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Fire in the Sky

Fireball 2

Bright meteor fireball observed over North Dakota and Minnesota

© Google/AMS (screen capture)
An unusual sighting for many people Sunday night, reports of a huge flash in the sky about 6 p.m. It has many people wondering what they saw and how typical this is.

"It will be bright so it will catch your eye if you are looking the right way," said MSUM Astronomy Professor Juan Cabanela.

Hundreds of people commented on the Valley News Live Facebook page about a huge fireball in the sky.

"I would count myself lucky in the sense that is a really cool thing to see," stated Cabanela.

A report from Red Lake, Minnesota said "I was in the woods with some friends and we seen a bright white light, lit up everything in the woods."

Another from Grafton North, Dakota, "I seen a huge flash and nothing else. It was unexplainable."

"Fireballs are fairly rare, they are the biggest of the meteors and so they also tend to be sporadic and not necessarily always associated with a meteor shower," explained Cabanela.

A map from the American Meteor Society, a place that tracks meteor sightings, shows that 67 people reported this fireball. The sightings were reported mainly in North Dakota and Minnesota but also in South Dakota and Manitoba, Canada.


Surprise! Newfound asteroid 2016 VA gives Earth a close shave

The near-Earth asteroid 2016 VA (central dot), as viewed by the Virtual Telescope Project on Nov. 1, 2016.
A small asteroid buzzed Earth last night (Nov. 1), just hours after astronomers first spotted the space rock.

The asteroid 2016 VA zoomed within about 48,000 miles (77,000 kilometers) of the planet at 8:32 p.m. EDT (0032 GMT on Nov. 2), according to researchers with the Minor Planet Center (MPC) in Cambridge, Massachusetts. To put that into perspective, the moon orbits Earth at an average distance of 239,000 miles (385,000 km).

The space rock, which is thought to be 23 to 72 feet (7 to 22 meters) wide, was traveling about 48,000 mph (77,000 km/h) relative to Earth during the close encounter, MPC scientists said.

2016 VA was discovered just yesterday, by astronomers with the Mt. Lemmon Survey in Arizona. Surprise asteroid encounters like last night's flyby aren't uncommon; millions of space rocks are thought to orbit the sun in Earth's neighborhood, and scientists have discovered just 15,000 of them.

Comment: This incident proves, once again, that scientists working on spotting and logging Near Earth Objects about as effective as someone looking for a needle in a haystack.

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Meteor fireball seen over Perth, Western Australia

© So Perth
Green fireball, somewhat similar to what was described over Perth tonight, over South American nations Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay in 2015.
A huge ball of fire was seen streaking over Perth. People across Perth have seen a huge ball of fireball over the city tonight. Some people even said they heard explosions like fireworks in the moments afterward.

Perthites took to social media to report seeing the huge fireball streak across the sky, just after 7pm Wednesday evening.

At the time a crescent moon could be seem to the west-south-west and the first evening stars were visible, just after the sun sank.

People quickly reported on Twitter and Facebook that they had seen a fireball, that lasted around 30-seconds, and even heard explosions in the moments afterward.

JBE on Twitter wrote, "Gorgeous streaking green light in Swanbourne!"

"It was spectacular - bright green. I thought it was a flare at first," Katjo said.

People from Mandurah, Mt Pleasant, Perth's coastal suburbs all said they said the bright lights. Others said they heard loud booms around that time.

"I thought I heard like 3 fireworks going off," said Rob.

It's possible the fireball was connected to the South Taurid meteor shower, which peaks every year around late October and early November.

The award winning Perth Fireballs in the Sky app is the place to go to report sightings.

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Evening meteor fireball lights up skies from Ontario to Massachusetts

© AMS Meteors
Heatmap of witness location and first estimated trajectory.

More than 160 reports

The AMS has received over 160 reports so far about of a fireball event over seen over Pennsylvania on November 1st, 2016 around 08:15pm EDT (Nov. 2nd ~ 00:15 UT). The fireball was seen primarily from Pennsylvania but witnesses from Maryland, New York, Connecticut, Ohio, Virginia, West Virginia, Michigan, Massachusetts, Delaware and Ontario (Canada) also reported the event.


Below is the map of the witnesses location with the first estimated trajectory. The preliminary estimated trajectory plotted from the witness reports shows the meteor was traveling from the North East to the South West and ended its flight near the Pine Creek Valley.

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Multiple people across northeast U.S. report seeing fireball Tuesday night

The American Meteor Society says they received more than 160 reports of a fireball sighting on Tuesday night.

Primarily seen in Pennsylvania, the fireball was also spotted over a number of northeastern states, including New York. Many people in Buffalo said they saw it.

The sightings occurred around 8:15 p.m.

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Meteor fireball streaks across northern Japan (VIDEOS)

Fireball streaks across northern Japan
People in northern Japan saw a rare fireball streak across the sky early Monday.

