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Fireballs

Fireball 4

Loud boom shakes homes in Oregon, no USGS earthquake reports: What was it?

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Dozens of people from Lincoln County to Tillamook County reported hearing a loud boom and feeling the ground shake earlier today. Beaver resident Josh Sisco said he felt it.

"Twice and I assumed it was a sonic boom," Sisco posted on thenewsguard.com Facebook page.

Lincoln City Police said they took only two calls, one from Neskowin and the other from a person at 14th Street in Lincoln City, both reporting a boom and ground shaking. Several people have posted comments on The News Guard's sister publication in Tillamook, The Headlight Herald:

"It shook the house," wrote Heather Hurliman.

"Yes, I live in Netarts, and and went running out to see what it was only to find nothing," wrote Ken Hawes. "I felt the house shake as well. It was more of a rumble."

"We heard it here in Rockaway," wrote Racheal Young. "It was loud and shook the house."

Fireball 3

Potentially Hazardous Asteroid 2006 DP14 flew by on February 10, 2014

Asteroid 2006 DP14
© Remanzacco Observatory
The Potentially Hazardous Asteroid (PHA) 2006 DP14 was discovered on 2006, February 23 by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Lincoln Near Earth Asteroid Research (LINEAR) program. PHAs are space rocks larger than approximately 100m that can come closer to Earth than 0.05 AU. None of the known PHAs is on a collision course with our planet, although astronomers are finding new ones all the time.

2006 DP14 has an estimated size of 460 m - 1.0 km (based on the object's absolute magnitude H=18.8) and it had a close approach with Earth at about 6.2 LD (Lunar Distances = ~384,000 kilometers) or 0.0160 AU (1 AU = ~150 million kilometers) at 1905 UT on 2014, February 10. This asteroid reached the peak magnitude ~12.8 on February 11, 2014. Shortly before and after the closest approach, this asteroid will be far enough north for Goldstone to track, and it is expecting to be a strong imaging target. Goldstone tracks are scheduled on February 8, 12, and 13.

Attention

HAZMAT called to explosion that rocked upstate South Carolina homes

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© Unknown
Deputies are investigating reports of an explosion that rocked residents Friday night.

Dispatchers told FOX Carolina that the calls started coming into their call center around 10 p.m.

People in Chesnee, Gaffney, Pacolet, SC and Grover, NC all reported to FOX Carolina that they felt and heard an explosion.

Lt. Tony Ivey with the Spartanburg County Sheriff's Office said a firefighter in Chesnee noticed a small area next to the roadway that appeared to be the site of an explosion.

An investigator from the Hazardous Devices Unit responded to Henderson Road near Turkey Farm Road to investigate.

Robbie Buhl lives three miles from Henderson Road and felt his house shake and heard a loud boom Friday night. He said it's happened many times before and wants someone to figure out what's going on.

Meteor

Booms and tremors in Ocean City, Maryland blamed on military jets (yeah, right!)

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© Knowledgenuts.com
Michael Maykrantz was on duty at a fire house on 74th street in Ocean City when the floor began to shake and the doors started to rattle.

At Bart Rader's house in Ocean Pines, a loud boom "like somebody blew something up" preceded shaking so heavy that it rattled a 50-pound metal sculpture against the wall.

Miles away in Annapolis, Ocean City Mayor Rick Meehan was meeting in state Sen. James Mathias' office when he got a text message from his daughter: "What the heck was that?"

A series of tremors rattled residents across Ocean City and the lower Delmarva Peninsula around midday Thursday, puzzling geologists and emergency managers. Within a few hours, geologists ruled out an earthquake, and by Thursday evening, signs pointed to supersonic jets flying from the Patuxent Naval Air Station.

Air station officials said Friday two jets were in the air off the coast at the time the rumbling was felt, and that weather conditions made it likely that sonic booms could have traveled further than normal.

The phenomenon nevertheless mystified many, including Maykrantz.

"We've had sonic booms in town before, but this seemed different," said the firefighter and paramedic. "It was more sustained, and then there was a pause for about a minute and then it started again."

Comment: Wow, the media has bought this line about military jets and 'frost quakes', hook, line and sinker!

