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Tue, 27 Sep 2016
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Fire in the Sky


NASA reports 1.2kt bolide meteor over Mauritania

© Michael Huniewicz
Mauritania night sky
NASA fireballs page has been updated with a bolide meteor with 1.2kt of Calculated Total Impact Energy. The bolide's position was given as 15.8N,11.9W.

The bolide was detected on Monday 27 June at 10:02UTC, possessed a velocity(x) of -29.1 km/s or 18.2 miles/sec (65,475 mph) and was reported at an altitude of 33km (20 miles).

Background Situation

New asteroid discoveries are currently in somewhat of a lull, with only 10 new discoveries in the <0.5AU range within the last 2 weeks (Period "M"). The numbers of new <0.5AU discoveries have been in decline since period "G" (Apr1-Apr15), with a similar trend for <5LD asteroids since period "E" (Mar1-Mar15).

2016 MA was the only <5LD asteroid discovered during period "M" and made its close-approach on June 19 at a distance of 2.6LD. New period "N" begins tomorrow (July 1).
So far, in 2016, there have been 29,849 new <0.5AU discoveries and 211 <10LD discoveries.

(Source for all stats: eissco.co.uk).

Fireball 2

Meteorites from fireball seen over Arizona located

© Arizona Department of Transportation
Pieces of a small asteroid that left a fiery trail in the sky over a big chunk of Arizona earlier this month have been found by researchers
Pieces of a small asteroid that left a fiery trail in the sky over a big chunk of Arizona earlier this month have been found by researchers, Arizona State University says.

A team of meteorite hunters recently located 15 meteorites on tribal lands after getting permission to search, ASU spokeswoman Beth Giudicessi said Wednesday.

Working in partnership with the White Mountain Apache Tribe, scholars spent more than 130 hours searching the White Mountains.

The findings offer a "piece of that giant puzzle about where did we come from," said ASU Center for Meteorite Studies curator Laurence Garvie.

Comment: See also: Huge fireball lights up night sky over Phoenix, Arizona - Residents stunned as meteor explodes, shaking homes


June 30, 1908: The Tunguska Event

"It was nothing of this earth, but a piece of the great outside; and as such dowered with outside properties and obedient to outside laws."
The Colour Out of Space, by H.P. Lovecraft (1927)
© Evgeny Krinov
Fig.1. The forest of Tunguska, photography taken by Evgeny Krinov in 1929.
In the morning of June, 30 1908 eyewitnesses reported a large fireball crossing the sky above the taiga of the Stony Tunguska (PodkamennayaTunguska) in Siberia. A series of explosions was heard even in the 1.200km distant village of Achajewskoje. Various meteorological stations in Europe recorded seismic and pressure waves and in the following days strange atmospheric phenomena were observed, silvery glowing clouds, colourful sunsets and strange luminescence in the night.

Russian newspapers reported about a meteorite impact based on the eyewitness accounts and the hypothesis of Dr. Arkady Voznesensky (1864-1936), director of the Meteorological Observatory at Irkutsk from 1895 to 1917. International newspapers speculated about a possible volcanic explosion, remembering the eruption of Krakatoa in 1883. However the inaccessibility of the region and the instable political situation in Russia prevented further research.

Thirteen years later the Russian mineralogist Leonid Alexejewitsch Kulik (1883-1942), reading some of the eyewitnesses' accounts about an explosion and a large glowing object, became interested in the phenomena - there was also the hope to recover precious extraterrestrial metals from the supposed meteorite.

Kulik travelled to the city of Kansk, where he discovered further reports in the local archives. Most stories refer to large fireballs, flames and a sequence of 14 thunders. March 1927 he arrived at the outpost of Wanawara -then, April 13, Kulik discovered a large area of 2.150 square km covered with rotting logs and almost no tree still standing - the strange "Forest of Tunguska".

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Meteor streaks across Guam night skies

© YouTube Screen Capture
If you were looking at Tuesday's night sky and saw a flashing light, you caught a glimpse of a meteor. This is viewer submitted video taken from Hagatna. According to National Weather Service meteorologist Landon Aydlett, it's a rare sighting.

Meteors are chunks of rock floating through space. As they come through the atmosphere, they become incandescent and appear as a streak of light.

Fireball 3

'Meteorite' crashes through roof in Thailand

© Chinnawat Singha
A suspected meteorite is pictured after it went through the roof of a house in the central province of Phitsanulok on Tuesday morning.
Phitsanulok - A mysterious rock, believed to be a meteorite, crashed through the roof of a house in Phitsanulok's Muang district on Tuesday.

The suspected meteorite fell through the roof of a home in Plai Chumphon sub-district at 7.26am, hit a wall and then bounced to the floor, breaking into five pieces.

"I was having breakfast when there was a loud bang, like a gunshot sound. I looked around and found a rock about the size of an egg and some fragments nearby. I picked up the largest chunk and let go quickly as it was very hot," 65-year-old home-owner Bualom Chalomprai said.

Mrs Bualom believes the rock is from outer space and will bring her good luck.

Mrs Bualom's husband, Kittisak, 75, said he heard a sound of explosion in the sky at about 7am before the 300g rock fell through his roof.

Media reports said residents in adjacent districts of Nakhon Thai and Chat Trakan also heard the "explosion".

Fireball 3

Fireball lights up Nova Scotia skies

© Fred Thornhill/Reuters
A bright light over Nova Scotia Thursday night was likely a meteor.
A meteor was likely behind numerous reports of a bright light in the skies over Nova Scotia Thursday night.

Numerous people reported on social media seeing it just before 10 p.m.

It was probably a very bright meteor hundreds of kilometres away, said Dave Lane, director of the Saint Mary's University observatory.

"I've only seen one of these things in my lifetime that was bright enough to be spectacular," Lane said, adding he didn't witness the meteor last night.

Fireball 2

Bright meteor fireball observed over southern Spain

© SMART Project (screen capture)
Fireball recorded over Spain just one minute after the start of summer (June 20, at 22:35 UT).

Fireball 5

Multiple sightings of a meteor fireball over Japan

© RocketNews24
Recordings of multiple sightings of the bright light also show the visible plume it left as it streaked down from the sky.

Social media lit up in Japan on the night of June 18, with Japanese users posting images of a fireball seen hurtling towards earth, visible for several seconds as it streaked through a vast stretch of night sky. Eyewitness reports came in from the Kanto and Tohoku regions of Japan between 10:50 p.m. and 11:00 p.m., with many posting pictures of the trail of cloud it left behind.

The plume, brightened by the light of the moon, showed the path that the apparent meteor took as it made its way through the atmosphere.


Meteor fireball filmed over the state of São Paulo, Brazil

This earthgrazer meteor was filmed by cameras of the Brazilian Meteor Observation Network (Bramon) over the state of São Paulo, Brazil on June 14, 2016.

They managed to catch the beginning (VLW station), middle (CSP station) and the end of the flight (HAL station) and thus to calculate the trajectory of the space rock.

Comment: See also this report of another fireball two days earlier from the same region: Bright meteor fireball streaks over Sao Paulo, Brazil


Meteor fireball spotted in skies over Massena, New York

© 7 News WWNY
A 7 News viewer caught what might have been a meteor falling from the sky over Massena.

The pictures were taken by Sara Lytle after 4 p.m. near the St. Lawrence Centre Mall.

Her fiance, Justin Smith, says she spotted the fast-moving object by BJ's Wholesale Club and followed it all the way to Alcoa Park.

Comment: Just two days before, a fiery meteor fireball blazed across SE Canada and NE United States