lit up their rear gardens.

Some people reported hearing a 'whoosh' ahead of the bang and smelling cordite - used as a propellant - in the air.

Initially local residents thought the noise may have been caused by someone letting off fireworks.

But this theory was quickly dismissed by many who said the bangs were too loud.

Comment: Meteor fireball activity has increased dramatically in recent years, so it sounds plausible to us that this could have been an overhead meteor explosion, a la Chelyabinsk.

Fireball 3

ANOTHER meteor fireball caught on camera above San Diego - August 18, 2016

© abc10news
A bright flash that lit up parts of the San Diego sky Thursday night continues to remain a mystery.

The streak of light lasted a few seconds before it disappeared, but the flash was captured on a dashcam.

National Weather Service officials told 10News they were unsure of what the light flash was.

Comment: See also:

Meteor fireball lights up the sky over San Diego, California - August 15, 2016

At the rate things are going, these things will become a nightly occurrence above every city the world over...

Update 21 August 2016

Sott reader Julie S. writes in:
I saw this also! Very clear. I was standing on Hwy 101 in Cardiff admiring the moon and it shot right across the sky over the lagoon.

Fireball 2

Second meteor fireball in a week, third so far this year, streaks across San Diego sky

© Twitter/Itica Milanes
Another mysterious bright light streaked across the Southern California sky on Thursday evening, for at least the third time this year.

The bright streak was reported by nearly 50 witnesses to the American Meteor Society (AMS) as blue or green, and was captured on dashcam video and posted to social media.

Comment: Meteor fireball lights up the sky over San Diego, California

Fireball 4

Bright green meteor fireball spotted in skies across New Zealand

People across the country are reporting what is possibly a meteor shining bright as it passed overhead on Friday night. The "huge fireball or space junk re-entry" was reported in the skies above the capital from about 7.30pm.

A resident in the Upper Hutt suburb of Totara Park said they thought it was space junk after seeing three bright objects. "I came outside [for a cigarette] and something caught my eye, it was very, very bright and moving fast.

"It was phenomenally big, it was glowing orange in the middle with green on the sides - it was like a firework, it got brighter and brighter, whiter and whiter." The object was seen heading south.

"It was halfway across the sky and took about four seconds to cross the ocean, I think it was quite close [to the ground]. It's probably one of the most phenomenal things I've ever seen."

Paul Andrews was travelling south on Wellington's Happy Valley Road when it flew overhead. "It was a very bright fluorescent green colour with quite a long tail, looked like it was breaking up as it was getting closer to crashing into the ocean. "It seemed very close, almost looked like it was going to land out in Cook Strait."

Fireball 4

Meteorite lands in Leeds garden

© Yorkshire Evening Post
Is it an astronomical gift or something much more mundane? David Stevenson is not sure, but he does know that a glowing hot rock appeared in his Leeds garden, apparently leaving a burning 'impact' site in its wake.

The 46-year-old was at home in Bramley with a friend when in the early hours of the morning he walked outside to the smell of burning. He found a circular area of grass on his lawn, about a metre wide, that was smouldering away and giving off wisps of smoke.

He retired to bed baffled but it was only upon closer inspection in the light of day that he discovered a weighty rock, roughly the size of two tennis balls near to the area of parched ground.

Having dismissed any prank or mischief, Mr Stevenson believes the rock may be a fragment of meteorite that has been sent crashing onto his garden lawn from outer space. His own tests have found it to be magnetic and it was initially giving off enough heat to light a cigarette.


Meteor fireball lights up the sky over San Diego, California - August 15, 2016

A 'fireball' of some kind was caught streaking across the San Diego sky overnight.

A CBS 8 viewer captured video of the mysterious streak along El Cajon Boulevard in City Heights.

We haven't heard of an explanation for the 'fireball' yet, but a few residents called saying they saw it and that it was a meteor.

Comment: Another video recorded on the same day:

Fireball 5

Meteor fireball recorded over Spain on 15 August 2016

© SMART Project (screen capture)
This bright fireball was recorded on Aug. 15 at 0:04 UT (2:04 local time). It was produced by a cometary meteoroid that hit the atmosphere at about 85.000 km/h. The meteor belongs to the kappa-Cygnid meteor shower and began at an altitude of about 105 km. It ended at about 58 km over the ground level.


Meteor fireball flies over Malaga, Granada provinces in Spain

At 4:42 local time (2:42 UT) of August 6th 2016, SMART Project detectors had registered a fire ball that flew over Granada and Málaga provinces.

The analysis carried out by the SMART Project PI José María Madiedo (University of Huelva), points that this fireball was generated due to the impact with our atmosphere of a Perseid meteoroid.The fireball started at an altitude of about 126 km over Granada province,moving southwestward and having a final altitude of about 72 km over Málaga province.

The event was recorded from fireball detection station that SMART Project operate at Calar Alto, La Sagra, La Hita, Sevilla and Huelva.
© spainmaps.es

Fireball 2

Perseid meteor shower contained 14 fireballs over the U.S. on August 4th

File photo of meteor
The Perseid meteor shower can also produce fireballs in the sky. In fact, last night 14 fireballs were produced from the Perseid meteor shower.

Fireballs are meteors that have a glowing tail. They are officially rated fireballs if the glowing tail is brighter than Venus.

Mike Murray, astronomer at the Delta College Planetarium, says the Perseid meteor shower gives us the best chance all year to see fireballs. Fireballs are created when the larger meteors take a longer time to burn up and disappear. By larger, Murray says the fireball meteors are still only about the size of a pea.

NASA has a camera network of 15 cameras pointing at the sky. These cameras can see and record the fireballs. Groups of these cameras are located in the Southeast U.S., the Northeast U.S. and the Southwest U.S.


Sungrazer comet 'vaporized' by sun during 1.3 million mph plunge

Stunning footage from the European Space Agency (ESA) and NASA's Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) captured a bright 'sungrazer' comet as it darted toward our star at colossal speed on Thursday.

The space rock, composed of compacted ice and dust, was part of the 'Kreutz' family of comets, according to NASA.

This 'sungrazer' group of comets follows a related orbit in our solar system after breaking off from a huge comet centuries ago. Dozens have already been recorded evaporating in the solar atmosphere.