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Huge fireball lights up night sky over Phoenix, Arizona - Residents stunned as meteor explodes, shaking homes

phoenix airzona meteor dashcam screenshot 2 Jun 2016

No, that's not the sun

Comment: In terms of size, this doesn't seem to have been 'a small meteor' - it sounds more like it was a comet fragment!

Will we be seeing another Chelyabinsk type event in the not too distant future?

A meteor flared across the sky over Phoenix, Arizona Thursday morning, reportedly waking many residents from their slumber with the sound of a loud bang as it passed.

Locals took to social media to question what the noise was, as others confirmed it was a meteor streaking through the sky.

Comment: Notice the recent uptick in meteor fireball events, as well as the increase in lightning deaths, volcanic eruptions, and extreme weather.

Fireball 2

Two meteor fireballs illuminate Brazilian skies on two subsequent nights

meteor fireball over Brazil
© YouTube/Bramon (screen capture)
On May 29 and May 30, 2016, two fireball explosions illuminated the sky of Brazil. The first event was so big, it was captured by five different cameras. Awesome meteor videos.

On May 29, 2016, 5 cameras from Bramon, the Brazilian Meteor Observation Network, simultaneously captured a disintegrating fireball over Varginha, Minas Gerais, Brazil.

The major fireball almost entered the atmosphere vertically (97°) at an altitude of 96 km The rock disintegrated rather rapidly in a strong but short explosion brighter than the full moon at about 28 km above sea level!

First orbital analyses show that this space rock may be of cometary origin and thus related to a meteor shower.

Comment: Another meteor fireball was recorded over Brazil just over a week ago.


Comets & Asteroids - Summary for May 2016

During the month of May 2016, 2 new comets were discovered and cometary activity was detected for 1 previously discovered object (earlier designated as an asteroid).

NASA's Hubble Space Telescope imaged comet 252P/LINEAR just after it swept by Earth on March 21, 2016 while the Subaru Telescope serendipitously captured high-resolution images of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. Moreover a non-gravitational acceleration has been detected influencing the motion of minor planet (85990) (see below for more about these news). "Current comet magnitudes" & "Daily updated asteroid flybys" pages are available at the top of this blog (or just click on the underline text here).

The dates below refer to the date of issuance of CBET (Central Bureau Electronic Telegram) which reported the official news & designations.

Comet Discoveries

May 09 Discovery of P/2016 J1 (PANSTARRS)*
May 09 Discovery of C/2016 J2 (DENNEAU)
P/2016 J1 (PanSTARRS)
© Michael Jager
P/2016 J1 (PanSTARRS)
* According to the discovery CBET, follow-up images obtained at the 3.6-m Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope atop Mauna Kea on May 6.43 showed a second comet in the field. "The two components are moving at nearly identical rates in nearly identical directions (both about 0".6/minute in p.a. about 314 deg).

The brighter component (designated component A) displays a clear and quite thin tail about 10" long in p.a. 250 deg in the May 6.43 images. The fainter object (designated component B) also displays a clear but broader tail of similar length, oriented toward p.a. about 210 deg". The available astrometry for both components and ephemerides appear on MPEC 2016-J90

Fireball 5

Bright meteor fireball captured over Cabo Rojo, Puerto Rico

Pueto Rica meteor fireball
© YouTube/Frankie Lucena (screen capture)
This fireball was captured on May 25, 2016 at 12:35am local time. It was located just south of Cabo Rojo, Puerto Rico in the sky above the Caribbean Sea.

Fireball 5

Meteor fireball filmed over Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Meteor fireball over Rio de Janeiro
© Exoss
Bright meteor fireball filmed over Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Fireball 4

New type of emission discovered coming from fireballs streaking through Earth's upper atmosphere

Long Wavelegnth Array
© University of New Mexico
The first Long Wavelegnth Array was powered up in 2011. Built next to the VLA in Socorro, the low-frequency radio telescope station is made up of 256 dual-polarization dipoles.
When University of New Mexico Physics & Astronomy Professor Greg Taylor turned on the first Long Wavelength Array (LWA1) station in 2011, he wasn't exactly sure what they were going to find. Fast forward five years, and now, Taylor and recent Ph.D. graduate Ken Obenberger have detected and studied a strange, meteoric phenomenon no one else had ever seen.

