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Fireball 2

Michigan Meteor Event: Fireball Numbers Increased Again in 2017

meteor fireball michigan

Still from a dash-cam video of the meteor fireball event over Michigan, 16 January 2018.
Another major meteor fireball event occurred in the US earlier this week. Shortly after 8pm on Tuesday evening, a bolide estimated to have been up to three meters in diameter blazed across southern Michigan before exploding somewhere high above Detroit. Though brief, the meteor caused a blinding light that briefly turned night into day across metropolitan Detroit, most of Michigan, and was seen as far away as Des Moines, Iowa and Toronto, Canada.

This one was a little different than the 'regular' fireball events occurring globally these days: people across southern Michigan also heard a powerful boom that arrived about three minutes after the white-out, and the event even registered as a magnitude 2.0 earthquake on local seismographs.

Fireball 5

Meteor fireball lights up night sky over Michigan; USGS registers impact as M2.0 earthquake - fragments found (UPDATE, PHOTOS)

Meteor over Michigan
© Mike Austin/YouTube
Residents in several cities across Michigan reported seeing a bright and colorful flash travel through the sky before hearing a loud boom. The US Department of Homeland Security confirmed that it was a meteor fireball.

Numerous videos recorded by security cameras and dashcams in the Metro-Detroit area and surrounding cities Tuesday night show a flash of bright light zooming across the sky, instantly turning night into day for an instant.


Comment: UPDATE: Wed, 17 Jan. 2018 (18.15 CET)

USGS has registered this event as a M2.0 earthquake with the epicenter at New Haven, just north of Detroit in Michigan.
Meteorite seen and heard in Detroit area. Location is approximate. The magnitude reported for this meteor cannot be directly used to compare its size to an earthquake because the source of the seismic signals are different.
The American Meteor Society (AMS) has received almost 400 reports of the event. The flashing light and loud boom felt across Michigan and seen as far away as New York City and parts of Canada on Tuesday night was a meteoroid entering the atmosphere, according to NASA.

A post on the NASA Meteor Watch Facebook page, said the meteoroid traveled northwest from the Brighton area to the Howell area, citing the American Meteor Society's website. The 1 a.m. post read:
"Our analysis yields a similar result, and we have calculated that this was a very slow moving meteor - speed of about 28,000 miles per hour,"

"This fact, combined with the brightness of the meteor (which suggests a fairly big space rock at least a yard across), shows that the object penetrated deep into the atmosphere before it broke apart (which produced the sounds heard by many observers). It is likely that there are meteorites on the ground near this region - one of our colleagues has found a Doppler weather radar signature characteristic of meteoritic material falling to earth."


UPDATE: Sat, 20th Jan. 2018

The Daily Mail reports meteorite hunters have found fragments:
Meteorite hunters who flocked to Detroit from across the U.S. after a meteor exploded are finding the fragments.

Most of the fragments landed in Hamburg Township.

meteor michigan found fragments longway planetarium
The first fragments were located Thursday by professional hunters Larry Atkins and Robert Ward of Arizona, according to the American Meteor Society.
WHAT IS A METEOROID

A meteoroid is a small chunk of asteroid or comet.

When it enters Earth's atmosphere it becomes a meteor, fireball or shooting star.

The pieces of rock that hit the ground are meteorites, and are valuable to collectors.

The remnants must be analyzed by a lab to be accredited as meteorites.
Atkins owns Cosmic Connection Meteorites, while Ward operates Robert Ward Meteorites.

'It's a really spectacular specimen,' Ward said while holding one of the meteorites.

'Two days ago, this was hundreds of thousands of miles past the moon, and now I'm standing here holding it in my hand.

'It's been a real good day.'
meteor meteroid michigan fragments found
Ward said he used seismic data, Doppler radar and witness information to narrow down where to search.

Meteorite hunters seek permission from landowners before searching on their property, Ward said.

Ward estimates he's collected about 600 meteorites from around the world over the years.

Longway Planetarium astronomers have also located three meteorites that'll be displayed Friday.
michigan meteor meteoroid fragment found

Darryl Pitt, a New York City resident and meteorite consultant to Christie's auction house, is offering $20,000 for a recovered fragment weighing at least 1 kilogram.

'I want to motivate more people to look,' Pitt said.

'Meteorites are extraordinarily rare and the world is just coming to terms with how special they are.'



Meteor

Where can you find chunks of the meteor that blew up over Michigan?

Meteor over Michigan
© Mike Austin/YouTube
Reports have the meteor that streaked across southeast Michigan Tuesday night re-entering the atmosphere somewhere in Macomb County, with some pinpointing it to the area near 25 Mile Road and Card.

Phones at police stations and in newsrooms - including WWJ's - lit up with questions and concerns. Some joked that it was an extraterrestrial visitor, others worried a bomb had exploded.

Wolverine Lake Police Chief John Ellsworth was so shaken by the electricity he felt in the air followed by a blinding flash that he told WWJ he thought it was the 'beginning of the end.'

Comment: See also: Meteor fireball lights up night sky over Michigan; USGS registers impact as M2.0 earthquake (UPDATE)


Fireball 4

Albertans report meteor fireball over the province

Fireball over Alberta
© Global News
Dozens of Albertans took to social media Wednesday evening to report seeing a large fireball in the sky over northern parts of the province.

