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Sun, 18 Feb 2018
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Fireballs

Fireball 4

'Green comet' spotted in Dubai skies

Dubai UAE skies
© Rustam Azmi/Getty Images
What was the "green comet" that graced the skies over Dubai last night? Image for illustrative purposes.
Confusion abounds over a strange light seen flashing through the Dubai sky on Sunday night.

UAE residents took to social media at around 7pm, asking the public for clues on what some have dubbed a "green comet", and others called a "low-flying flare" or firework.
Anyone see a green light flashing over Dubai / Abu Dhabi. Did you see anything?
- Emma Brain (@EmmaPinkyB) January 7, 2018
Erwin Viado was stuck in slow moving traffic in Al Wasl when his colleague pointed out the object in the sky.

Fireball 2

Very bright bolide turns night into day over vast area of Russia

Bolide lights up sky over Russia January 2018
© The Siberian Times
A mysterious bright flash turned night into day over a huge area of Russia. This was the scene in the region of Tatarstan as the sky turned blue in the middle of the night.
According to The Siberian Times a very bright flash turned night into day over vast swathes of Russia on January 7, 2018 around 00:22 local time. The phenomenon, which was seen over thousands of kilometers, was accompanied by a ground-shaking explosion and occurred near the Ural Mountains and the three republics of Bashkortostan, Udmurtia, and Tatarstan.

Ilnaz Shaykhraziev said:
'I saw the flash, while in Menzelinsk. There was also the sound of an explosion and then a vibration, I felt it.'
Another witness, Denis Rozenfeld, said:
'A meteor burned out, not reaching the lower layers of the atmosphere. Before this it exploded and split into many small pieces. That is why there was such a sound, which came to us in a few seconds. It's a funny coincidence that such a rare phenomenon for our region has happened right on Christmas.'
An astronomer from Kazan Federal University agreed with this assessment. Dr Sergey Golovkin, of the university's Physics Institute said:
'This was a bolide that burnt in the dense layers of the atmosphere which is why it was seen over such a big territory. We didn't register the flash because there was strong blizzard on this night.'

Fireball 4

Bright green meteor fireball startles viewers in northeastern Pennsylvania

Fireball - stock image

Fireball - stock image
This was no early New Year's firework.

Four months after a spectacular fireball was seen over Northeast Pennsylvania and witnessed by people attending a home football game at Wallenpaupack Area High School, another was seen on December 29th, over Lake Wallenpaupack.

Fireballs are extraordinarily bright examples of meteors, still commonly referred to as "shooting stars." Actually small bits of rock and often left over debris from a comet, meteors become visible when they are captured by Earth's gravity, and they vaporize high in the atmosphere.

Typically seen 40 to 60 miles above the ground, this fireball was by no means limited in view from the northern Poconos.

Comment: Just three days before, another fireball was seen over the Northeast U.S. and as far away as Montreal, Canada.

Meteor fireball lights up night sky over New England



Fireball 2

Brilliant blue-green meteor fireball lights up sky in Manitoba, northwestern Ontario

Brisbane, Australia fireball (2006)
© Stephen Hughes
Many Manitobans, as well as people in Ontario and several U.S. states, report seeing a blue-green light in the sky, similar to this one seen above Brisbane, Australia, in May 2006.
A brief and brilliant flash of blue-green ignited the dark sky over Manitoba and northwestern Ontario on Wednesday night.

It also lit up social media with people asking on Facebook and Twitter what it was.
Meteor in Manitoba Facebook post
© (Meanwhile in Selkirk/Facebook
"We're starting to get the sense that there was a bright fireball, which is basically the bigger cousin of a shooting star," said Scott Young, manager of the Manitoba Museum's planetarium and science gallery.

Comment: See also: Several reports of a bright flash of light in the skies of North Dakota, Minnesota


Fireball 2

Mysterious blazing object lights up the night sky over Ocaña, Colombia

This is the moment a mysterious fireball (pictured) snaked its way across the night sky

This is the moment a mysterious fireball (pictured) snaked its way across the night sky
This is the moment a mysterious fireball snaked its way across the night sky, sparking fears that the earth is being targeted by alien invaders.

Footage captured by residents in Colombia shows a large ball of light looming overhead for several minutes.

Slowly, the ominous orange glow fades into the distance and eventually disappears.

The strange sighting took place in the town of Ocana in Norte de Santander, Colombia.

Witnesses say the glow faded from view close to the neighbouring town of Aguas Claras.

Many residents captured the bizarre phenomenon and several videos have gone viral across social media.


Fireball 5

Several reports of a bright flash of light in the skies of North Dakota, Minnesota

Meteor flash over northern Minnesota
© Melanie Boe
We're getting several reports of people seeing a bright flash in the sky, and it sparked our interest here at Valley News Live as well.

Our Chief Meteorologist Hutch Johnson says that this is the peak time of the year for the Quadrantid meteor shower, and he believes that could be behind the mysterious flash.

We've gotten reports from north of the Fargo area all the way up to northern Minnesota in the Lake of the Woods area.


