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Thu, 21 Feb 2019
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Fireballs

Question

Mysterious booms rock two counties in eastern North Carolina

Mysterious booms in eastern NC
© CBS17
It rattles windows and wakes people up at night. Neighbors along the Wake and Franklin counties line contacted CBS 17 saying they've been hearing loud blasts late at night or early in the morning.

"It almost felt like an earthquake," Elizabeth Elliott said.

Neighbors have been taking to Facebook and Nextdoor to write about the loud booming sounds or blasts.

One said they lost power briefly, another said their lights flickered.

Neighbors said they thought the blasts could be coming from a North Carolina Department of Transportation project, widening 401.

Fireball 3

Meteor fireball flies over Arizona, California, Nevada and New Mexico

Fireball over Arizona, California, Nevada and New Mexico
© YouTube/AMS/T. Harkins
The American Meteor Society posted two videos of a fireball flying over southern California. The meteor was also reportedly seen in Arizona, Nevada and New Mexico.

The first clip was recorded in Corona, California; the second in Pasadena, California:



Fireball 2

Meteor fireball seen over England, Northern Ireland and Scotland

Fireball over England, Northern Ireland and Scotland
© YouTube/AMS/D. Morton
On January 30, 2019, the American Meteor Society published footage of a fireball event on their YouTube channel. The meteor was reportedly seen over England, Northern Ireland and Scotland:


Comet 2

Comet Iwamoto fast approaching Earth

Comet C/2018 Y1 (Iwamoto)
© Emilio Lepeley
Emilio Lepeley in Elqui Valley, Vicuna, Chile, caught comet C/2018 Y1 (Iwamoto) – the green fuzzball at bottom center – on February 3, 2019, in the same field of view as the famous Sombrero Galaxy. Thank you, Emilio!
A new celestial visitor - a comet - was discovered by Japanese astronomer Masayuki Iwamoto in late 2018. It'll provide nice opportunities for astrophotographers, as it will pass close to a couple of Messier objects in February 2019. It's a fast-moving comet that will be closest to Earth on February 12, 2019, at around 2:57 p.m. ET (19:57 UTC; translate to your time zone). The celestial visitor will safely pass by Earth at some 28 million miles (45 million km). The comet has been designated C/2018 Y1 (Iwamoto).

This comet is fast! Comet C/2018 Y1 (Iwamoto) is traveling through space at the amazing speed of 147,948 miles per hour (238,099 km/h) or 66 km per second, relative to Earth.

The best nights for observing the comet (with binoculars and small telescopes) should be on February 11 and 12. Preliminary estimates suggest the newly found comet might reach a brightness or magnitude between 7 and 7.8 , which means it should be easily seen with small telescopes and binoculars. It will not be visible to the eye alone.

Comet 2

Oumuamua a debris of disintegrated interstellar comet says latest study

Oumuamua
© Universe Today
Since it was first detected hurling through our Solar System, the interstellar object known as 'Oumuamua has been a source of immense scientific interest. Aside from being extrasolar in origin, the fact that it has managed to defy classification time and again has led to some pretty interesting theories. While some have suggested that it is a comet or an asteroid, there has even been the suggestion that it might be an interstellar spacecraft.

However, a recent study may offer a synthesis to all the conflicting data and finally reveal the true nature of 'Oumuamua. The study comes from famed astronomer Dr. Zdenek Sekanina of the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, who suggests that 'Oumuamua is the remnant of an interstellar comet that shattered before making its closest pass to the Sun (perihelion), leaving behind a cigar-shaped rocky fragment.

Having worked with the JPL for almost 40 years - where he specializes in the study of meteors, comets and interstellar dust - Dr. Sekanina is no stranger to celestial objects. In fact, his work includes groundbreaking studies on Halley's comet, the Tunguska event, and the break-up and impact of Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 on Jupiter.

His latest study, titled "1I/'Oumuamua As Debris of Dwarf Interstellar Comet That Disintegrated Before Perihelion", recently appeared online. In it, Sekanina addresses the possibility that the observations that began in October of 2017 by the Panoramic Survey Telescope and Rapid Response System-1 (Pan-STARRS-1) was actually a fragment of the original object that entered our system in early 2017.

