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Mysterious bangs possibly caused by meteor over South Island, New Zealand

Fireball - stock image
Stock image
An astronomer says a loud bang heard in Rolleston and a red streak seen in the sky over Whanganui at the same time were possibly from a meteorite entering Earth's atmosphere. Retired astronomer Peter Cottrell said it was possible the red streak and loud explosions late Saturday could be from a meteorite or space junk.

"It's possible to get a sonic boom from something coming through the atmosphere at high speed.

"It's a sonic boom because it is travelling faster than the speed of sound."

The red flash seen in Whanganui could have been the meteorite burning up in the atmosphere.

"As soon as it hits the atmosphere there's a lot of friction and friction creates heat and heat creates light as well."

Security guard Nick O'Leary, who was on duty at Whanganui Hospital, said he saw a red streak for a split second just after 11.30pm.

At the same time several residents in the town of Rolleston, Canterbury, reported loud explosions in the area.

Police were unable to identify the source.

Cottrell said the loud bang, or sonic boom, heard in Rolleston would have followed the sighting in Whanganui, Cottrell said.

If it had not burned up completely, finding the meteorite would be challenging. It could be as small as the size of a pebble, but would be dense and heavy.

Cottrell said it was fairly common for meteorites to enter Earth's atmosphere.


Fireball seen across Pacific Northwest

Screenshot of AMS map
© Screenshot of AMS mapMap of where the fireball was reported seen.
Portland, Oregon - Many people throughout the Pacific Northwest reported seeing a "fireball" blazing through the sky at around midnight Friday.

According to the American Meteor Society, more than 130 people reported seeing the light shoot across the sky. It was reported seen as far south as Grants Pass and as far north as Port Angeles, Washington. Most of the reports came from the Willamette Valley.

Videos and photos of the fireball were posted on social media.

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Bright meteor fireball recorded over Andalusia, Spain

bolide over Spain
© SMART project (screen capture)
This bolide was observed over the South of Spain on 30 Aug. 2016, at 01:57 UT (03:57 local time). The meteoroid impacted the atmosphere at about 130.000 km/h and produced a fireball that began at a height of 97 km over the Mediterranean Sea. The event ended at an altitude of about 37 km over Andalusia (Spain).

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Huge green, blue ball of light seen over Ontario, Canada

green meteor
Archive file
Initial Sighting Reports

August 29th, 10:55pm. While traveling on Hazeldean Road between Bells Corners and Eagleson Road in Kanata, Ontario, Canada. I glanced to the South and was shocked to see a huge lime colored ball of light shooting toward earth, perhaps at a 25 degree angle, traveling from East to West. As it came closer to earth, it quickly vanished. It was over within a few seconds I imagine.

Frankly, I always thought these things were the color of stars. Learn something new every day.
Thank you, Susan

8:27 pm. I am quite sure we may have seen the exact same meteor! I was looking out my window last night from Grimsby, Ontario. I have a wonderful elevated view of the lake from this window and for only a second or so saw a bright bluish light streak across the sky, but only for a second.

I saw lights from a nearby plane in the area (probably going into Toronto), but I was also thinking it could have been flares from another search and rescue on the lake. But there were no other lights and no glowing from a flare. To me it seemed to be traveling south to north, but I could be wrong because it was so brief, but definitely was in my northern sky.
Glad to read I was not seeing things!- Slick Demetrius


Asteroid zooms past Earth hours after discovery

Asteroid 2016 QA2 was twice as big as the space rock that entered over Russia in 2013, breaking windows in 6 Russian cities. It passed safely Saturday night

The calculated orbit of 2016 QA2.
© JPL Small Body Database/Sciencythoughts BlogspotThe calculated orbit of 2016 QA2.
An asteroid safely passed by our planet on Saturday night - August 27-28, 2016 - just hours after being detected. Astronomers have labeled the space rock as asteroid 2016 QA2. The rocks is estimated to be at least twice as big as the Chelyabinsk meteor that penetrated the atmosphere over Russia in February, 2013.

According to the Minor Planet Center, closest approach to Earth occurred August 28 at 01:24 UTC (9:24 p.m. EST on August 27; translate to your time zone). The asteroid has an estimated size of 111.5 feet (34 meters), although its exact dimension can range between 52-171 feet (16 to 52 meters).

The speeding space rock came considerably closer than the moon, as it passed at just 0.22 the Earth-moon distance. That's about 52,580 miles (84,619 km) away. For comparison, the moon is located at some 239,000 miles (384,633 km) from Earth.

