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Thu, 17 Aug 2017
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Fire in the Sky


Loud, mysterious bang leads New South Wales residents to look toward the heavens

© Daily Examiner
Lower Clarence residents were looking to the heavens last night after a loud, mysterious bang was heard in Maclean, Townsend, Gulmarrad, Wooli and Ashby shortly before 9pm last night.

The incident caused a stir on social media, with more than 170 comments on Maclean Buy, Swap and Sell Facebook page.

The Daily Examiner is investigating the cause of the loud bang. But with no definitive answers yet, theories being shared range from the logical such as a sonic boom from a meteorite, to the outrageous, including a UFO crash.

If you heard or saw anything from last night's big bang, tell us your story.

Earlier this week there were reports of other loud bangs following meteorite sightings across northern NSW and south-east Queensland.

Comment: The above event was on Sunday, about 6pm according to reports: Bright meteor with house-shaking sound reported over Queensland, Australia

The timing has coincided with the start of the annual Lyrid meteor shower event, which is active from about April 16 to 25.


Beach camera films bright meteor fireball over Dawlish, UK

© dawlishbeach.com
Whilst sat enjoying the late night view on the cameras, i was very surprised to see a bright light shoot across the screen.

Considering tonight is a very bright full moon we don't often see much of the night sky.

The following video will give you your own chance to make your mind up as to whether this is another meteor or just a vert bright shooting star.

Fireball 2

Bright meteor with house-shaking sound reported over Queensland, Australia

© Deslee Oldham Facebook
THERE have been reports of a house-shaking thud in Killarney after the meteorite was spotted in our skies last night.

Our sister paper, the Warwick Daily News reported the buzz on social media: Brigitte Jones said, "I felt it out here, the house shook."

Madeline Wilkins posted "I'm in Toowoomba and saw a burning light in the sky maybe a meteorite, heading that direction just before I saw this post... Maybe related?"

Killarney resident Krissy Bloomfield said, "On Brosnan Rd kids saw what we thought shooting star just before the bang."

Some residents reported thinking the noise was thunder or fireworks.

Louise Reed from the Queen Mary Falls Caravan Park posted, "We heard it up here too. It looked like a shooting star right before it and then bang."

And this from Krystal N Lillee Cook, "We heard it in oak street...was really loud like a big crack of thunder."

Comment: Last September a 'huge meteor' exploded off the Queensland coast with a shockwave coming onshore, rattling residents and homes.

Fireball 2

Meteor seen shooting across North Carolina sky

© Earl Ayers
Did you see it? A bright light, streaking across the night sky was a delight to many across the Carolinas and throughout the Southeast. WFMY News 2 is getting lots of reports about a meteor Wednesday evening.

According to reports, the meteor flew through the night sky around 8:43pm. Those who saw it describe a bright, white light lasting for about 10 seconds, and say it's a sight they'll never forget. Reports have been coming in from North Carolina, including the Triad area, as well as South Carolina, Virginia, Tennessee, Georgia and even Florida.

Earl Ayers tweeted a video of the meteor captured on a camera at a home in Cornelius, North Carolina. Make sure to look to the upper left to see the bright light.

Fireball 4

Trail of meteor fireball captured on camera over Plymouth, UK

The mystery object - believed to be a meteor - tore through the skies above Plymouth

Ben Landricombe was walking to work in Plymouth early this morning when he caught glimpse of the "shooting star".

The council worker then raced back to his house to grab his camera before the rare sight disappeared from the red-hued Devon sky.

Ben, 36, said: "I've never seen anything like it in my life.

"I was driving to work, then I saw a big spark in the sky. I thought I better get my camera.

"I missed the meteor coming through the atmosphere, but I saw the sparks coming down, travelling really fast."

Fireball 2

Meteor fireball captured over Rome, Italy

© Daniele Cataldi
Meteor, Fireball, Bolide taken by Daniele Cataldi on April 9, 2017 in Italy, Lariano, Rome.

Fireball 4

Bright meteor fireball streaks over Southern California skies

© Leticia Odanga/twitter (screen capture)
What appeared to be a fireball shooting across the night sky prompted a great deal of reaction on social media Monday evening.

