Fire in the SkyS


Fireball Over Polk County

Polk County, FL -- A Polk County man videotapes a strange fireball in the sky over Polk County. Rhett Marcotes and his family saw the phenomenon on January 7th just before dusk outside his home in Davenport. Marcotes and his wife grabbed their video camera and began filming. The results were stunning.


Asteroid Flyby: That was close!

Yesterday, newly discovered asteroid 2008 CT1 flew past Earth only 72,000 miles (0.3 lunar distances) away. Had it struck our planet, the 13-meter wide space rock (similar in size to a school bus) would have done little damage, probably exploding in the atmosphere and peppering some lonely stretch of ocean with meteorites. Maybe next time...


The goose that survived crashing into a meteorite only to be savaged by a fox!

A goose survived being hit by a 9lb meteorite and crashing into a car only to fall prey to a hungry fox.


Argentina: Fireball possible cause of fires in Las Ánimas Hill

Last night several witnesses reported to the program Última Hora that a "UFO" that fell at 4:00 am behind Las Ánimas Hill could have been the cause of the enormous and devastating fire that affected hundreds of hectares.

"It was like a huge fire ball that fell behind the hill", said a neighbor, whose report was confirmed by others.


The sky is falling! Witnesses often reluctant to report Canada's many meteorite strikes

Who you gonna call?

No, not when you see a ghost - but when you spot a meteorite falling from the sky.

It happens more often than you would think.

When a suspected meteorite landed on a Spruce Grove golf course recently, a number of residents continued to come forward with their own stories.


Flashback Two "Tunguskas" in South America in the 1930's? The Rupununi event

I now move on to the suspected explosion over British Guyana in 1935. The main source for information on this event is a story entitled "Tornado or Meteor Crash?" in the magazine The Sky (the forerunner of Sky and Telescope) of September 1939(5). A report from Serge A. Korff of the Bartol Research Foundation, Franklin Institute (Delaware, USA) was printed, he having been in the area--the Rupununi region of British Guyana--a couple of months later. The date of the explosion appears to have been December 11, 1935, at about 21h local time. I might note that this is near the date of the peak of the Geminid meteor shower, but yet again this may be merely a coincidence. The location is given as being near Lat: 2 deg 10min North, Long: 59 deg 10 min West, close to Marudi Mountain.


Flashback Two "Tunguskas" in South America in the 1930's? The Rio Curaca event

There is evidence that there were two massive bolide explosions which occurred over South America in the 1930's. One seems to have occurred over Amazonia, near the Brazil-Peru border, on August 13, 1930, whilst the other was over British Guyana on December 11, 1935. It is noted that these dates coincide with the peaks of the Perseids and the Geminids, although any association with those meteor showers is very tentative. The identification of such events is significant in particular in that they point to the need for re-assessment of the frequency of tunguska-type atmospheric detonations.

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Flashback Unsolved Case: Low-Altitude Fireball

Part 1: A show of gold

Thursday Oct 3, 8:00pm Saw what appeared to be a low-altitude fireball, heading north from the plains, into the southern end of the Sangre de Cristos, just southeast of Santa Fe.

When I first saw it, it was in full glory; I don't know how much I missed. It burned brilliant green, with active, changing head and tail, for several (3-6) seconds, then disintegrated in a show of gold, into 4 or 5 smaller pieces, glowing white, spread out in a line, until they seemed to burn out, another 3-5 seconds later.


Flashback A rain of around 70 tons of iron

February 12, 1947

This week marks the golden anniversary of what is arguably the most spectacular meteorite fall ever seen. At 10:40 a.m. on February 12, 1947, a incredibly bright fireball seared its way across the sky of eastern Siberia and rained around 70 tons of iron meteorites onto the rugged landscape. Because it was so well documented, the Sikhote-Alin fall proved a great boon to meteorite science.

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Flashback Daytime meteor startles West Texans

It wasn't the end of the world. It just looked like it to those people who saw a cosmic fireworks show over Southwest skies.

A midday meteor streaking above West Texas and New Mexico on Thursday sent residents scurrying to their phones to report what many feared was an airplane exploding or some kind of aerial collision.

Satellite image of meteor