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Fireballs

Meteor

California teacher reports fireball sighting

Doug Peltz, a science teacher at LePort Upper Elementary & Jr. High, says he saw a bright fireball (meteor) Sunday night from Irvine and is wondering whether others saw the same thing. He's reported the sighting to Orange County Astronomers, one of the country's largest amateur astronomy groups. (Numerous other readers say they saw something. Check Comments below.)

Peltz said in an email that, "At 9:39 p.m. (Sunday, Jan. 10), from East Irvine (Portola Springs), I just witnessed the brightest fireball I've ever seen! It lit up the whole sky, such that my wife at first thought it was lightning.

"Definitely bright blue in color, and it streaked from between Castor & Pollux (Gemini) and Mars. Tracing the path backwards, it seemed to me that its radiant point was perhaps the constellation Auriga. I even heard a crackling sound as it streaked.

Fireball 5

When Meteors Explode: Full Account of a Wild Chicago Night

You might think meteor expert Steven Simon knew exactly what was happening one evening when the skies over his home were lit up by an exploding, 2,000-pound space rock bigger than a refrigerator. But it was only the next day, when nearby residents brought him chunks of the extraterrestrial visitor that had landed in the street and punched through their roofs, that Simon began to understand the true nature of the frightening event.

Now after a year of study, the University of Chicago researcher has helped produce a full account of the giant rock that tore through the atmosphere at 54 times the speed of sound.

Simon was in his Park Forest home about 30 miles south of Chicago with the drapes drawn near midnight on March 26, 2003.

"I saw the flash, and although it lasted longer than a lightning flash, that's what I thought it was," he told SPACE.com last week. "I knew it had rained that night, and thought maybe it was multiple flashes, perhaps diffused by the clouds."

Fireball 2

Meteor believed to have caused bright flash and loud 'thunder' on Sunday

Keen observers of weather might have noticed something odd about the flash of light and the subsequent loud rumble at around 10 o'clock on Sunday night - something that might have tipped them off that it wasn't just thunder and lightning.

A spokesman for the U.S. Naval Observatory said the official belief now is that the brilliant flash, dimmed substantially on the East End by the thick cloud cover, and the very loud and sustained rumble that followed half a minute or more later were actually caused by a large meteor, called a bolide, or fireball, streaking through the earth's atmosphere and bursting apart.

"We were sitting watching television ... and from where I was sitting I could see a bit of light," said Al Marino, who lives with his wife, Eve, in the Northwest Woods section of East Hampton. "Then there was a rumbling, not a boom at first, and then -

boom!

Meteor

Mysterious Sky Flashes Puzzle Pennsylvania Observers

Between 8 and 8:30 p.m. on the night of October 26, 2008, residents in Westmoreland County, southeast of Pittsburgh, reported observing an odd brilliant light show in the sky, which some observers felt was not related to thunderstorm activity. I also have received observation reports from as far away as Somerset County in Pennsylvania, and into Ohio.

The first reports I received were from the Mount Pleasant Township area. Later reports came in from various other areas of Westmoreland County, including North Huntingdon Township, Greensburg and Latrobe.

The initial reports from Mount Pleasant Township, described an intense flash of white light which lit up the sky in all directions. The flash lasted only a fraction of a second. Observers felt certain that this was no lightning bolt. The exact position of where the flash was originating from could not be determined since all sections of the sky were illuminated.

The sky was very clear and full of stars. There was absolutely no thunder or other sound heard at the time.

Meteor

Edmonton, Canada: Mysterious fireball lights up night sky

Numerous people living in Edmonton and surrounding areas are reporting seeing a meteorite-like fireball that lit up the sky.

It not been confirmed as a meteor by official sources, but many witnesses report seeing "bright orange flames" with a large tail that shot horizontally across the sky and then disappeared.

Others said it looked like horizontal lightning, where all the clouds in one huge swath were lit up.


Meteor

UK: Mystery fireball falls from sky

A Bexley woman is hoping News Shopper readers can throw some light on a mystery object seen falling from the sky at the height of last night's storm.

Jean Carpenter, who lives just off Bexleyheath Broadway, was watching the spectacular lightning display from the back step of her home with her son.

