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Fireballs

Fireball 4

Warning for Earth: Comet Siding Spring's near-brush with Mars triggered 'mind blowing' meteor shower

Image
© NASA
Comet Siding Spring's close flyby of Mars last month dumped several tons of primordial dust into the thin martian atmosphere, likely creating a brief but spectacular meteor shower with thousands of shooting stars per hour had any astronauts been there to see it, scientists said Friday.

The comet dust also posed a much more serious threat than expected to an international fleet of spacecraft in orbit around the red planet and roving about its surface. While engineers did not think the comet posed a major hazard, the orbiters were maneuvered to put them on the far side of Mars during close approach. Just in case.

As it turned out, that was a smart decision.

"After observing the effects on Mars and how the comet dust slammed into the upper atmosphere, it makes me very happy that we decided to put our spacecraft on the other side of Mars at the peak of the dust tail passage and out of harm's way," Jim Green, director of planetary science at NASA headquarters, told reporters during a teleconference. "I really believe that hiding them like that really saved them, and it gave us a fabulous opportunity to make these observations."

Comment: If NASA et al had been paying even the slightest attention to what is happening here on Earth, rather than guess-timating with their fancy gadgets what might have happened on Mars, they'd realize they have plenty of real-life exploding comet fragments and comet dust to analyze right here at home.

Check out the astonishing afterglow caused by this exploding meteor over Recife, Brazil last month:

Meteor fireball sets the sky on fire over Recife, Brazil


Fireball 4

Another video showing the fireball seen over Japan on Monday, Nov 4

fireball over japan
People in western Japan have reported sightings of a sparkling light racing across the sky on Monday evening.

Experts say it was probably a "fireball" meteor - a piece of an asteroid that ignites upon entering Earth's atmosphere - and any surviving fragments mostly likely ended up in the sea.

A remote controlled camera at Fukuoka airport recorded an object emitting a strong green light, while another camera at Hakata port showed a faint orange light.

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Video of huge fireball meteor streaking over Eastern U.S. states

Image
© American Meteorological Society
Map of meteor sightings on Monday evening, Nov. 3, 2014
A large meteor was spotted streaking across the skies of central North Carolina and several other states on Monday evening. People in Greensboro, High Point, Asheville, Fayetteville and Raleigh reported seeing the fireball around 6:20 p.m. ET. Several eyewitnesses described the fireball as having a green tail. There were similar reports from eyewitnesses in Virginia, Pennsylvania, Georgia, Kentucky and several other states.

"AMS received 89 reports about this fireball seen over GA, IN, KY, MD, NC, OH, PA, SC, TN, VA and WV on November 3rd 2014," AMS wrote on its website. Steve Sobel captured a fireball on video over Chicago around 6:25 p.m. CT, an hour after similar reports in North Carolina and other states. It remains unclear if the sighting is related to similar sightings on the East Coast.


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Video shows South Dakota meteor exploding into a blue ring

A time-lapse video taken of the night sky over South Dakota shows a meteor exploding on impact with the earth's atmosphere. The video, taken by photographer Wes Eisenhauer on Oct. 16 outside the city of Custer, shows the meteor impacting the atmosphere at an estimated 180,000 mph and exploding into a circle of light.


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Fireball streaks over 12 Eastern U.S. states, as another one blazes over Japan

Image
© AMSMeteors.com
Nearly 200 reports of a fireball streaking overhead were received the the American Meteor Society Monday night.
Dozens of reports of a fireball crossing the sky emerged Monday evening across 12 eastern states, from as far north as the Great Lakes states and extending as far south as Georgia.

As of 11:00 Monday night, the American Meteor Society said they had received nearly 200 reports of one or more meteors crossing the skies at about 6:20 p.m. Monday.

The reports came from Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia. The five reports from Georgia included one each in Rossville, Statesboro, Homer, Doraville and Alpharetta.

Most of the reports said the fireball was a greenish-to-white color as it crossed the sky.

11Alive's Greensboro sister station WFMY received a number of reports from viewers in their area.