The bright flash was spotted a little before 9 p.m. from as far south as San Diego, north to Los Angeles and as far east as Phoenix. Here is some of what people claim they saw.

Comment: The American Meteor Society (AMS) received 518 reports about a fireball seen over AZ, CA, Baja California, MA, NV and NM on Tuesday, April 11th 2017 around 04:00 UT.


Lyrid meteor shower to peak April 22

© Image via NASA/ MSFC/ Danielle Moser.
Composite image of Lyrid and not-Lyrid meteors over New Mexico from April, 2012.
All you need to know about the Lyrid meteor shower. In 2017, the peak falls on the morning of April 22, with little or no interference from a waning crescent moon.

The annual Lyrid meteor shower is active each year from about April 16 to 25. In 2017, the peak of this shower - which tends to come in a burst and usually lasts for less than a day - is expected to fall on the morning of April 22, with little or no interference from the slender waning crescent moon. The greatest number of meteors usually fall during the few hours before dawn. All in all the Lyrid meteor shower prospects look pretty good for 2017, though meteor showers are notorious for their fickle and not totally predictable nature! Follow the links below to learn more about April's shooting stars!

Comet 2

April 2017: The month of 4 visible comets - Comet PanSTARRS (C/2015 ER61) brightens overnight

© José J. Chambó
Look at the difference in appearance of comet PanSTARRS (C/2015 ER61) pre-outburst (left) on April 1st and in outburst on April 4th.
2017 may well go down as the year of the binocular comet. Three have been easy catches, and it's only the start of April: 45P/Honda-Mrkos-Pajdusakova, 41P/Tuttle-Giacobini-Kresak and Lovejoy (C/2017 E4). Now there's a fourth. Overnight, PanSTARRS (C/2015 ER61) joined the club.

Discovered two years ago on March 15th by the Pan-STARRS 1 telescope on the summit of Haleakalā, it was a faint 21st-magnitude midge. But how it's bloomed! By late March and the start of April, the comet had brightened to around magnitude +8.5 while puttering across Sagittarius and Capricornus low in the southern sky before dawn.
© Gerald Rhemann
This April 5th photo catches the comet in the full glory of its outburst.
Then it happened. On April 4th, comet observer Juan José González Suárez reported a possible outburst to magnitude +7.4. This was confirmed, both visually and photographically, by several observers including myself early this morning. It's now as bright as magnitude +6.5, a leap of two magnitudes practically overnight! Although the specific cause of the outburst isn't known, it's likely that some sort of outgassing or disruption on the comet's surface exposed fresh ice to sunlight, initiating a new wave of vaporization.


Green comet flyby on April 1st

Another comet brightens and now visible in the Northern hemisphere

Fireball 2

Close pass by asteroid 2017 GM

Asteroid 2017 GM is one of the 10 closest asteroids known so far to sweep past Earth, and then keep going. At its closest, it was less than 1/20th of the moon's mean distance.
© EarthSky Org
Image of asteroid 2017 GM, captured this morning (April 4, 2017), while the asteroid was approaching its closest point to Earth. Taken by Gianluca Masi and Michael Schwartz, as part of a cooperation between Tenagra Observatories, Ltd., in Arizona and the Virtual Telescope Project in Italy.
The near-Earth asteroid 2017 GM was discovered by the Mt. Lemmon Survey in Arizona (USA) on April 3, 2017, and, just a few hours later - midday April 4 in Europe, early in the day April 4 for the Americas - it safely came as close as within 10,000 miles of Earth (16,000 km, about 0.04 lunar distances). Our observations helped in determining its orbit.

We captured 2017 GM while it was safely approaching us. For this, we remotely used a telescope in Arizona, made available to the Virtual Telescope by Tenagra Observatories, Ltd. Above is an image coming from a single 30-seconds exposure, unfiltered, taken with the 16?-f/3.75 Tenagra III ("Pearl") unit. The robotic mount tracked the fast apparent motion (150?/minute) of the asteroid, so stars are trailing. The asteroid is perfectly tracked: it is the sharp dot in the center, marked by two red lines.