Comment: Update: The TwinCities Pioneer Press reports that an officer with the Bemidji, Minnesota Police Department caught a meteor with his dash cam the same day:
In a video posted Thursday afternoon to the Bemidji Police Department's Facebook page, a meteor can be seen on the officer's dash-cam video plummeting towards the Earth's surface before quickly fizzling out. The video was taken Wednesday night.



Info

Large ancient impact event discovered in Southeast Asia

Impact on Earth
© John R. Foster/Science Source
An artist’s representation of a large impact on Earth.
A kilometer-size asteroid slammed into Earth about 800,000 years ago with so much force that it scattered debris across a 10th of our planet's surface. Yet its impact crater remains undiscovered. Now, glassy remains believed to have come from the strike suggest the asteroid hit southeast Asia as our close ancestors walked the Earth.

"This impact event is the youngest of this size during human evolution with likely worldwide effects," says Mario Trieloff, a geochemist at the University of Heidelberg in Germany not involved in the research. Large impacts can disrupt Earth's climate by spewing dirt and soot high into the atmosphere, where it can block sunlight for months or even years.

Putative remains from this impact have been found before. Researchers have recovered chunks of glassy debris known as tektites across Asia, Australia, and Antarctica, and their distribution pattern suggests the asteroid struck Southeast Asia: The largest tektites-weighing more than 20 kilograms and presumably ejected the shortest distances from the impact-have been found there.

Question

Mystery boom shakes Michigan village blamed on 'frost quake'

Michigan mystery boom
Most days, the Ionia County community of Pewamo is a about as peaceful as it gets. You may hear the rumble of the occasional semi-truck rolling through the village. Otherwise it's pretty quiet.

That was not the case about 4 p.m. New Year's Day.

"We just heard what sounded like an explosion ... It shook the entire house," Bethanie Kramer, who lives outside of the village. "It was not subtle at all. It was 'boom!'"

Kramer wasn't alone. Post after post on the "wassup IONIA?" Facebook page described reactions to the event from all over northeast Ionia County.

"Carson City, down to Westphalia, Lyons, Muir - they all heard it," Kramer said.

Ionia County 911 received four or five calls about the boom, but no reports of injuries or damage.

So far, there are no definitive answers as to what caused it. Speculation ranged from someone playing with dynamite to an earthquake to an attack by North Korea.

One possible explanation that seems to make the most sense has to do with the cold weather that has gripped West Michigan. The sound could have come from a phenomenon known as a frost quake.

Comment: This is what cryoseisms or frost quakes sound like, nothing like "an explosion ... It shook the entire house."

Given that meteor fireball activity is increasing dramatically, isn't it far more likely these folks are hearing overhead meteor explosions? See also:


Comet 2

Did comet impacts kill lots of animals in Alaska?

impact-related microspherules
© Hagstrum et. al/Scientific Reports
To laypeople, the "muck" found in certain areas of Alaska and Yukon is just dirt - dark, silty, often frozen, and full of plant material. To miners, it is somewhat of a nuisance. When dug out and left to thaw, the muck lets loose a fetid stench due to its high organic content. To scientists, however, the muck is a graveyard, and a fascinating one at that. Over the years, thousands of remains of bison, mammoth, horse, musk ox, moose, lynx, lion, mastodon, bear, caribou, and even camel have been uncovered.

More interesting than the mere presence of this zoological gold mine is the actual condition of the remains. Cached inside the frozen mucks for as long as 48,000 years, the remains are remarkably well preserved, with some carcasses mostly intact and effectively mummified. Even more curious, many animals show no signs of predation, scavenging, or decomposition, and despite disarticulated bones, seemed to be in relatively good health at the time of their demise.

This made Jonathan Hagstrum, a research geophysicist at the U.S. Geological Survey, wonder... What killed all of these animals? He and colleagues Richard Firestone, Allen West, James Weaver, and Ted Bunch share an intriguing hypothesis.

They think the seemingly sudden deaths of many of these animals in the Alaskan and Yukon mucks could be explained by airbursts and impacts from comet debris that struck Earth during the Late Pleistocene, between 11,000 and 46,000 years ago. Hagstrum and his colleagues recently presented new evidence for this idea in the journal Scientific Reports.

Fireball 4

Dazzling green meteor fireball seen flying above Peterborough, UK

A photo of the meteor taken by E.Ground which was tweeted to the Peterborough Telegraph

A photo of the meteor taken by E.Ground which was tweeted to the Peterborough Telegraph
It is normally fireworks which light up the sky on New Year's Eve, but incredibly the last few hours of 2017 were graced by a dazzling green meteor which passed through the sky above Peterborough.

The green fireball was spotted in and around the city, with many of you taking to social media in an excited state to share the discovery.

One of the people to spot the meteor was our own photographer David Lowndes who tweeted: "Reports of a very bright meteorite with long tail over sky near Sawtry at 5.30 today. Anyone see it?"

Many people then responded to the tweet to say they had seen the meteor, including Lou whose friend E.Ground had managed to snap a picture of it near Guyhirn.