From Meteorites, Asteroids, and Comets: Damages, Disasters, Injuries, Deaths, and Very Close Calls:
"Over the past few years, while SOTT.net has been tracking the increasing flux of fireballs and meteorites entering the earth's atmosphere, we have been, by turns, amused and horrified at the ignorant reactions and declarations that issue from academia and the media regarding these incursions. A few years ago, we read that "this is a 'once in a hundred years' event!" Not long after it was a "once in a lifetime" event. Still later, after a lot more incidents it became a "once in a decade" event. More recently, it has been admitted in some quarters that meteorites hit the ground (as opposed to safely burning up in the atmosphere) several times a year! And of course, we have discovered the fact that the governments of our planet are well aware that there are atmospheric explosions from such bodies numerous times a year. We have also learned in this series that the frequent reports of unusual booms and shaking of the ground is often due to such overhead explosions. Yet the media steadfastly refuses to honestly address this issue, though we have noted a plethora of recent articles presenting opposing academic arguments designed to put the populace back to sleep, to reassure them that there is nothing to worry about, that such things only happen every 100,000 years or so, and certainly, the Space Watch Program is going to find all the possible impactors and take care of things."



Galaxy

Signs of Change in January 2014

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Dazzling green fireball filmed above Belgium, January 2014
Mysterious booms across the US, often occuring in and around earthquakes - A series of unusual earthquakes in Australia - More 'strange sky sounds' - More meteor fireballs raining down - Massive sinkholes swallowing houses, cars and people - Storm after storm battering the UK and Western Europe, bringing massive waves, widespread flooding and landslides - Mass whale stranding in New Zealand - Polar Vortex (twice!) freezing most of the US in ice age conditions and making it colder than Mars - Major flooding in Florida, while hurricane-force winds smash into Oregon and the Carolinas - Tonga flattened by most powerful cyclone to hit the region half a century - A strong earthquake hit Puerto Rico - 100,000 people affected by major flooding in the Philippines, while another 40,000 were displaced by heavy rainfall in Indonesia - Bats falling out of the sky as wildfires rage in Australia's record heatwave - 'Winter wildfires' raging across snow-covered US - An eerily quiet Sun that hasn't been seen since the 17th Century - Several volcanic eruptions in Indonesia causing multiple deaths and the evacuation of thousands - Another strong earthquake in New Zealand - More mass animal deaths, including a whole pod of pilot whales off the coast of Florida - Record-breaking snowfall across the US...

2014 has stated with a bang, literally, with a surge of loud booms being heard and felt throughout much of North America. But then again, didn't the last few years start this way? This video includes strange and extreme weather, geological and cosmic events, covering most of the month of January. Things aren't looking good for certain few heavily populated areas...


Fireball 4

Meteor streaking across sky Canadian city, captured on amateur video

It wasn't a bird, or a plane, or Superman that streaked across the skies of Charlottetown last Friday night, but it was the colour of kryptonite and it was from out of this world.



Greg Tingman spotted the green light streaking across the sky behind the Charlottetown Mall Friday.

"I was kind of excited that I had my camera on. It was pointed in the right direction. We were on a road with a bit of an upward incline so definitely all good timing," he said.

He shot the above video on his car's dashboard camera - a camera he only received at Christmas time after seeing a massive meteor hit Russia last February.

"Saw that on the news and YouTube and thought it might be neat to have my own camera so my daughter bought it for me for Christmas," he said.

Question

Earthquake ruled out after tremors and loud boom reported in Ocean City, Maryland

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Snapshot from Maryland Geological Survey (Maryland Geological Survey / February 6, 2014)
Tremors that Ocean City residents reported feeling around midday Thursday did not come from an earthquake, seismologists said, but may have come from supersonic flights from Patuxent Naval Air Station.

"The data is very inconsistent with any kind of earthquake activity," Maryland Geological Survey Director Richard Ortt said. That was because the timing of the tremor's detection by various sensors did not match the time it would be expected to take for a seismic event to ripple through the Earth's crust, he said.

The source of the tremors remains unknown, Ortt said. Sometimes sonic booms, explosions or other blasts can be confused with earthquakes, he said.

Air station spokeswoman Connie Hempel said the Navy conducted two supersonic flights off the coast Thursday, though she did not know what time they were scheduled for.

