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Fireballs

Fireball 5

What was that loud boom that shook homes in Rock Island, Illinois?

Rock Island
© Wikimedia Commons
What was that boom? That's what many people in Rock Island were saying Tuesday morning, January 14, 2014.

People from all over Rock Island, as well as Milan and Moline, say they heard it around 6:50 a.m.

Questions came in from Twitter, Facebook as well as phone calls.

Did you hear that? They said they heard a loud boom sound that shook their house and rattled things hanging on the walls.

What made the sound?

We made a lot of calls to try to track down its origin.

We called the Rock Island Arsenal, fire departments, quarries and anyone we could think of who may have the answer.

Comment: Nope, it was probably yet another overhead meteor explosion.


Comet 2

Duck and cover! Americans warned of imminent, deadly meteor strikes

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File photo of a fireball
With NASA reporting a "potentially hazardous" asteroid nearly half-a-mile wide possibly heading toward earth, and some upstate New Yorkers claiming they experienced a loud boom and a bright light in the sky last night caused by a meteor, a doctors' organization is offering some timely advice:

Just as when the American populace first prepared for the possibility of a nuclear blast, a person's best option for surviving a meteor strike is the same "duck and cover" created during the 1940s and '50s when nuclear weaponry was still in its infancy.

The warning comes from Physicians for Civil Defense, which issued a statement recently during a meeting of the Emergency Management Agency of Utah.

"All Americans, starting with first responders and emergency managers, need to know this basic life-saving principle: 'Drop and cover if you see a sudden very bright light,'" said the statement from the organization's spokeswoman, Jane Orient, M.D.

Comment: Lest anyone thinks these physicians are pulling their leg:




Question

Field museum's newest meteorite puzzles scientists

Meteorite
© NBC Chicago
Scientists aren't exactly sure where a mysterious new meteorite came from, but its bright green hue is certainly bringing one super planet to mind.

While it's probably not from Krypton, the newest member of the Field Museum's meteorite collection is puzzling scientists.

While most meteorites look like a black or grey chunk of rock, this one is bright green and looks more gem-like than other meteorites in the collection, according to museum officials. Even more perplexing is the rock's chemical composition, which has proven impossible to classify.

The meteorite, named Northwest Africa 7325, was found in South Morocco in early 2012 and likely comes from an asteroid in the space between Mars and Jupiter, officials said.

Comet 2

A possible meteor shower from Comet ISON?

ISON-ids
© Stellarium
The position of the radiant for any possible “ISON-ids” in Leo. Note the nearby Full Moon the night of January 15th.
Hey, remember Comet C/2012 S1 ISON? Who can forget the roller-coaster ride that the touted "Comet of the Century" took us on last year. Well, ISON could have one more trick up its cosmic sleeve - although it's a big maybe - in the form of a meteor shower or (more likely) a brief uptick in meteor activity this week.

In case you skipped 2012 and 2013, or you're a time traveler who missed their temporal mark, we'll fill you in on the story thus far.

Comet ISON was discovered by Artyom Novichonok and Vitali Nevski on September 21st, 2012 as part of the ongoing International Scientific Optical Network (ISON) survey. Shortly after its discovery, researchers knew they had spotted something special: a sungrazing comet already active at over 6.4 Astronomical Units (A.U.s) from the Sun. The Internet then did what it does best, and promptly ran with the story. There were no shortage of Comet ISON conspiracy theories for science writers to combat in 2013. It's still amusing to this day to see predictions for comet ISON post-perihelion echo through calendars, almanacs and magazines compiled and sent to press before its demise.

Fireball

'Fireball' seen streaking across sky over Northampton; reports from all over Northeastern U.S.

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© Sott.net
John and Marianna Connolly of Williamsburg were going on a stroll in Look Park at dusk when they were shocked to see a "fireball" streak across the sky overhead.

"I thought it was fireworks at first, but it was way up there," John Connolly said Sunday, soon after seeing the object at about 5:10 p.m. "It was way brighter than any meteorite I've seen."

Similar reports from people all over New England, New York and New Jersey flooded Twitter and the website of the National Meteor Society soon afterward. Of the 90 reports of the bright object on the website, called a meteorite or fireball by many, 17 were from Massachusetts, including one from Amherst.

Connolly said the fireball was about five times bigger and hundreds of times brighter than most meteorites he has seen. He said it glowed blue and orange as it traveled for three or four seconds northeast across the sky before disappearing behind clouds.

Whatever it was, he said, "it was in the atmosphere for sure, it was burning up."

'Fireball' seen streaking across sky over Northampton; reports from all over Northeast

He noted that it was not completely dark out at the time, and usually meteors are only visible when it is completely dark. "This was very bright, as bright as the moon," he said.

Neither he or his wife heard any noise when they saw the fireball, he said.