Asteroid 2016 QA2 was first seen by the SONEAR Observatory at Oliveira, Brazil.


Meteor? Unidentified flaming object leaves trail of smoke over Bristol, UK

meteor or comet fragment over Bristol
© Ruth HaslerA peculiar flaming trail was seen rocketing across the skyline near Temple Meads on Wednesday night
It took just two minutes to blaze across the sky, and now people are questioning the origin of a strange object which was spotted travelling across the Bristol horizon.

After a day of glorious sunshine and soaring temperatures a peculiar flaming trail was seen rocketing across the skyline near Temple Meads on Wednesday night.

Captured on film shortly after 8pm, the mysterious plume has baffled the internet with theories ranging from UFOs to space debris being put forward.

Ruth Hasler from Eastville said: "There had been a rainbow in Totterdown and I was looking around which is when I spotted it.

"At first I thought it was a cloud, but it was going in the opposite direction to all the others. Then I thought it might be a helicopter or a plane crashing because I could see the red glow.

"The smoke then started to go black and it was still alight. I had absolutely no idea what it was but I quickly took some pictures."

Concerned that someone might have been hurt, Ms Hasler mentioned the incident to her partner.

Comment: Meteor fireball activity has increased dramatically in recent years. A few days prior to this sighting, mysterious house-shaking 'explosions' followed a 'flash of bright white light' around Bristol, which could be attributed to an overhead meteor explosion.

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ANOTHER meteor fireball caught on camera above San Diego - August 18, 2016

meteor san diego
© abc10news
A bright flash that lit up parts of the San Diego sky Thursday night continues to remain a mystery.

The streak of light lasted a few seconds before it disappeared, but the flash was captured on a dashcam.

National Weather Service officials told 10News they were unsure of what the light flash was.

Comment: See also:

Meteor fireball lights up the sky over San Diego, California - August 15, 2016

At the rate things are going, these things will become a nightly occurrence above every city the world over...

Update 21 August 2016

Sott reader Julie S. writes in:
I saw this also! Very clear. I was standing on Hwy 101 in Cardiff admiring the moon and it shot right across the sky over the lagoon.

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Bright green meteor fireball spotted in skies across New Zealand

Fireball - stock image
Stock image
People across the country are reporting what is possibly a meteor shining bright as it passed overhead on Friday night. The "huge fireball or space junk re-entry" was reported in the skies above the capital from about 7.30pm.

A resident in the Upper Hutt suburb of Totara Park said they thought it was space junk after seeing three bright objects. "I came outside [for a cigarette] and something caught my eye, it was very, very bright and moving fast.

"It was phenomenally big, it was glowing orange in the middle with green on the sides - it was like a firework, it got brighter and brighter, whiter and whiter." The object was seen heading south.

"It was halfway across the sky and took about four seconds to cross the ocean, I think it was quite close [to the ground]. It's probably one of the most phenomenal things I've ever seen."

Paul Andrews was travelling south on Wellington's Happy Valley Road when it flew overhead. "It was a very bright fluorescent green colour with quite a long tail, looked like it was breaking up as it was getting closer to crashing into the ocean. "It seemed very close, almost looked like it was going to land out in Cook Strait."

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Meteorite lands in Leeds garden

© Yorkshire Evening Post
Is it an astronomical gift or something much more mundane? David Stevenson is not sure, but he does know that a glowing hot rock appeared in his Leeds garden, apparently leaving a burning 'impact' site in its wake.

The 46-year-old was at home in Bramley with a friend when in the early hours of the morning he walked outside to the smell of burning. He found a circular area of grass on his lawn, about a metre wide, that was smouldering away and giving off wisps of smoke.

He retired to bed baffled but it was only upon closer inspection in the light of day that he discovered a weighty rock, roughly the size of two tennis balls near to the area of parched ground.

Having dismissed any prank or mischief, Mr Stevenson believes the rock may be a fragment of meteorite that has been sent crashing onto his garden lawn from outer space. His own tests have found it to be magnetic and it was initially giving off enough heat to light a cigarette.


Meteor fireball lights up the sky over San Diego, California - August 15, 2016

Fireball over San Diego
A 'fireball' of some kind was caught streaking across the San Diego sky overnight.

A CBS 8 viewer captured video of the mysterious streak along El Cajon Boulevard in City Heights.

We haven't heard of an explanation for the 'fireball' yet, but a few residents called saying they saw it and that it was a meteor.

Comment: Another video recorded on the same day: