Exploding Meteor lights up the Arctic

Video follows. On the evening of Nov. 16th, aurora tour guide Tony Bateman of northern Finland was indoors, warming up between auroras, when his surroundings began to vibrate. “There was a huge bang and the cottage shook violently,” he reports. “At first I thought it was an earthquake. Or maybe a tree fell on the cottage roof! I walked outside and inspected the trees. Everything looked okay.” A quick replay of his aurora webcam solved the mystery. “It was an incredible meteor,” he says.

“It gave me goosebumps to see the night sky turn blue as the meteor exploded,” he says. “Auroras and a fireball–what a night!”

Here is video captured buy a camera used to monitor Auroras:

He adds:

Huge meteor burn up. I was sat [sic] about 10 metres to the left of the camera and felt a huge shockwave. It shook the cottage.

This week Earth has been moving through a stream of debris from Comet Encke, source of the annual Taurid meteor shower. Taurids are rich in fireballs. However, the trajectory of this meteor suggests it was no Taurid.

It appears to have been a sporadic–that is, a random meteor from no particular comet. Every day, Earth is peppered with sporadic meteors from a diffuse swarm filling the inner solar system. NASA statistics show that sporadic fireballs as bright as Venus appear somewhere on Earth more than 100 times daily. Fireballs as bright as a quarter Moon occur once every ten days, and fireballs as bright as a full Moon once every few months or so. The Arctic fireball of Nov. 16th belongs in the rarest of those three categories–a lucky catch, indeed.

Source: NASA’s Spaceweather.com

58 thoughts on “Exploding Meteor lights up the Arctic

  1. Could have been a Leonid – that shower peaks tonight, but I think it is from the wrong direction.
    Is there a time for this?

  2. Well, it has all of the wording ingredients to be a global warming scare story: warming, violent, huge bang, and incredible.

    Maybe this word scramble is where the other stories come from.

    • All of those carbonaceous chondrites are contributing to the increase of elemental carbon on this earth, which will eventually become CO2. What is the AGW crowd going to do to stop this?!

      • Absolutely…it warms the atmosphere which causes it to Puff Up slightly increasing it’s density at altitude and causing potential drag on meteors that would have otherwise slipped by

      • Actually though I think the effect is the opposite. It is believed that CO2 at altitude will cause the upper layer of the atmospheric envelope to cool and contract slightly imparting less drag on satellites (and meteors)

      • You’ve got it completely right, Bryan A. Both times.
        Global Warming causes anything and everything. You’re never wrong as long as you blame it on CO2 and global warming. Self contradictions don’t matter, but they do usually just get one of their buddies to make the contradictory claims, in the hope that other people won’t notice.

    • Yep, something like this would wreak havoc if not out-right kill the ISS. Even if it only destroyed parts of the arrays the imbalance would be a performance issue. The stability gyros could become quickly saturated.

      • Given that the closing velocity could be 50000km/hr or more, I would think that even a very small object could go right through the ISS. Or anything else unfortunate enough to get into its way.

      • Don, the penetration of objects moving this fast can set up shock waves in even solid structures that can have devastating secondary effects, and there is not much to dampen the impact energy motions except for hysteresis losses. If such a projectile were to hit a pressurized volume the energy transfer and shock waves would be explosive.

      • Nice guess, Roy. My guess (after reading link ) is that it is a kota. Build so that a campfire don’t get cold in arctic winter (-; Temperatures can sink far below absolute zero of climatological absolute temperature scale (i.e. °C).

    • My first impression of the image was of a Thomas Kinkade painting, until I noticed the half buried snowmobile, and the garage looks rather common.
      I will guess this was taken from outside of the primary residence looking towards the out-buildings.

  3. When will you people listen to the scientists? It’s obvious that increased Co2 levels are attracting meteorites, we are all doomed !

  4. This is what happens when a meteor hits the “hot spot” caused by CO2. The “hot spot”, obviously, is located at the North Pole, not where others have predicted it would be.


    Santa drove Rudolf through the “hot spot” on a test drive, and Rudolf’s nose ignited the CO2.

    I go with the Santa hypothesis.

  5. Looked a bit slow for a meteorite but that was pretty close.

    I would still like to see one actually hit the ground (in a video of course. If you actually saw a larger one up close, it could easily blind you. Or an even larger meteor would emit so much high energy radiation that you could get fried if you were close to it – think many times hotter than the surface of the Sun emitting ultraviolet and x-rays and only being a few kilometres away from that).

    • A hole in one’s roof is annoying but of course fixing it during the winter might be exciting as well. 🙂

      I hope they find some of the meteorite that fell. It is a remote chance, but not completely impossible. The day is short so searches on frozen lakes are not easy.

  6. This reminds me of during the late 1950s, when I was sitting on my grandfather’s porch in Pittsburgh, on a late sunny, summer afternoon. All of a sudden, a meteor came down towards the west — it appeared brighter than the sun, and exploded overhead. I was surprised that I didn’t hear any boom from the meteor. Another event that I’d like to share, occurred when I was stationed in Italy in the mid-1970s. My wife and I had just watched “Close Encounters of the Third Kind” at the post theater, and we were walking across a field in the dark. All of a sudden, my wife asked “What was that”. She had seen a flash over the mountains to the south of us. I looked, and I saw this bright object approaching from the south, and it kept getting larger and larger as it approached, until it occupied most of the sky. I kept asking myself if this was a UFO. But, when it was overhead, I realized I could see the stars through it — it was a meteor that had exploded near the horizon, and all the fragments were traveling at about the same speed. And I could see the meteor trails behind the fragments, as it went overhead.

  7. Huge meteor burn up. I was sat [sic] about 10 metres to the left of the camera and felt a huge shockwave. It shook the cottage.

    • “Continuous tenses, also called progressive tenses, are used to describe a continuing action. The present, past, and future continuous tenses are formed with the present, past, or future of the verb to be and the present participle, i.e., the form of the verb that ends in -ing:

      ‘We were sitting in the hotel lobby.’

      In the comments to a post I wrote on the uses of sit and set, a reader brought my attention to an odd usage current in Britain. He provided this example:

      ‘The boy was sat on a rock by the harbour when the ship docked.’

      The meaning of the sentence calls for a continuous tense:

      ‘The boy was sitting on a rock by the harbour when the ship docked.’ The action of sitting was going on at the time the ship docked.

      A post at the Oxford Dictionaries blog indicates that, while the usage may be popular among many speakers of British English, it’s not considered standard usage.

      I’ve noticed several instances of ‘She’s sat at the table eating breakfast.’ This construction is still regarded as non-standard.–OxfordWords blog

      According to the OED blogger, the aberration is limited to the verbs sit and stand:

      ‘It is 2pm and I am sat in my parents’ living room, talking to one of the cats.’

      ‘We were stood at the bar waiting to be served.’

      “Was sat” for “was sitting” seems to be a dialect form that has crept into the British mainstream. It is to be hoped (OK, I hope) that it won’t catch on with U.S. speakers.”

      Sorry, the cat’s out of the bag and is now sat in my living room here in the U.S.

  8. Scientists who study small objects in the inner solar system generally recognize three types.

    Larger objects (say centimeters to meters size) still in space are called meteoroids.
    Those meteoroids that strike the Earth and often fall to the ground are called meteorites. Sometimes these meteorites (mostly rock) have low internal strength and break-up in the atmosphere from the entry forces. Such break-ups produce many smaller objects also moving at high velocity, and the result is often a bright flash and explosion sound, like the one described here. Most meteorites probably derive from asteroids in the belt between Mars and Jupiter, although some may derive from dead comets.

    Meteors are the long, glowing light streaks formed when millimeter sized grains burn up in the very high atmosphere. Most meteors probably derive from comets and have been expelled by the volatile boil-off when comets pass close to the Sun. Thus meteoroids are sometimes associated with orbits of comets. Meteor residue, thus comet residue (called cosmic dust), is collected on dust filters by high-flying aircraft and brought to Earth for study. These residual grains indicate that the basic make-up of meteors is different from meteorites from asteroids.

  9. It doesn’t seem likely to me that this caused a “huge shock wave” I have personally seen quite large meteorites burn up very bright, they do light up the sky, though there’s not too much sound.

  10. It doesn’t seem likely to me that this caused a “huge shock wave” I have personally seen quite large meteorites burn up very bright, they do light up the sky, though there’s not too much sound.

  11. Phoenix Arizona has a bright meteor that night too.
    At 830 pm MDT aTuesday A bright meteor exploded in eastern AZ.

  12. That was brighter than a full moon. They need a fourth category.

    If anything I’m worried about, it’s an asteroid impact. Even moreso than the risk of getting mugged or in a car accident.

  13. Same observation i nothern Norway. The police called the most famous astrophysicist in the counrty !

  14. I recall when the Chelyabinsk meteor, a superbolide caused by an approximately 20-metre near-Earth asteroid that entered Earth’s atmosphere over Russia on 15 February 2013 that President Putin first speculated that the USA was behind re-directing to it to Russia. Perhaps Vlad is just a bit paranoid these days, but sure would make for a good movie plot. Who knows, maybe it is true, but the energy required to do so in the vastness of outer space probably isn’t really available yet. But if a nice sized little nickel iron meteorite made a direct hit on Moscow or DC, you would have to wonder. Talk about sticks and ‘stones’.

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