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Thu, 14 Dec 2017
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Fire in the Sky


Meteor shower stuns residents of Townsville, Australia

© Townsville Bulletin
A meteor shower was seen in Townsville.
Dozens of people have reported seeing an impressive meteor shower over Townsville tonight.

The celestial event occurs when a number of meteors are seen to radiate from one point in the night sky.

Joe Martin saw the event from Bushland Beach at 7.06pm.

"I saw four or five lights that looked just like shooting stars or fireworks heading towards the ground,'' he said.

"Three of them got very bright, then I saw a flash. Then they were gone.


Huge, unidentified fireball filmed over Krasnodar, Russia

A mysterious fireball has been filmed in the dark evening skies over the city of Krasnodar in southern Russia.

The burning object can be seen plummeting towards residential buildings.

The fireball, which crossed the region's skies from south to north, was witnessed by "thousands of people in Krasnodar," regional daily KP Kuban wrote.

People in other cities in the region, including Anapa and Sochi, also claim to have seen a "huge flash" in the skies around 9:40pm local time,
according to the newspaper.

Fireball 4

Large meteor fireball lights up night sky over British Columbia, Canada

Meteor fireball explodes over Nelson, British Columbia, Canada.
© Twitter/RafaelPern)
Meteor fireball explodes over Nelson, British Columbia, Canada.
If you were looking east at around 10:00 pm you might have caught a glimpse of what some people are calling a meteorite falling to the ground.

Tashia is in Nelson. She says she was tucking her son into bed before she saw the sky light up.

"We felt it. It was way more intense than thunder, but not quite like an earthquake. It rattled the windows."

Laureen was in Langley.

"It looked like a ball of fire. It was quite large. It came streaking through the sky and just kept going. I said 'that's going to hit something'."

People from as far away as Calgary have also noticed the phenomenon.

We still don't know exactly what it was, or where it landed.

Comment: The American Meteor Society (AMS) has received over 300 reports about a fireball seen over Alberta, MT, ID, WA, British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Washington, Idaho and Montana on Tuesday, September 5th 2017 around 05:07 UT. A sonic boom was reported by numerous people with a house shaking recorded in at least one report.

Fireball 5

Giant asteroid 'Florence' has two moons as it whizzed past Earth

Asteroid artist conception
The largest asteroid to come so close to Earth in over a century whizzed by the planet Friday without a hitch - and revealed two tiny moons in the process.

The highly anticipated asteroid '3122 Florence,' measuring a whopping 2.8 miles (4.5 kilometers) in width, came within 4.4 million miles (7 million km) of Earth. The gap is the equivalent of 18 times the distance from our planet to the moon.

"Florence is the largest asteroid to pass by our planet this close since the NASA program to detect and track near-Earth asteroids begam," Paul Chodas, of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, said of the fly-by.

Fireball 4

Meteor lights up northern New Zealand skies

© Fred Thornhill
Stargazers in northern parts of the country were treated to a "fantastic sight". (File photo)
A long-tailed meteor was seen streaking across the sky on Tuesday evening.

People in northern parts of New Zealand witnessed a "shooting star" travelling west to east across the "orange sunset backdrop" at about 6:30pm.

Stargazers from Hamilton to Whangarei posted their sightings on the WeatherWatch website.

One person in Tauranga saw a "fairly sizeable fireball" trailing behind it, while someone in Auckland said it had "a red/blue head".

Fireball 4

Meteor fireball streaks across US east coast skies

Did you see a fireball streak across the sky tonight? You weren't alone.

A bright green meteor was spotted across Virginia, Pennsylvania, Maryland and West Virginia about 9:14 p.m., prompting more than 50 reports to the American Meteor Society. A high concentration of sightings came from the D.C. area.

"Glowing bright near the ball and lasting on its own fading at the tail," one Arlington resident wrote.

Comment: The American Meteor Society (AMS) has received over 710 reports about a fireball seen over VA, DC, PA, NJ, NY, MD, WV, RI, District of Columbia, Virginia, Maryland, New York, Pennsylvania, CT, New Jersey, West Virginia, OH and DE on Saturday, August 26th 2017 around 01:15 UT.

AMS event 2925-2017
© AMS (screen capture)
AMS observers map - event 2925-2017


Meteor shower from dead comet arises again after 58 years

Japanese astronomers observed the elusive "Phoenicid meteor shower" and have determined that it was spawned by the now vanished Comet Blanpain. They also found that Comet Blanpain was active, though only weakly, in the early 20th Century. This is the first time that researchers could determine the activity of a comet by observing its associated meteor shower. These results are important for understanding the evolution of minor bodies in the Solar System.

Phoenicid meteor shower
© Photo: Hiroyuki Toda/NAOJ
A bright member of the Phoenicid meteor shower appears at the bottom left of this photo taken at 02h15m39s UT on December 2, 2014. The Moon is captured to the lower right of center in the photo. Camera: Pentax K-3 + SIGMA 4.5mm F2.8, 3 second exposure time, at Sandy Point, North Carolina, U.S.A…
The Phoenicid meteor shower (named after the constellation Phoenix) was discovered by the first Japanese Antarctic Research Expedition on December 5, 1956, during their voyage in the Indian Ocean. However, it has not been observed again. This has left astronomers with a mystery: where did the Phoenicids come from and where did they go?

Fireball 2

Large meteor fireball filmed over Krugersdorp, South Africa


A massive meteorite was spotted entering the earth's atmosphere at 18H59 today over Krugersdorp in South Africa.

Fireball 2

Meteor fireball recorded over Morocco

Meteor fireball over Morocco
© YouTube/Meteors (screen capture)
This fireball was recorded on the night of 21 August 2017 at 2:41 local time (0:41 universal time). The fireball began over Morocco at a height of about 107 km and ended at an altitude of around 71 km above the Mediterranean Sea. It was recorded in the framework of the SMART Project from the astronomical observatories of Calar Alto (Almería, Spain), Sierra Nevada (Granada, Spain), La Sagra (Granada, Spain), Sevilla and Huelva.


Night sky meteor fireball stuns residents of Warwick, Australia

© Flickr Creative Commons
Social media lit up as bright as the sky last night in Warwick with reports of a large fireball in the eastern sky.

Residents from across the region recounted seeing a bright meteor in the sky towards the Great Diving Range for a few second before it dipped from sight at about 8pm yesterday.

Eyewitness reports indicated the light in the sky was "low and bright".

It's possible the meteor was a remnant of the Perseid meteor shower, one of the brighter meteor showers of the year, which occurs every year between July 17 and August 24.

The shower tends to peak around August 9-13.

Typical rates are about 80 meteors an hour, but in outburst years, such as last year, the rate can be between 150-200 meteors an hour.

The meteor was seen by residents in Warwick and further afield including Leyburn.