Monday 12 September 2016

Fireball over Cyprus.

The Cyprus Astronomical Society has reported a bright fireball meteor over the island at about 1.00 am local time on Friday 9 September 2016. The meteor is described as having a faint blue colour (which can be caused by a number of metals) and having passed over the island to the north generating a sonic boom. Any surviving fragments of the object are likely to have fallen in the sea (a fireball typically disappears when the meteor causing it explodes in an airburt caused by friction of its surface with the atmosphere; this typically happens several km in the air, with fragments of the rock faling to the ground as meteorites, though they can drift some distance from where the fireball was last seen before reaching the ground). A fireball is defined as a meteor (shooting star) brighter than the planet Venus. These are typically caused by pieces of rock burning up in the atmosphere, but can be the result of man-made space-junk burning up on re-entry.

 The 9 September 2016 Cyprus Meteorite. John Fowler/Flickr.

Objects of this size probably enter the Earth's atmosphere several times a year, though unless they do so over populated areas they are unlikely to be noticed. They are officially described as fireballs if they produce a light brighter than the planet Venus. It is possible that this object will have produced meteorites that reached the surface (an object visible in the sky is a meteor, a rock that falls from the sky and can be physically held and examined is a meteorite).

See also... over North Carolina.                        The American Meteor Society has received reports of a bright fireball meteor being seen over parts of the southeast of North America slightly after 6.00 pm local time (slightly after 11.00 pm GMT) on Thursday 8 September 2016. The fireball was seen across most... over Oregon.                                   The American Meteor Society has received reports of a bright fireball meteor being seen over much of the northwest of North America at about 11.55 pm local time on Friday 2 September  2016 (about 6.55 am on Saturday 3 September GMT). The fireball was... Perseid Meteors.                                     The Perseid Meteor shower lasts from late July to early September each year, and are expected to be at a peak on Thursday 11- Friday12 August 2016. The Moon is expected to be quite bright on that night, however it will be setting at about 1.00 am local...

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