Corbet Kratko was driving near the intersection of Highway 21 and Westpark Boulevard in Fort Saskatchewan when he said he saw the bright light descending through the sky.


The maintenance inspector with Alberta Transportation captured video of what appears to be a falling fireball on his vehicle's dash-cam at approximately 5:21 p.m.

Witness Rogan Hennie told CBC News he was driving north near Lacombe, Alta., around the same time when he saw what he described as "a meteor" in the sky.

Fireball 2

Second meteor fireball flashes over Ohio

Meteor over Ohio
© ABC13
More fireball reports flooded in just before midnight Wednesday night. Several dozen reports came into the American Meteor Society around 11:50pm EST. Reports centered over Indiana, but went as far south as Nashville, TN and as far north as west central Michigan. Toledo seems to be on the edge of the observations, while reports were as far west as Chicago.

The fireball was not as bright as Tuesday night's meteor, and a sonic boom was not observed. The white flash was observed on the west side of Toledo, and the reports were more numerous closer to Fort Wayne, IN. We will have more information as it becomes available.

Fireball

Incoming: Massive house-sized asteroid will fly close to Earth next week

Asteroid
© YouTube
Unlike that false alarm in Hawaii, this potentially cataclysmic piece of news is real: an asteroid between 22 and 68 meters in diameter is going to swing past Earth on January 23 at around 12,300 miles an hour (around Mach 16). It's going to come within 1.1 million miles of Earth, but it's unclear whether its trajectory will cause it to hit Earth or fly past harmlessly.

The asteroid, named 2018 AJ, is just one of several asteroids that have suddenly popped up on NASA's radar without warning-the last one was 2017 YD7, which was spotted December 28 and flew past Earth on January 3.

The scary thing about these rocks is that once we spotted them, there's very little we can do to stop them: according to NASA's Planetary Defense Coordination Office, we'd need a few decades of advance warning to deal with an asteroid 100 meters in size or larger. From there, a couple options open up, including knocking the asteroid off course with a "kinetic impactor" or using a "gravity tractor" to change its trajectory.

Fireball 3

Meteor fireball seen over Northland, New Zealand

Fireball - stock image

Fireball - stock image
Residents of a Far North holiday hotspot were treated to a flashy display of space fireworks late last night.

Cable Bay resident Sheryl Day was out on her deck at about 10.45pm when she saw what she described as a "large, intense yellow fireball, tinged with green".

"Out of the corner of my eye, I saw something bright, and as I turned, this great thing, almost like a fireball, just whizzed by.

"While Day frequently sees meteors when gazing at the night sky, these were typically distant and fleeting.

But this object, she said, seemed much closer as it "wooshed down and then just disappeared".

Comet 2

Dynamic space: Rotation of Comet 41P makes inexplicably slows down

Comet 41P
© Chris Schur/Schurs Astrophotography
Comet 41P/Tuttle-Giacobini-Kresák glides beneath the galaxy NGC 3198 on March 14, 2017, two weeks before the object's closest approach to Earth.
National Harbor, Md. - A small comet broke a rotation-speed record in a big way: New work reveals that an icy rock known as 41P dramatically slowed its spin at an unprecedented rate in 2017, spinning down at about 10 times the pace of the next-ranked comet.

This comet, whose full name is 41P/Tuttle-Giacobini-Kresák, experienced "the largest but also the fastest change that has ever been seen in a comet rotation," said Dennis Bodewits, an associate research scientist at the University of Maryland (UMD) in College Park.

Bodewits presented his team's findings Wednesday (Jan. 10) during a press conference held here at the 231st meeting of the American Astronomical Society.

Comment: What could have acted on it? It need not have been something it came close to. And they used to say space was 'stable'...


Fireball 3

Astronomer attributes flash of light, sonic boom in Dallas/Ft. Worth neighborhood to exploding meteorite

Flash of light and boom in DFW, Texas
© YouTube/CBS DFW
A mysterious "boom" rattled a North Texas neighborhood and residents have no idea what exactly it was or what it could mean.

Residents in North Oak Cliff said they heard an explosive noise around 8:34 p.m. on Wednesday night. Some reported seeing a flash first, then the load noise.

Resident Isaac Martinez managed to capture a short video of the event from his security cameras.

"Out of nowhere, just this pow!" said Phillip Washington, who heard the noise from his Kings Highway apartment. "Just this huge explosion."

Washington was one of many who reported hearing the noise.


Fireball 4

'Green comet' spotted in Dubai skies

Dubai UAE skies
© Rustam Azmi/Getty Images
What was the "green comet" that graced the skies over Dubai last night? Image for illustrative purposes.
Confusion abounds over a strange light seen flashing through the Dubai sky on Sunday night.

UAE residents took to social media at around 7pm, asking the public for clues on what some have dubbed a "green comet", and others called a "low-flying flare" or firework.
Anyone see a green light flashing over Dubai / Abu Dhabi. Did you see anything?
- Emma Brain (@EmmaPinkyB) January 7, 2018
Erwin Viado was stuck in slow moving traffic in Al Wasl when his colleague pointed out the object in the sky.