Fireball 2

Meteor EXPLODES, shatters windows in Pinar del Río, Cuba - after streaking over Florida Keys

meteorite Cuba
© @rolandoteseSur/Twitter
Meteor spotted over Florida and Cuba
Residents in western Cuba reported on Friday that a small meteorite struck the island, triggering the sounds of a large explosion. No injuries have been reported.

Cubans quickly took to social media, sharing photos and video footage of the aftermath. Some have likened the explosion to the sounds of a plane. Early social media reports also suggested that the sounds might have been caused by a satellite explosion.


Comment: Maybe there's something to this concept of 'February Fireballs'? Earth passes through no particularly significant meteor streams - known ones anyway - in February, and yet we keep getting smacked by big 'uns in this month. Not only that, but Cuba in particular was hit almost 6 years to the day!

Flashback: Meteor explodes above Cuba, shockwave shakes homes - 13 Feb 2013, same day as Chelyabinsk blast in Russia


Fireball

Bright meteor fireball seen over the province of Albacete, Spain

Fireball over province of Albacete, Spain
© YouTube/Meteors
A bright meteor fireball was filmed flying over the province of Albacete, Spain. Video footage was uploaded to YouTube by 'Meteors' on January 27:

The meteor on this video was recorded over Spain on 2019 January 27 at 0:22 local time (equivalent to 23:22 universal time on Jan. 26). It was generated by a rock from a comet that hit the atmosphere at about 80,000 km/h. It began over the province of Albacete at an altitude of about 97 km, and ended at a height of around 65 km.

Newspaper

Loud boom, rumble heard in Panama City Beach, Florida

Mystery boom stock
© strangesounds.org
A lot of folks contacted us today after hearing a loud boom and rumbling sound early this afternoon a little after 1pm. Many people thought it might have been an earthquake. A quick check of the USGS (United States Geological Survey) ruled that out.

While we do not have a definitive answer what caused the rumble can likely be narrowed down to a few possibilities...

1. A sonic boom from a military jet over the Gulf of Mexico. While no aircraft were flying out of Tyndall... planes could have been flying over the Gulf from either Eglin or MacDill.

2. An explosion from an ordinance over at Eglin on the test range

3. Maybe a sonic boom from a meteor entering the Earth's atmosphere.

Meteor

Mysterious boom rattles residents and homes in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Mystery boom in Philadelphia
© CBS
A mysterious boom has left residents in South Philadelphia rattled after many were awoken overnight by the loud sound. The boom was reportedly heard around 2 a.m. Tuesday. Those who heard it turned to social media to try to figure out what it may have been.

Many reported the boom was so loud it shook their windows and houses. Some even called police to report the mysterious explosion-like sound.

"I was asleep," said Kacie Campbell, a Pennsport Resident. "A pretty deep sleep. It was this loud noise that woke me up out of nowhere."


Question

Mysterious 'earth-shaking sound' rocks southeastern Kentucky

Mystery boom in KY
© WYKT
The Jackson County Sheriff's Office is investigating after a loud boom was heard by several people Tuesday night.

Officials say the boom was heard in Madison County and Rockcastle County as well.

They say they don't know what the noise was and that trying to figure it out will be like finding a needle in a haystack.

In a Facebook post, Jackson County 911 said "No it's not a 'conspiracy' and no we are not hiding anything."


Comment: WKYT updated their report:
"Well at about 6:19 pm yesterday evening a couple of people called in and said they heard this loud boom in the county. We went to check on it in the area, and we never found anything," said Jackson County Sheriff Paul

It's the conversation of the county. Last night, Jackson County 911 dispatch received a handful of reports of an earth-shaking sound.

"Well at about 6:19 pm yesterday evening a couple of people called in and said they heard this loud boom in the county. We went to check on it in the area, and we never found anything," said Jackson County Sheriff Paul Hays.

Devonna Hisel lives in the northern part of the county, she says the mysterious boom shook the foundation of her house and scared a few of her neighbors. "We've had it shake the house before but not this much. We have a little dog that jumped and that never happened before," said Hisel.

From a transformer blowing to blasting at the rock quarry, a sonic boom, and even fracking, none of these are plausible and offer no possible insight as to why the boom happened. Many others reported the loud boom in parts of Madison, Estill, and Rockcastle counties as well. Forget the birdbox and the blindfold, grab the ear plugs next time your passing through Jackson County.