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Astronomy Picture of the Day: Spectacular September meteor in Oklahoma

Image
© Howard Edin
On September 30, a spectacular bolide or fireball meteor surprised a group of amateur astronomers enjoying dark night skies over the Oklahoma panhandle's Black Mesa State Park in the Midwestern US. Flashing past familiar constellations Taurus (top) and Orion, the extremely bright meteor was captured by a hillside camera overlooking the 2008 Okie-Tex Star Party.

Meteor

Michigan, US: Early risers see fireball flash across the sky

University of Michigan astronomy professor Mario Mateo was a little jealous when he learned a group of Ypsilanti bus drivers and a teacher saw an apparent fireball Thursday morning.

"Shoot. I wish I'd seen it!'' he said. "They can be very, very bright and are quite impressive.''

This bolide - or fireball - may have been nothing more than a rock up to about a foot in diameter, Mateo said.

It certainly impressed Josephine Watson and Shirley Lucas.

The bus drivers were in the parking lot at the end of Railroad Street in Ypsilanti at about 6:50 a.m. when they spotted a line of fire in the sky that tracked roughly west-to-east.

"Then poof, it disappeared,'' Lucas said.

Meteor

Ontario, Canada: Meteor lights up the Chatham sky

Carol Handsor and Gillian Andrews were greeted with a bright welcome during their usual morning stroll on Thursday.

While walking on a trail along Mud Creek behind John McGregor Secondary School, the Chatham residents witnessed a bright object falling from the sky.

"It was a huge ball of fire," Handsor told The Chatham Daily News.

"It had sort of a blueish tinge to it. The end of it was coming down with sort of a tail of flames. It went down quick."

Meteor

Fireball spotted over Australia

Image
© Steve Quirk
A meteor the size of a cricket ball travelling at a typical speed of 20 kilometres a second can light up the ground as brightly as the moon
Early risers who spotted a greenish-yellow light flashing across the shire on Monday probably witnessed a meteor.

Surfers at Cronulla Beach who saw it moving from east to west over Kurnell at 5.20am said it lasted about five seconds before it split into three and disintegrated into a vapour trail.

''I knew it wasn't a shooting star; it was heaps bigger and much closer,'' said one of three surfers who saw it. ''It looked like a ball-shooter [fireworks].''

Meteor

Sonic booms rattle Spanish city

Two loud booms rattled windows and shook residents of Malaga in southern Spain before officials confirmed the cause as a low-flying plane, not bombs.

"It was very loud and it sounded like a bomb but it's a false alarm," a government spokesman said.

Media initially reported two "explosions", saying people had rushed to their windows and the mobile phone network went dead.

Comment: Do sonic booms usually knock out mobile phone networks? It would appear that the Spanish government is fudging this one, perhaps because the real origin of the booms was something altogether more alarming.


Meteor

UK: Fireball sighted over Wigan

A man has emailed the wigantoday newsroom asking if anyone else saw a bizarre Unidentified Flaming Object in Shevington last night.

His email in full reads ...
Hi ... Did anyone else in the Shevington area/Shevington Moor area see the fire ball above Shevington High? I live opposite the playing fields on Parkbrook Lane. At about 9pm last night my daughter and I witnessed what looked like a giant firework/rocket flying several hundred feet on a horizontal path towards Elnup Woods.

UFO

UK: 'Fireball' UFO over Hertfordshire



Rickmansworth fireball ufo
©Metro / Andrew Baskeyfield
A still from the UFO film.

It seems we might not be alone after what is claimed to be a UFO darting across the sky was filmed on a mobile phone camera.

Andrew Baskeyfield spotted the unexplained ball of light circling above his home in Rickmansworth, Hertfordshire, at about 7:30pm Monday night.

The bright white dot, which was still visible in daylight against the blue cloudy sky, is simultaneously seen dancing around the screen of three separate mobile phones belonging to the 23-year-old, his father and older brother.

Meteor

Canada: West of Stratford, Ontario Fireball Sighting

Date: August 22, 2008
Time: Approx: 9:30 p.m.

Location of Sighting: West of Stratford Ontario.
Number of witnesses: 3
Number of objects: 1
Shape of objects: Fireball.

Meteor

US: Streaking fireball a vivid spectacle in daytime sky

Tucson, Arizona - A fireball hurtled across the southern Tucson sky in broad daylight Saturday morning, startling and inspiring awe in those who saw it.

Chelsey Dever was working a yard sale at her grandmother's house on the Northwest Side around 10:30, she said, when she looked toward the south and saw the ball arcing through the sky.

"At first I was like, 'Is that an airplane that's on fire?' " she said. Then she realized it wasn't. The other two people outside with her at the time didn't see it.

Meteor

Fireball Outburst

Yes, it pays to watch the sky. This morning, Sept. 9th, with no warning whatsoever, a flurry of bright fireballs appeared over eastern parts of the United States. "Our SENTINEL all-sky camera picked up 25 bright meteors in a shower that began at 0620 UT and lasted approximately 4 hours," reports NASA astronomer Bill Cooke of the Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama. This video "frame-stack" shows the outburst at a glance:

fireball outburst
©Cooke