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Tue, 26 Jul 2016
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Fire in the Sky

Fireball 4

Rare meteorite fragments discovered from March fireball in Stubenberg, Germany

Experts from Munster said they are 'delighted' to recover several fragments identified as being of the 'LL Chondritenklasse' (LL chondrite) class of meteorite - mostly stone with very little metal inside. This image shows how the meteorite looks under the polarising microscope
Scientists have discovered fragments from an extremely rare meteorite strike that took place above Germany earlier this month.

Experts from Munster said they are 'delighted' to recover several fragments identified as being of the 'LL Chondritenklasse' (LL chondrite) class of meteorite - mostly stone with very little metal inside.

The latest fragments, which struck the earth in the municipality of Stubenberg in Bavaria, are already being studied excitedly by experts, who anticipate more fragments will still turn up.

The fireball was spotted over Bavaria on 6 March.

The fireball was spotted over Bavaria on 6 March (pictured)
Meteorite expert Professor Dr Addi Bischoff from the Institute for Planetary Studies at the University of Munster (WWU) said: 'Alert sky watchers spotted the meteorites burning into the atmosphere on 6 March.

'By analysing images of the entry, we were able to locate the impact point and find fragments on the ground, in total weighing 40g.

Fireball 4

Green meteor fireball spotted in South Florida by dozens of people

The American Meteor Society said this morning that dozens of people are reporting to have spotted a bluish or green fireball over South Florida at about 6:30.

More than 40 reports were made to the AMS from people who claim to have witnessed the event from Kendall to Jupiter. Nine reports came from people in Palm Beach County.

Mike Hankey, operations manager for the American Meteor Society, said it was a random fireball and not part of a known meteor shower.

"Lots of folks are talking about it," Hankey said. "It only happened three hours ago, so not much information yet."

A report from a West Palm Beach man says the fireball cut a long trail across the sky.

"Train was glowing an iridescent or almost neon blue with white edges," the man reported. "Looked like it was 300-500 yards behind the fireball itself but was still attached to the head of the fireball."

Estimated trajectory of this morning’s fireball based on witness reports.

Fireball 2

Bright meteor fireball fragments over the Netherlands, Belgium and UK

© Fireballs.imo.net
Shortly after midnight on Saturday March 26, 2016, a meteor fireball was spotted over the Netherlands, from Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Cuijck, Pijnacker and Zoeterwoude. The fireball was reported to have a blue bright color, while others recalled a green color. It was also witnessed in Belgium, the UK, and northern France.

"It looked like the blue light of a police helicopter, but it moved too fast and too diagonally," a resident of Rotterdam said. Readers of the Dutch 'Astroblogs' website reported seeing a 'green, luminous phenomenon'.

Another reader, Remco Haring, reported seeing something passing by 'for two seconds', and which 'ended in a green or blue light'. Haring described it as appearing to have 'consisted of multiple parts', indicating that the meteor fireball disintegrated into fragments.

Fireball 4

Green metor fireball seen across England on St. Patrick's Day was brightest ever recorded (VIDEOS)

© www.bbc.com
Meteor over Ringwood in Hampshire, UK
A bright meteor has been sighted over Britain in the early hours. Witnesses have described the object as a green flash moving south to north for a few seconds, leaving a magnesium-white trail. Sightings have been reported in locations including London, Hampshire, Stafford and on the east coast of England at 03:16 GMT.

Its colour has prompted people on Twitter to describe it as the St Patrick's Day meteor.

Describing the meteor as "spectacular", Dr John Mason of the British Astronomical Association said it was bright enough to be categorised as a fireball. He believes it was a piece of cosmic rock which almost certainly came from the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. He said the green colour was caused by the meteor heating up the oxygen in the earth's atmosphere.

Richard Kacerek, from the UK Meteor Observation Network, told the BBC it had received reports from across the country. He said the network's camera at Church Crookham in Hampshire had captured the meteor from the west. "This is the biggest meteor sighting we have recorded," Mr Kacerek said. "It lasted for a few seconds. It was seen for hundreds of miles. We have received a number of emails."

Comment: Because it was the brightest ever recorded over the UK, they're also saying it was the largest.

Things are heating up!


Rate of meteor fireballs over US so far in 2016 is higher than 2015

© American Meteor Society
It's raining fireballs all over the place
While March is usually a slow month for meteor showers as none of the major annual events occur this month, the American Meteor Society has reported six major fireball events since March 1 and NASA says fireballs can increase as much as 30 percent in spring.

A fireball is defined as a meteor that is brighter than the planet Venus and usually has a bright trailing tail.

The reason for the increase in fireball activity is "still unknown," NASA says, but one thought is simply that more space debris litters the Earth's orbit near the spring equinox, which is March 20.

Comment: Sure, more space debris is littering Earth's orbit near the spring equinox now - as in, this is a new phenomenon!

According to the AMS, 2016 has seen an increase in the number of reported fireballs. Since Jan. 1, 910 fireballs have been reported through its online report program, compared to 839 reports received during the same time last year.

Comment: Whoever at NASA made these statements clearly hasn't checked their own data. February and March are typically among the lowest months for fireball numbers.

It's looking like the overall trend will be way up this year, with much more to come in the typically more active second-half of the year.

For spectacular footage of just some of the hundreds of meteor fireballs that lit up the night sky the world over last month, check out our latest instalment of the SOTT Earth Changes Summary video:

SOTT Earth Changes Summary - February 2016: Extreme Weather, Planetary Upheaval, Meteor Fireballs

See also:

NASA space data supports citizens' observations: Meteor fireballs are increasing dramatically

Fireball 2

Camera at Old Faithful in Yellowstone National Park captures meteor fireball followed by strange flash of light

© Youtube/Kat Martin2016 (screen capture)

Watch this awesome fireball disintegrating in the sky of Yellowstone National Park just near Old Faithful Geyser on February 29, 2016. But what is this big flash of light toward the end of the recording? OMG an earthquake light?

This timelaspe video shows a fireball striking over the Yellowstone National Park on February 29, 2016. But at the end of the footage, 25 seconds after the beginning, a bright flash of light cuts off the silent darkness.

Comment: Indeed, much time seems to pass between the streak of light, which could well have been another incoming meteor fireball, and the flash of light. The two events do seem to be related though. A possible plasma discharge event?

Fireball 5

Bright meteor streaks over Black Sea near Ukraine

© Youtube/asteroid457
Bright meteor streaks over Black Sea caught by video observation stations in Mayaki and Odessa, Ukraine on 9th March 2016.


Large meteor fireball caught on dash cam in Missouri

© Screenshot via KY3.com
KY3 viewer Tim Zikowsky was setting up a dash cam on his way to work, and caught the meteor falling from the sky.


Large, bright meteor fireball seen from Maine to Philadelphia

© NASA/Joel Kowsky
Meteor streaks across the sky during the annual Perseid meteor shower, August 13, 2015.
Keep your eyes on the skies.

Wednesday night, just before 10 p.m., sky-watchers from Maine to Philadelphia — and more than a few in the Lower Hudson Valley — caught a glimpse of a fireball, a meteor, burning up to dust as it entered the Earth's atmosphere.

The American Meteor Society keeps a map of public meteor sightings and, according to Operations Manager Mike Hankey, about 34 reports were received from across the Northeast, including one from Dobbs Ferry and another from Ardsley.

"It seemed to burn out at a low angle above the horizon," said Andrew Ploski, of Nyack. "My 9-year-old son and I were traveling back home last night after a visit with his grandmother in Yonkers. We were traveling north on the Sprain Brook Parkway near the Ardsley Road overpass. There appeared a large, very bright fireball with trail about the brightness and size of a car headlight. It streaked across my field of vision very quickly from my upper right to lower left — east to west."

Ploski was lucky, according to seasoned sky-watchers. "To see a meteor in Westchester is a little bit unusual," said Larry Faltz, president of Westchester Amateur Astronomers. "You have to be looking up at just the right moment."

Faltz explained that, when you see a fireball in the sky, you are not actually seeing a meteor but the ionization of the Earth's atmosphere as the object heads toward the ground. For that fireball effect to be visible, an object only needs to be as big as a grain of sand.

Fireball 2

Meteor fireball explodes over Scotland, emitting a powerful rumble and lighting up the night sky

A large white light and rumbling "bang" have been reported in the skies over the north east of Scotland, prompting speculation on social media about the cause.

Reports came in of a large white flash in the sky around 7pm on Monday, with Twitter users across the Highlands, Aberdeenshire and Perth saying they had witnessed the phenomenon.

Some speculated the flashes and noises had been caused by a meteor. Others reported feeling buildings shake as a result of the bang.

Police Scotland said they had been unable to ascertain the cause of the noise.

The Met Office said there were no lightning or thunderstorms in the area.