Residents of the beach resort town reported hearing a loud boom and feeling earthquake-like tremors shortly before noon.

"We have had reports that people felt tremors," said an Ocean City police spokeswoman, who estimated that the department had fielded more than a dozen calls as of noon.

Galaxy

Heaven and Earth: Unusual natural events and strange phenomena from around the world in January 2014

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© AP
This video compiles footages of strange phenomena of all kinds, including awesome natural events or beautiful phenomena from around the world in the last few weeks.

In just the last couple of weeks, we've seen:

Volcanic eruptions in Sicily and Indonesia and elsewhere - 'Sky trumpet sounds' in Iceland, and loud booms shaking homes all over the US - Large earthquake in New Zealand, and an ongoing heatwave in Australia - Giant boulders falling off a mountain Italy and record flooding across Europe - More 'spinning ice-river' circles, this time in Norway - Strange cloud cover producing pretty sunsets and unusual light refraction, including a spectacular sun halo over Moscow - More mass animal deaths - More meteor fireballs falling from the sky, and 'hole-punch clouds'! - More UFO sightings - Massive electrical storms, including a super-electrical storm in Rio de Janeiro that produced an interesting omen: a thunderbolt struck the giant statue of Jesus above the city!... There were also major electrical storms in Europe... and this in the middle of winter! - Tornado outbreaks in the UK, which are unusual even in the summer - Thousands of wildfires breaking out in some of the coldest places on the planet - UK's wettest January in 250 years as the island continues to be pummeled with storm after storm...


I covered events from earlier in January and late December 2013 here.

Check out the rest of this series here.

Fireball 5

Earthquake in Groningen actually sonic boom?

Seismograph
© Wikipedia
Seismographic reading.
This week, the province of Groningen felt what was thought to be another earthquake, but this was tuesday evening confirmed more likely to be a sonic boom. The Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute (KNMI) confirmed no activity was seen on a seismograph, but the institute did record a bang in the atmosphere to the north of Ameland, a spokesperson says.

A little after 10 on Tuesday evening, Twitter blew up with messages about the earthquake. People also called the media with the report. The messages claimed it was a big one, too.

Most of the tremors were felt in a relatively small area, but reports also came from Drenthe and south-east Friesland. Richard van Dijk, a resident from Loppersum, where earthquakes are frequently experienced from the fracking by NAM in the area, reported that the front of his house was sinking.

On Twitter, residents from Ulrum, Middelstum and Loppersom said they felt tremors. People living further away like Groningen, Assen and Haulerwijk, reportedly felt "quakes".

Expert Theo Jurriens from the Rijksuniversiteit Groningen expects that it was not a meteor, because there were no messages from eye witnesses. "Then it would have been a big one, and that we would have seen", he said around midnight. According to the NOS, the KNMI will still investigate this possibility.

"Possibly, it was a jet passing through the sound barrier", Theo says.

Defense claims no responsibility for the bang. "But it is not clear. It could be an aircraft from another country that was flying above the North Sea" Jurriens says.

In 1992, the bang of a jet was heard, but nothing was seen, and even the church got damaged.

Fireball

First meeting of international group tasked with reacting to asteroids

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© ESA
A new international group meets for the first time in February to coordinate efforts to predict and prevent major asteroid impacts.
Next week in Germany, representatives of all mankind's space-faring nations will get together in a room to begin coordinating efforts to prevent the end of the world...or at least to figure out how to identify and prevent really big space rocks from smacking us around like that meteor that hit Russia last year.

We've all watched those scenes in science fiction movies where the leaders of the planet (or planets) all sit around a large table and come to a consensus about the best way to confront the latest existential threat. I'm always left wondering where the heck they get such a huge table, and how they managed to come up with a unanimous plan of action in less than 5 minutes. It's a little different from the endless gabfest of political posturing translating to minimal real-world action that is a meeting of today's United Nations.

Or is it? The first ever meeting of the Space Mission Planning and Advisory Group (SMPAG, pronounced "same page" -- see what they did there?) set to be hosted by the European Space Agency on February 6 and 7 sounds a little more like the Hollywood version of consensus-making, just with less melodrama and fewer ridiculously beautiful people everywhere.