A report from Rollingsford, N.H., said the fireball appeared to be about the size of a quarter when held at arm's length and had a trail of sparks. Others commented that it left a green trail and appeared low in the sky.

Fireball 5

2013 saw a dramatic increase in meteor fireballs - What does 2014 have in store?

Fireball City
So many new comets were discovered last year that astronomers named 2013 the 'Year of the Comet'. Less popularlized was the noticeable increase in fireball meteors observed in the Earth's atmosphere. Another year has passed and fireballs are still raining down like never before, with their rate apparently increasing exponentially.

SOTT.net has been cataloguing fireball events since 2002, and a couple of other websites have sprung up since then, but in general the lack of record-keeping and media coverage of this phenomenon is shocking, especially given how extraordinary the phenomenon is (or rather, was - apparently it's 'normal' now!) and whatever it may portend for civilization, sometime in the future, if not immediately.

One relatively new resource is the American Meteor Society's 'Fireball Logs', a database where eyewitnesses have been submitting reports of fireball events in the U.S. The AMS does subsequent checks to verify events with the All-Sky Fireball Camera Network set up by NASA's Meteoroid Environment Office (MEO) and other observation networks. Their stats are remarkable, yet they do fit with what we've noticed at SOTT.net in recent years: the numbers just keep going up and up, and at an ever increasing rate!

Using the AMS data, which begins in 2005, I've created the following tables to give readers a visual for what's going on. Check this out:

Fireball Increase 3.0
© SOTT

Comment: See also:




Fireball 2

Take cover! Meteor fireballs rain down across U.S. - Outbreaks of wildfires reported

Reports are pouring in from across the United States of multiple meteor fireballs streaking across the sky yesterday evening, January 12th, 2014, from approximately 5pm through 7pm, Eastern Standard Time. Over 170 observation reports were submitted to the American Meteor Society website, in addition to dozens of reports submitted on the Lunar Meteorite Hunters website, from eyewitnesses in northeastern and western states.

Streaks appearing on NOAA's online radar service apparently indicate that the fireballs came in from a northeast-southwest direction:

Image
© NOAA
The Pacific coast of the US earlier today. Note the blue streak over Washington state and similar on the Nevada-Utah border.

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© NOAA
Note the streaks over the ocean west of Washington state and Oregon.

Comment: Update 16 January 2014

A reader sent us the link to this video report from 'Fire in the Sky News' on the above meteor 'outburst':




Fireball 4

Breaking: Meteor outburst over 6 Northeastern U.S. states - Connecticut, New York, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Massachusetts and Maine (so far...)

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Report your meteor sightings please. Please help get the word about this event so that we might recover security camera video or cell phone captures; spread the word about this website via Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Reddit, GLP, SOTT and your favorite forums; contact your local news outlets; thank you!

If you have video or photo captures please email me.

Initial Meteor Sighting Reports


12JAN2014 NorMya North Haven Connecticut 19:00:00 5 secs W-E facing North green orange white moon trail of sparks long tail of white sparks which flowed into rings of green orange into a dark ball and dissappeared

12JAN2014 Jenn New York, NY 18:45:00 4 seconds Driving easy, it was going southwest Orange Same as venus Yes, broke into 4 pieces after 3 seconds of viewing Amazing experience ... And it feel it was bigger than I expected one to be. It looked as big as a street light going pretty fast

12JAN2014 James Keene N.H 18:30 pm/eastern 3 Hrs East,continuous,West,Facing the east Large brightly glowing sporadically,traveling slowly to the west, Would shine Brighter then the stars Possible tailing You tell me what it is

12JAN2014 Suzanna Barrett Durham ct USA 17:50:00 30 sec? Left to right and down , we were facing east Orange Size and brightness of 7-8 stars together, and orange Yes Have seen tons of meteor showre before, nothing like this before

12JAN2014 Geoff Mount Vernon, NY, USA 1745H EST approx. 3-5 secs Start NNE-E Observer facing east Steady, light blue object appeared on a descending slope. No sound detected (observed from inside car with radio playing), observed an aircraft in the same line of sight heading in a northerly direction brightness comparable to Sirius No disintegration observed My heading was approx.050 degrees. Object relative bearing was approx. 300 degrees at approx. 30-degree elevation

Fireball 3

Coming to a city near you soon? Chelyabinsk meteor shockwave compilation

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It looks like a movie, but it's not

This footage is compiled from multiple locations in Chelyabinsk, Russia when it was hit by the shockwave from an enormous overhead meteor explosion on February 15th 2013. The blast caught up with people in their offices, schools, workshops... one moment they were going about their normal day, the next...


Fireball 2

Four meteor fireball events caught on video in Japan in first week of 2014

The trend of increasing meteor fireball events continues into 2014,with 4 separate fireball events - including one daytime fireball -caught on camera by Japan's equivalent to NASA's All-Sky Camera Network.


Source: Sonotaco.jp