The pair had discovered a new type of emission coming from fireballs streaking across earth's upper atmosphere.

"When we talk about fireballs, we're talking about large meteors that enter the earth's atmosphere and explode," said Taylor.

Using LWA1, a low-frequency radio telescope station made up of 256 dual-polarization dipoles, the team has tracked about 150 of these fireballs flying more than 90 kilometers (about 56 miles) above us in the sky.

What sets their discovery apart is the strange reaction taking place that allows their radio telescope to detect these meteors. Typically, when a space rock enters earth's atmosphere it explodes and can be seen optically for only a few seconds. According to Taylor's data, these fireballs can radiate radio waves for up to several minutes.

"The meteor burns up and produces this big trail of plasma and then somehow that's producing radio emission," said Obenberger, who graduated with his Ph.D. in May. "But, we still don't really understand what's causing that emission."

Because this project is studying a previously undiscovered type of meteor emission, the research naturally produces a lot of questions for Taylor and Obenberger. And while they still have a lot to learn, they have been able to answer some questions.

Comment: Fun times for meteor observers... they have SO many fireballs to observe!!!


Flaming object falls from the sky in Sheerness, UK

© Kent Online
A flaming object fell from the sky, shaking the ground "like an explosion", according to Sheerness residents.

Zoey Cross says her 11 year old daughter Tamuka captured footage of what seemed to be a fireball plummeting towards Sheppey at 6pm yesterday.

Although it could be a flare, there is confusion as to why it was accompanied by a series of bangs and made the ground shake when it landed. It appeared to be plunging towards the sea near Beachfields park as youngsters played nearby.

The concerned mum said: "My daughter was by the sandpit and she messaged me asking if I had just heard the bang. There were two or three loud explosions that made the ground vibrate then the fireball fell from the sky."

Fireball 2

Brilliant meteor fireball flies through Japanese skies

Meteor over Japan
© Nippon Meteor Society
Look at this brilliant fireball striking the sky of Japan on May 23, 2016.The path of disintegration is so long! Insane!

The bright meteor was recorded by cameras of the Nippon Meteor Society on May 23, 2016 at 8pm local time.

You clearly see that the disintegrating ball of fire is brighter than the moon.

I wonder if some loud booms were reported when it exploded.

Now watch other fireball events that produced sonic booms across Finland, Brazil, the USA and Canada, Argentina and Mexico since May 1, 2016.


Meteor fireball? Mysterious burning object disintegrates over Agra, Uttar Pradesh, India

possible meteor fireball over India
© YouTube/Kanishka Verma (screen capture)

The strange light was observed by baffled residents on May 20, 2016 at 8.37 pm.

Is that another big meteor exploding in thousand incandescent pieces? Well it seems that the weird flying object is disintegrating. However the phenomenon is too long to be a meteor flying in the sky.

Or could it be space junk re-entering Earth's atmosphere? According to Satview.org, no re-entries have taken place on May 20, 2016. The next re-entry is sheduled for tomorrow, May 22, 2016, at around 9pm (UTC).

So what was this weird light on fire in the night sky of India?

Comment: Actually, it is not flying too slow to be a meteor. It could be electrically charged which can have many effects on speed and trajectory.

Fireball 2

Extremely bright meteor fireball explodes in loud detonation over Puebla, Mexico

The giant fireball exploded in the sky of Puebla, Mexico in loud sonic boom.

The giant fireball exploded in the sky of Puebla, Mexico in loud sonic boom.
This extremely bright fireball stuck the sky over Puebla, Mexico on May 21, 2016.

This major meteor exploded in a loud boom at around 1:48 am local time. Another frightening but awesome natural fireworks.

Can you just imagine seeing that flying over your head? OMG!

The meteor fireball exploded in a loud detonation. Here you can have a look at the flash of light this bright fireball produced when it disintegrated: