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November 18, 2009

Western "fireball" may have been small asteroid

 

A brilliant meteor that startled residents across parts of Idaho and northern Utah early Wednesday morning may have been a small asteroid, scientists say. It exploded in the atmosphere with a force equal to a thousand tons of TNT.

Spaceweather.com reports:

"Witnesses in Colorado, Utah, Idaho and elsewhere say the fireball "turned night into day" and "shook the ground" when it exploded just after midnight Mountain Standard Time. Researchers who are analyzing infrasound recordings of the blast say the fireball was not a Leonid.  It was probably a small asteroid, now scattered in fragments across the countryside.  Efforts are underway to measure the trajectory of the asteroid and guide meteorite recovery efforts."

Security camera footage of the event shows a flash that brightened the sky so much that a street light operated by a light sensor winked out for a time before the sky grew dark again.

Here's a video from local TV.

If this was a small asteroid (or a big space rock of some sort) entering the atmosphere, it would be second one in recent weeks to make news.

Posted by Frank Roylance at 5:22 PM | | Comments (3)
Categories: Sky Watching
        

Comments

- Stephen Hawking: "Asteroid Impacts Biggest Threat to Intelligent Life in the Galaxy"... Stephen Hawking believes that one of the major factors in the possible scarcity of intelligent life in our galaxy is the high probability of an asteroid or comet colliding with
inhabited planets...
- Californian Congressman for Planet X Forsight - The Sky is Falling: the deadly threat posed by Near Earth Objects and what we can do about it By Rep. Dana Rohrabacher ...
- EXPERTS CALL FOR GLOBAL NETWORK TO PREVENT ASTEROID DISASTERS:
http://cristiannegureanu.blogspot.com/2009/06/stephen-hawking-asteroid-impacts.html

Thanks for the link to my video of the meteor.

Eran

Greenish color means copper. More likely man made.

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About Frank Roylance
This site is the Maryland Weather archive. The current Maryland Weather blog can be found here.
Frank Roylance is a reporter for The Baltimore Sun. He came to Baltimore from New Bedford, Mass. in 1980 to join the old Evening Sun. He moved to the morning Sun when the papers merged in 1992, and has spent most of his time since covering science, including astronomy and the weather. One of The Baltimore Sun's first online Web logs, the Weather Blog debuted in October 2004. In June 2006 Frank also began writing comments on local weather and stargazing for The Baltimore Sun's print Weather Page. Frank also answers readers’ weather queries for the newspaper and the blog. Frank Roylance retired in October 2011. Maryland Weather is now being updated by members of The Baltimore Sun staff
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