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Meteor fireball spotted over Luxembourg and France

© Google/AMS
American Meteor Society (AMS) Event#732-2016 - 'heat map' showing location of observers
If you thought you spotted an meteor above Luxembourg on Thursday morning, you probably did.

The French Meteor Observation Network confirmed the phenomenon, which was spotted around 10:30am.

It said that the meteor travelled over the east of France between Reims and Nancy.

Social media was buzzing with comments from people who witnessed the fiery spectacle.

Frederick R said: "I looked out of my office window while I was on a call and clearly saw a fireball with a tail light. What struck me was that it seemed very close to the ground."

The meteor appears to have started its path above Chalons-en-Champagne, heading north-east and disappearing between Marn, Meuse and Brussels.

The phenomenon occurs when astral or comet debris travels at great speed into the earth's atmosphere.

Comment: The American Meteor Society (AMS) has received 250 reports about a meteor fireball seen over Luxembourg, France, Belgium and Germany on 25th February 2016.

Over the past several days other meteor fireballs sightings in the region include: Spain, Portugal, Morocco and southern France.

NASA space data supports citizens' observations that - meteor fireball activity is increasing dramatically!

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Fireball reported over Alaska

NASA image of a fireball from a past meteor shower.
Fairbanks - Interior Alaska residents from Fort Yukon to Eielson Air Force Base reported seeing a fireball overhead Wednesday about 7 p.m.

The fireball, which was captured on the Geophysical Institute's All-Sky camera, flashed briefly into view and disappeared. One resident described it as a green flash with a long tail. Others said the tail also contained orange and red fragments.

It was visible for only seconds, they told the American Meteor Society, which tracks sightings.

Don Hampton of the Geophysical Institute's Poker Flat Research Range said, "It looks like a good sized meteor, but probably not a meteorite (which means it hit the ground.)"

Link to video on Facebook.

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Very bright meteor fireball seen over Spain, exhibiting several explosions

© SMART Project (screen capture)
Very bright fireball over Spain on 23 Feb. 2016 at 5h54m UT (6h54m local time). The event was brighter than the full Moon and exhibited several explosions. This footage was recorded by the meteor observing station operated by the University of Huelva at La Hita astronomical observatory (Toledo).

Comment: Within the past week other meteor fireballs have been observed in the region, over southern Spain and Portugal, Morocco and southern France.

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Bright meteor fireball observed over southern Spain and Portugal

© SMART Project (screen capture)
Amazing fireball observed over the South of Spain and Portugal on 21 Feb. 2016, at 2h42m UT. The event was produced by a meteoroid that impacted the atmosphere at about 120.000 km/h. It started at an altitude of about 100 km and ended at a height of about 42 km. The event was recorded by the meteor recording stations that the University of Huelva operates at the astronomical observatories located at La Hita (Toledo), Sevilla and Huelva.


Largest fireball meteor since Chelyabinsk falls over the Atlantic

NASA image of a fireball from a past meteor shower.
On Feb. 6, 2016, around 14:00 UTC, a tiny chunk of interplanetary material plunged into Earth's atmosphere and burned up — likely exploding — about 30 kilometers above the Atlantic Ocean. The energy released was equivalent to the detonation of 13,000 tons of TNT, making this the largest such event since the (much larger) Chelyabinsk blast in February 2013.

OK, so first, off: Don't panic! As impacts go, this was pretty small*. After all, you didn't even hear about until weeks after it occurred. Events this size aren't too big a concern. Had it happened over a populated area it would've rattled some windows and probably terrified a lot of people, but I don't think it would've done any real damage.

For comparison, the Chelyabinsk explosion, which was strong enough to shatter windows and injure over 1000 people (due to flying glass), had an equivalent yield of 500,000 tons of TNT, 40 times the energy of this more recent impact.

The event was reported on the NASA/JPL Near-Earth Object Fireball page, which lists some of the brightest such things.

Comment: Certainly, this is not the first time this has happened in this area. We can say with some certainty that a similar space rock in the very same area, was the cause of the destruction of Air France Flight 447 on June 1st 2009, as reported by Sott.net

Notice also that this chunk of space rock fell on the same day that Copenhagen had a massive overhead meteor explosion and a bit earlier in the day a meteorite killed one and injured three, in India!

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Meteor fireball observed over Morocco

© SMART Project (screen capture)
Fireball observed over Morocco on 19 Feb. 2016, at 19h 06 m UT. The event was recorded by several meteor observing stations operated by the University of Huelva in Spain.

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Australian catches close-up footage of meteor fireball

© YouTube Screen Capture
Melbourne -- A man testing out his body camera at a Victoria, Australia, beach captured video of a suspected meteor falling to earth nearby.

The video, posted to YouTube (see below) by Overwatch Security, features body camera footage filmed by a worker for the firm as he walked on a Victoria beach on a stormy day.

The man faces out toward the water as the suspected meteor lights up the sky and streaks down toward the water.

The lights are quickly followed by the sound of the object passing through the air toward the water.

The video's time-stamp indicates it was filmed just after 8 p.m. Jan. 27.

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Meteor fireball filmed over Euless, Texas

Meteor Feb 17 2016 Euless, TX

Cool video I captured with my dashcam of a really close meteor. I witnessed a similar incident higher up in the sky 2 days before this... Interesting happening, glad I was driving by at the right moment. This was on 183 Westbound in the Euless area.

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Meteorites recovered in Osceola County, Florida, following last month's overhead meteor explosion

A portion of a ‘heat map’ – showing location of witnesses or observers, and ground trajectory – of January 24, 2016, daylight meteor via the American Meteor Society.
© MikesAstroPhotos.com.
You may remember hearing about a fireball meteor that streaked across the daytime sky in Florida late last month. Fragments of that meteorite have been tracked down and recovered by a group of meteorite enthusiasts, according to Earthsky.com.

Mike Hankey, Larry Atkins, Laura Atkins, Brendan Fallon and Josh Adkins searched for days in pine forests and swamplands across Florida in search of the space rock. The zone where the meteorites were found matched up perfectly with the trajectory that the meteor took during the January 24th fireball event. According to the American Meteor Society, there are now almost 130 reports that a bright meteor streaked over the southeast U.S. on January 24th and 10:25 A.M. ET.

© Brendan Fallon
Josh Adkins holds up an 800-gram meteorite – a chunk of rock from space – associated with the January 24, 2016 daylight meteor over the U.S. Southeast.

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Fireball lights up skies over northern Italy

© YouReporter
Many witnesses saw a meteorite fall over northern Italy on Wednesday evening.
A streaking fireball brighter than the full moon lit up skies over northern Italy on Wednesday evening.

The fireball left a trail of vapour hanging in the sky for minutes.

Not long after the unusual event, pictures of bright flashes, vapour trails and eyewitness reports started to emerge on social media, with users suggesting they had witnessed a meteorite falling to earth.

The unidentified flying object lit up skies over northern Italy, travelling east to west from Genoa to Venice at around 6.19pm.

Sightings of the object were also reported from as far away as southern France and Switzerland.

La Repubblica reported a spike in phone calls made to Italy's fire brigade to report the phenomenon.

A photo of the vapour trail, captured on a road outside Genoa, was uploaded to the Italian citizen journalism website, YouReporter.


Bright meteor fireball lights up sky over southern France