Mrs Carpenter, who is in her 70s, said: "We were looking southwards towards Bexley Village at about 9.40pm when we saw an object falling from the sky.

"It was all lit up, as if it was on fire and was just dropping straight down."

Comet

Fireball over Cumberland County, Pennsylvania?

All Jeana Green could think of was that something had exploded in the sky Sunday night.

The North Middleton Township resident, her husband and two of her neighbors sat on a deck talking when the sky lit up about 10:15 p.m.

"It looked like a shooting star, but it was a lot bigger," Green said. "There were pale sparks and orange flames that turned blue-green. Then it was like a fireball, and right before it disappeared, there was a flash like it exploded and it was gone. It lit up the sky like heat lightning."

Chess

UPDATE: Connecting the Dots: The Axis of Evil in Motion Under Peculiar Cosmic Weather



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Update: Dry weather, fires, spontaneous combustion? As it turns out the Taurid meteor event was not a complete bust, more like a combustion:
1st of July 2008 - Witnesses across Southern California say they saw an object 'moving very fast across the northern sky' and falling near the San Bernardino Mountains. Officials have no firm answers on what it was.

From Hollywood Hills to the Nevada state line, people reported seeing a fireball streaking across the sky and falling near the San Bernardino Mountains this morning. But explanations of the mysterious object were scarce.

San Bernardino County Fire Dispatch reported receiving dozens of calls related to what was described as fireball moving at high speed and falling in northwest sky around 10:40 a.m.

"We got quite a few reports. It started with a gentlemen in the Lake Arrowhead reporting a fireball in the Meadow Bay area and then we started getting calls from all over," said San Bernardino County dispatch supervisor Tom Barnes. "Fire crews in Barstow and on I-15 near Stateline came up on the radio and reported an object in the sky moving very fast across the northern sky and described it as yellowish green in color with streaks of debris. It looked like it burned up before it hit the ground."
Now isn't it a "coincidence" that California became engulfed, at its peak, in 1,783 fires across the state, scorching over 527,000 acres, including one in the San Bernardino mountains. Firefighters are still battling over 300 fires. Yet, all the fires are being blamed on "unusual early-summer lightning storms".

Better Earth

Meteorites - The uninvited guests

Meteorites provide information about the formation of the Solar System. They are pieces of very old material that have fallen from space to the Earth. Most result from asteroid collisions in the Asteroid Belt between Mars and Jupiter, but over a dozen from the Moon and another 12 from Mars have also been identified. The three main types of meteorite are stone, iron, and stony-iron. Stony-iron meteorites are the rarest and are often quite beautiful. Antarctica is the best place to find meteorites because there the ice and aridity preserve them, sometimes for as long as a million years.

Each year approximately 40,000 tonnes of extraterrestrial material, most of it dust, bombards the earth. But where does it come from, and why does it land here?

Visitors from space arrive on the Earth with amazing frequency, not as alien monsters or little green people in flying saucers, but as meteorites, extraterrestrial material ranging from the tiniest of dust grains to enormous impact crater-forming bodies. Meteorites were formed at the birth of the Solar System, about 4,560 million years ago. We have no material on Earth this old, so it is only by studying meteorites that we can learn about the processes that shaped our Solar System and our planet.

Fireball

Meteorites may have fallen in southern France following sighting of massive meteor fireball

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The fireball left a spectacular glowing trail in the night sky
The meteor that stunned several French people on January 25th in the late afternoon, may not have fallen in the surroundings of Bourges (Cher), as was first believed.

According to the research done by Dominique Caudron, an amateur astronomer in the North of France, the falling point would be located "a little bit toward the East of Albi, in the surroundings of Paulinet".

In an article published by le Figaro, Pierre Lagrange, a sociologist of sciences and member of the College of Experts working in a team of study and information on Unidentified Space Phenomena (Geipan) at the Centre National d'Etudes Spatiales (National Center of Space Studies) in Toulouse, gives a precise description of the calculations of the young astronomer.

This new localization helps to understand the many reports from witnesses gathered in the Tarn department, even if the celestial object was also seen in other departments of the 'Midi toulousain' (the region surrounding Toulouse).

Comment: Sounds like maybe there were two of these fireballs in France that day, not just one, given the differences in the reports.

Update March 2008

Another fireball over France was captured on camera: