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Thu, 21 Mar 2019
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Fire in the Sky


Mysterious 'explosion' heard in southern Hertfordshire, UK

Mystery boom in Potters Bar, UK
© pbhistory.co.uk
Described by some as sounding like an "explosion", it was heard by residents in Cranborne Road, Southgate Road, Sunnybank Road, Oakmere and Little Heath, with one person claiming it even reached St Albans.

A police spokeswoman told the Welwyn Hatfield Times that they had received no official reports last night.

Some people claimed on social media that it may have been a sonic boom, but a Ministry of Defence spokesman confirmed no operations were being held in the area last night.

Members of the public also said they had spotted a cloud of smoke near Hatfield Business Park, but it is not known whether this was anything to do with the loud bang.


Mysterious house-shaking 'boom' cracks across northern Indiana (again)

Mysterious boom in northern Indiana
© Stuart Meade
Some felt their houses shake, some heard windows rattle, and many others paused in alarm or curiosity after some kind of loud sonic incident or situation or ... something ... erupted apparently in an area east and south of the Goshen Municipal Airport Saturday afternoon.

Hard to say what was heard exactly - the most common description was a "boom" - and where the noise came from as the source remained a mystery into the evening hours. Speculation played out on Facebook with thoughts the "boom" resulted from aircraft, seismic activity, a weather phenomenon or Tannerite exploding during firearms target practice outdoors.

Who knows?

What seemed clear was a massive metallic-like explosion was heard and felt around 3:30 p.m. Saturday apparently somewhere in the area of Millersburg, Benton and New Paris - communities where this "boom" seemed to have the strongest effect, according to Facebook posts.

Comment: Another unexplained boom was reported by northern Indiana residents on December 30th:

Unexplained home-shaking boom rocks residents of northern Indiana

Alarm Clock

No word on what caused mysterious 'boom' heard, felt across northern Utah

Mystery boom in Utah
© Fox13
People across northern Utah reported feeling and hearing what seemed like a sonic boom Saturday.

The boom happened around 11 a.m. and was especially felt in Ogden and surrounding cities.

Calls and emails flowed into the Fox 13 newsroom asking what caused the boom.

Most felt it was a sonic boom caused by jets or other aircraft at Hill Air Force Base.

We checked with Hill though, and they say it wasn't them.

One resident in South Ogden says he heard and felt two separate sonic booms, but that they were different than the ones caused by jets at HAFB.

"It was like those jets except more intense," Jeff Parker said. "It was like a cross between a sonic boom and an earthquake tremor."


Astronomer says meteor fireball sighted over New Zealand the brightest he's ever seen - UPDATE: Space Junk reentry

© Richard Kern
A bright fireball has been spotted shooting across New Zealand skies.

Kiwis across the country have reported witnessing the event which occurred about 9pm on Saturday.

Astronomer Dr Grant Christie, who has been working in astronomy for over 50 years, told 1 NEWS he has never seen a fireball so bright.

He said it appears the fireball burned out about 100km above Earth.


Update: According to the American Meteor Society this was not a meteor fireball but a Space Junk reentry - almost certainly the reentry of Kosmos 2430, a defunct Russian Early Warning satellite.

Fireball 2

Bright meteor fireball captured over western Japan, 'bang and rumbling' reported

Japan meteor fireball
© YouTube/KyodoNews (screen capture)
A flying fireball was seen over a wide area of western Japan early Thursday, with astronomical experts saying it may have been caused by a meteor.

Masayoshi Ueda, a 67-year-old amateur astronomer, successfully captured images of the object around 4:50 a.m. Thursday at his home in Habikino in Osaka Prefecture.

"I could not tape the sound but it flashed for a second and grew to a big fireball," Ueda said. "I was lucky because we cannot predict when and where we can see one."

Some people, including those living on the island of Shikoku, posted information about the mysterious flying object on the internet. One said, "I thought it was an earthquake as I heard a bang and rumbling," while another said, "I woke up to a very loud sound."

Hitoshi Yamaoka, associate professor at the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan, said, "We have bolides almost every day but it is very rare to hear one make a noise, only a few times a year."


Unexplained home-shaking boom rocks residents of northern Indiana

Mystery boom in Indiana
An unexplained "boom" is causing confusion across our viewing area, as we've had reports of homes shaking, a loud boom, and no visible sign as to what could have caused it.

People from Warsaw to Mishawaka and up into Michigan are describing a boom that occurred around 6:30 Sunday night.

Every person WSBT 22 talked to said it seemed like it was very close by and many of them compared it to an explosion.

"I heard a boom and it wasn't a firework, it wasn't a gunshot," said Evan Bordner, who heard the 'boom.' "It went on for a little bit. It extended out for a little bit."

It's a sound Mishawaka resident Evan Bordner describes as an explosion.

Fireball 2

Loud boom and bright flash as meteor fireball streaks over Twin Cities

Twin Cities meteor

The fireball was reported above Cambridge, in Isanti County, about 2:10 a.m.

One of the biggest meteors seen worldwide this year streaked over the north metro early Thursday, giving the night sky a light show and rattling homes with a sonic boom.

The refrigerator-sized fireball entered the stratosphere above Cambridge, Minn., in Isanti County about 2:10 a.m. and illuminated the sky with brilliant hues of blues and greens as it burned its way eastward before going dark over Harris in southern Chisago County, said Pat Branch, an observer and meteorite hunter with the American Meteor Society, which collects reports from all over the world.

It wasn't immediately clear how close the meteor came to Earth impact, but it probably was close enough to drop pea- to grape-size rocks with charred, crusted or chipped edges, Branch said. The drop zone between Harris and North Branch would be about 2 miles long and a half-mile wide, he said.

The meteor was only the second of 2018 to get close enough to Earth to drop fragments, Branch said. "It's very unusual," he said. "This is one of our biggest events of the year."

Comment: More footage of the event:

See also:

Meteor fireball lights up San Francisco Bay Area, leaves glowing 'dragon' trail

Ornament - Red

Texada Island, Canada resident witnesses flashing ball of light, 'definitely a meteor'

Fireball over Texada Island, BC - stock
© Neal Lasalle/Unsplash
Witnessing what he believed to be a meteor slice across the early night sky on Dec. 11 was a big thrill for aerospace aficionado Doby Dobrostanski.

The 75-year-old Texada Island resident was sitting in his car in the BC Ferries parking lot at the Blubber Bay terminal, when a ball of light traversed almost the half of the skyline in fewer than three seconds.

He said there was no sound.

"I spotted the meteor and in several seconds it was gone," Dobrostanski said.

This was no ordinary meteor, according to Dobrostanski, who has had his eyes fixed towards the night skies for decades.

Dobrostanski knows more than a little bit about meteors and astronomy. He said that he teaches various courses at aerospace camps on Texada Island.


Meteor fireball lights up the sky over southern Japan

Fireball over Japan
© Mainichi/Yoshiyuki Hirakawa
A bright fireball from the Geminid meteor shower streaks across the sky above the natural scenic site "Hashiguiiwa," in the town of Kushimoto, Wakayama Prefecture, on Dec. 14, 2018.
Fireball over Japan
© Mainichi/Yoshiyuki Hirakawa

Fireball 4

Meteor fireball lights up San Francisco Bay Area, leaves glowing 'dragon' trail

San Francisco Bay Area meteor
© Twitter via @ohheyfella
A mysterious light appeared in the early evening sky over the San Francisco Bay Area on Wednesday.
A mysterious light with a twisting, smoking tail appeared in the early evening sky over the San Francisco Bay Area on Wednesday, but local astronomers had a scientific explanation.

It was a meteor, according to the University of California's Lick Observatory near San Jose.

"A bright meteor was visible in the skies over the Bay Area shortly after sunset this evening, leaving a bright trail that was visible for many minutes in the western sky," the observatory wrote on Facebook.

Initial reports of the meteor sighting came in around 5:30 p.m., the Bay Area's FOX 2 reported.

Twitter exploded with photos and comments about the glowing phenomenon.

"@NASA white blaze in sky what is dis? Maybe a plane?" user Jose Armando Solis tweeted.

Jeremy Thomas said the light "flashed bright green for a few seconds as it fell and appeared to split up," previously adding that "something fell out of the sky."

Comment: Most interesting. Here's video footage:

Note that the news presenter described the glowing trail it left behind as a 'noctilucent cloud'. She's right, kind of. This kind of trail is itself a relatively novel phenomenon. Both rocket trails from outgoing take-offs and meteor trails from incoming space debris leave such glowing trails down on a regular basis now.

That's why meteor/comet fragment trails are so easily (and happily) conflated with rocket launches, and why we have such a hard time telling them apart...

See also: