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Tue, 03 Oct 2023
The World for People who Think

Fire in the Sky


New Zealand: Explosions from outer space

When a series of monstrous explosions shook inland Waverley one July afternoon, farmer Jim Ross thought a plane had crashed.

The big bangs happened on July 7, 1999, just after 4pm, and a report on the unusual astral event was issued last month by Jennie McCormick of Auckland's Stardome Observatory.

The phenomenon was caused by a meteor - a piece of rock left over from the formation of planets - entering Earth's atmosphere.

Just after 4 o'clock on that July day, Mr Ross had stopped his motorbike on Kohi Rd, about 4km inland from Waverley, to talk to a neighbour.

"Firstly I heard a big bang, then a whole lot of crinkling noise like someone screwing up silver paper.


Red 'fireball' likely space junk

Minutes before she sat down to watch television Monday night, Marcie Kinney was beckoned by her husband and son to step outside of their Grant-Valkaria home.

A red fireball streaked across the sky from west to east just above the tree line.


Meteor Shoots Across Scottish Skies?

AT first he froze with fear as what appeared to be a burning aeroplane dropped from the sky towards a Midlothian field.

But when he realised he wasn't witnessing an aviation disaster unfold as he took his daughter to school, David Carson reached for his camera.

For the next ten minutes, the 40-year-old took dozens of pictures of a strange streak of light across the Lothians sky that eventually broke into an orange glow and then appeared to hit the ground.

Magic Wand

Fireball Friday 15th December Over Albuquerque

I've gotten several reports of a pretty spectacular fireball last night over the Albuquerque area, at around 6:40 p.m. One reader described it as having "a very long yellow tail and the most brilliant electric blue head you could imagine".

Magic Wand

Fireball Streaks Over Colorado At Dawn

DENVER -- A bright fireball streaked across Colorado early Friday, prompting a number of e-mails to 7News, and calls to authorities and researchers, but no debris was immediately reported.

"It came in from the east, over the plains, and was seen to disappear over the mountains to the west," said Chris Peterson, a meteor researcher with the Denver Museum of Nature and Science.


The world's biggest meteor crater

Two billion years ago a meteorite 10km in diameter hit the earth about 100km southwest of Johannesburg, creating an enormous impact crater. This area, near Vredefort in the Free State, is now known as the Vredefort Dome.

It was voted South Africa's seventh World Heritage site at Unesco's 29th World Heritage Committee meeting in Durban in July 2005.

Magic Wand

Frequent Fireballs

Have you ever stepped outside after dinner to walk the dog--just in time to see a bright fireball streak across the sky? It makes you wonder, how often does that happen?

Pretty often, according to astronomer Bill Cooke of the Marshall Space Flight Center. Using a computer model of Earth's meteoroid environment, he made this plot showing the global number of fireballs per day vs. the brightness of the fireball:

Fireball frequency Chart

Comment: So all of the reports in the newspapers? Fugettaboutit. Nothing important here, folks. Move along.


Meteor shower could be sign of comet that could come dangerously close to earth

Jarmo Moilanen, a municipal computer expert and amateur astronomer in the Finnish community of Vaala, has detected a new shower of meteors in the tale of a hitherto unknown comet.

Moilanen's two monitoring cameras that he keeps pointed at the sky and linked to his computer, registered an unexpected meteor shower already in October last year.


'UFO' sightings most likely meteors

ELEANOR HALL: Over the last two days, police and news organisations in South Australia and western Victoria have been inundated with reports of mysterious lights in the night sky.

Some have described a fireball shooting across the horizon just before sunset, while callers in north-west Victoria have reported seeing a bright object flying across the sky.

The Astronomical Society of South Australia's Dr Tony Beresford has told Nance Haxton that while the sightings have sparked some UFO speculation, the cosmic mystery is most likely a meteor.


We need a statue of Ms Hodges and her meteor

LET'S pause for a moment and ponder Elizabeth Hodges of Sylacauga, Alabama.

On this day in 1954 she was napping in her living room when a meteorite the size of grapefruit crashed through the ceiling, bounced off her radio, and gave her a nasty bruise.

This is the only time in human history that we can say with certainty someone was hit by a space rock.

Comment: Poor guy. He still thinks that our political leaders would clue us in in such an eventuality!