Comment: There was another fireball seen over Chicago just one hour later:



...and another in Japan on the same day:




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Meteor sightings across Virginia, Eastern U.S.

Meteor
© WJLA file photo
A meteor streaks across the night sky.
Lanham, Maryland - A green fireball was spotted in several states, including Virginia, Monday night.

WNEW received a call from a listener around 6:20 p.m. who said he saw what appeared to be a green and blue light larger than a shooting star cross the sky near I-66 W. He says it fell straight down and he was unsure at first if it was a plane that crashed.

Soon after the call, people in other parts of Va. and across the U.S. took to Twitter to describe their own meteor sightings.

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Newly discovered asteroid 2014 UR116 may threaten Earth

Asteroid 2014 UR116
© Reuters/NASA
Moscow University's robotic telescope has discovered a massive asteroid that could potentially hit Earth in the future. If such a collision happens, the explosion would be 1,000 more powerful the Chelyabinsk meteorite explosion in 2013.

An automatic telescope installed in Russia's Caucasus Mountains, near the city of Kislovodsk, first spotted the newly discovered space rock, dubbed 2014 UR116. The asteroid is estimated to be 370 meters in diameter, which is bigger than the size of the notorious Apophis asteroid.

Once Russian astronomers saw the new space object, they passed the data to colleagues at the Minor Planet Center of the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory. That means many observatories around the world closely scrutinized 2014 UR116, which helped to calculate the object's preliminary orbit.

2014 UR116's orbit is fluctuating because it also passes close to Venus and Mars, and the gravitational pull of these planets can also influence the asteroid's trajectory.

When a meteorite exploded in the skies above the Russian city of Chelyabinsk in February 2013, the energy of the explosion was estimated to be equivalent to 300-500 kilotons of TNT. But the Chelyabinsk meteorite was relatively small, about 17 meters in diameter and it disintegrated with a blast at an altitude of over 20 kilometers.

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Fireball over Alabama captured on video

Fireball
© Jason Reed/YouTube
The moment a bright light streaked across the night sky in Trussville, Alabama, was captured on video last night.

The sighting came as the Earth passed through the debris cloud from Halley's Comet, which produces the annual Orionid meteor shower.

Bill Cooke of NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, told ABC News there were "several bright Orionids last night, as well as a spectacular fireball over middle Tennessee" that he said broke apart at 24 miles altitude just south of Nashville.

Comment: Another possible angle of same fireball:




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Iowa photographer accidentally captures a fireball explosion and smoke trail in his night sky time-lapse

Astronomers can wait decades to see or capture what Ben Lewis photographed by accident while shooting a time-lapse Ashton-Wildwood County Park, Iowa very early this morning. Called a 'bolide fireball,' what you see in the short time-lapse above is an exceptionally bright meteorite that explodes in a bright flash at its end, leaving behind this strange bright puff of red smoke.

To the untrained eye you would think a 'night fury' from How to Train Your Dragon just passed by, but this is in fact a natural phenomenon that, in real time, lasted an amazing 12 minutes!

Shot with a Canon 6D and 35mm lens at f/1.4 10 sec, and ISO 1600 with a 10 second delay between frames, Lewis was actually sleeping when this happened. When he came back to review the footage he initially thought it was an airplane, but upon closer inspection he realized it was much stranger than that.


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Meteor fireball sets the sky on fire over Recife, Brazil


The amazing moment a meteor lights up the sky above the Brazilian city of Recife has been caught on camera.

In the incredible clip, taken on Wednesday at around 10pm, the sky is illuminated with red and yellow light as the meteor crosses the sky.

Locals immediately took to social media to express their surprise at the awesome sight.

'A flaming ball broke apart as it fell towards the ground,' wrote one user on Facebook.

Comment: The above footage could be a transformer blow out, which may be connected to the widely observed fireball. Various cameras caught it:


Problem is, authorities in Recife didn't report a transformer blow-out... so the glowing 'after-effect' lights in the sky could be something else.