A Nippon TV weather camera captured video of the fireball. The fiery, greenish object shot across the sky for 15 seconds before vanishing to the northeast.

One astronomer said the object was likely a brighter-than-typical meteor, which is technically called a fireball. The astronomer speculated that it could have been caused by space debris such as a satellite fragment burning up as it entered the atmosphere.

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Meteor fireball filmed over Cordoba, Spain (VIDEO)

Slow cometary fireball on Oct. 26 (at 23:57 UT)

This fireball was observed over the South of Spain on Oct. 26, at 23:57 UT (1:57 local time on Oct. 27).

The event was produced by a sporadic cometary meteoroid that hit the atmosphere at about 94000 km/h.

The fireball began at a height of 90 km over the province of Cordoba and ended at a height of 40 km over the Mediterranean Sea.


Hoax? Lightning strikes 'UFO' above Austria as crowd gathers to watch New Year's fireworks (VIDEO)

© Marie Mela
An Austrian student's video of a UFO-like object captured while lighting New Year's fireworks has gone viral after it was posted online.

Marie Mela from Vienna was enjoying the New Year with friends in the Mostviertel region of Lower Austria, famous for the large number of pear orchards from where schnapps and cider are made.

But she insists that the video on her Facebook post is genuine, and has appealed in her message for anybody else who saw the phenomena to get in touch.

The video shows a group of young people outside with the clinking of champagne glasses, and the sound of the Danube waltz traditionally clearly heard playing as it is a New Year tradition in Austria as people wish each other all the best for 2016.

Comment: Hmmm, lightning in Austria in the dead of winter? Not likely, say local meteorologists:
However, weather experts have cast doubt on the video's authenticity, telling the Kurier newspaper that there was no lightning in the Mostviertel area on New Year's Eve. "We have also seen the video, and we checked the weather conditions at the time. There was no lightning in the area," Ubimet meteorologist Roland Reiter said.
We've seen lightning strikes light up and possibly even hit UFOs before, but this would be the first time we've seen lightning strike one of these spiraling comet-like UFOs, which have been sighted a number of times all over the world in recent years:

Reading Celestial Intentions Through the Wrong End of the Telescope: Missiles, UFOs and the Cold War

Many of these cone-shaped 'UFOs', which usually begin as bright objects crossing the sky at apparently very high altitudes, and whose tails then fan out before the main object appears to 'separate' and create a spiral formation, behave so much like rockets launched into space that we've found it all but impossible to discern them from 'UFOS' (which, we suspect, are actually comet fragments entering, not leaving, the upper atmosphere).

The very high altitudes involved conflict with the scenario presented in the above video: lightning like this, at the level of clouds, should occur far lower than any comet-like tail.

For what it's worth, the original uploader, Marie Mela, insists the video is genuine, despite frame-by-frame analysis appearing to reveal flaws in the footage.

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Meteor fireball captured on dash cam over Colorado (VIDEO)

© Scripps Media, Inc.
Denver -- It's a sight not many people are fortunate enough to see, but one that a Colorado resident was fortunate enough to capture. Denver7 started getting calls about a meteor falling from the sky at around 6:50 p.m.

One viewer who did not wish to be identified told Denver7 he was at Holly and 120th Avenue when he spotted the falling rock going down in what he said appeared to be an area near Sports Authority Field. He said it happened at around 6:45 p.m.

At around 8:30 p.m., a Denver viewer from Littleton emailed the newsroom and said he caught the meteor on his dash cam on his way home Thursday evening. "It was traveling to the south," the viewer told Denver7.

He said he was driving near the area of Bowles and Wadsworth in Littleton when the sighting took place.

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Bright meteor fireball illuminates sky over Buryatia, Russia (VIDEO)

© Youtube/Lev Abashkin (screen capture)
According to baikal-daily.ru there have been numerous reports of a bright meteor fireball exploding over the Buryatia region of Russia on 25th October. Some reports on social media sites (translated by google) include:
"For the Barguzin ridge, close to Lake Baikal, just fallen meteorite !!! It was as bright as day five or six seconds! Sensation!"

"Around 19:00 .. it fell from the sky shone brightly Kameta green (for the size is quite large)"

"Somewhere at 19:30 in the sky flew whether comet whether a meteor. There was a powerful flash. Who else saw? Kurumkan!"

"Have you seen this ??? I went at 19:40 on a grandmother and suddenly glow in the sky at the likeness of a meteorite or green satellite"

"Today, about 19: 50, was a strange flash in the sky. Flew what looked like a comet with a green tail."

"Has anyone seen about 19:40 dropped something like a meteorite seen in gurulbe fell apart Sotnikovo bright green color is very beautiful, no sound, nothing."
The Republic of Buryatia is located in the south-central region of Siberia along the eastern shore of Lake Baikal.