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Couparangus

Anyone see the extraterrestrial last night?

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At the risk of sounding like a UFO junky...

 

I was driving westbound on the 401 last night around 8pm when I saw a large, bright green orb with orange sparks coming out of it travel from north to south across the sky. Lots of people must've seen it because all the traffic on the highway slowed down a little. I put it off as just some kids playing with fireworks until I heard the news this morning and people had sighted it a long way from where Squeakieboots and I were. She saw it too.

 

I also heard a report that it had landed and started a fire, but didn't hear where that happened. It was hard to say from my angle, but if it touched down it may been near Lawrence and Keele (guessing).

 

Anyone else see it?

 

C-A

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It was reported as a meteor. The expert estimated it must have been roughly golf ball size and probably burned up before it hit the ground.

 

Willowbrookfarm

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If you have ever watched a meteor shower and seen the streaks of white light high in the night sky, those are typically about the size of the eraser on the end of a pencil. So, something the size of a golf ball would be quite a sight to see!

 

Since the expert (not sure who that is) says it "probably" burned up before hitting the ground, that leaves open the possibility that it did land and start a fire.

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We saw it last night as well, walking home from my parents house... exactly as you described... like a meteor with a large tail, bluish and "sparks" falling off it... kinda like some cheap special effects in a 1960's movie. from our vantage it appeared to burn up just slightly above the ground, but I am unsure of where the impact would have been as it was apparently visible for a long distance. It appeared almost directly west of St Catharines.

 

DyverDown, DirtyGirl and 2 of The Fantastic 5

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Didn't see it, but definately heard about it. A quick search of Google news shows it was reported in N.Y., Ontario, and Michigan. I do remember seeing one years ago, driving down a road in suburban Buffalo. It looked like it was only a few miles away (oops, I mean KM, this is the Canadian forum :blink:). But the newspaper the next day said it was very small, and landed near Scranton, Pa. about 200 miles away as the crow flies. So who knows where this one yesterday actually was.

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Since the expert (not sure who that is) says it "probably" burned up before hitting the ground, that leaves open the possibility that it did land and start a fire.

 

Meteors cannot start fires when they land unless they're large enough to excavate craters a la Meteor Crater in Arizona, or if they happen to land on something intrinsically unstable and explosive (meteor hits barrel of nitroglycerin).

 

In fact, when they land, they're sometimes even cold to the touch.

 

The reason for this is not obvious, but somewhat straightforward...

 

A small meteor slams into the earth's atmosphere at solar system speeds. There, it compresses the air in front of it, making a nice light show and melting off its outer layers. The really small ones simply burn out of existence this way. Bigger ones, however, due to the amount of surface area and distance to travel relative to the size of the thing, slow down to terminal velocity (150ish km/h) and fall for a LONG time through the mostly very cold atmosphere, landing with a gentle thud somewhere. These ones arrive at surface temperature or colder and although moving relatively slowly, they are still made of iron (mostly, not always) and are still zipping along at freeway speeds and if they land on anything manmade will still mess it up.

 

Huge ones, bigger than a mini-van or two, have enough energy to slam though the atmosphere. They arrive full speed like the little ones and do the compression heating thing to make a nice light show, but they have enough kinetic energy and are of sufficient size to not be slowed significantly by the atmosphere. These either explode in the atmosphere and make a mess (Tunguska), or thud into the ground and make a hole (Meteor Crater, AZ). Either way, these ones can start fires, but it wouldn't really matter if you were nearby because the fire would probably be the least of your worries.

 

The dinosaurs probably saw a great ball of flame zipping through the sky, and a great WALL of flame accompanying the massive earthquake that resulted from the impact.

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You can play with meteor impacts here:

 

http://www.lpl.arizona.edu/impacteffects/

 

If you set this up for a baseball sized object made of iron, you get the following:

 

Your Inputs:

Distance from Impact: 0.01 km = 0.01 miles (ed: if you want to see it up close, stand 10m from impact)

Projectile Diameter: 0.10 m = 0.33 ft = 0.00 miles

Projectile Density: 8000 kg/m3

Impact Velocity: 20.00 km/s = 12.42 miles/s

Impact Angle: 45 degrees

Target Density: 2500 kg/m3

Target Type: Sedimentary Rock

 

Energy:

Energy before atmospheric entry: 8.38 x 108 Joules = 0.20 x 10-6 MegaTons TNT

The average interval between impacts of this size somewhere on Earth is less than 1 month.

 

Atmospheric Entry:

The projectile lands intact, with a velocity 0.0723 km/s = 0.0449 miles/s. (ed: 260 km/h)

The energy lost in the atmosphere is 8.38 x 108 Joules = 0.20 x 10-6 MegaTons.

 

Major Global Changes:

The Earth is not strongly disturbed by the impact and loses negligible mass.

The impact does not make a noticeable change in the Earth's rotation period or the tilt of its axis.

The impact does not shift the Earth's orbit noticeably.

 

Crater Dimensions:

What does this mean?

 

Transient Crater Diameter: 1.01 m = 3.3 ft

Transient Crater Depth: 0.356 m = 1.17 ft

 

Final Crater Diameter: 1.26 m = 4.13 ft

Final Crater Depth: 0.269 m = 0.881 ft

 

The crater formed is a simple crater

 

The floor of the crater is underlain by a lens of broken rock debris (breccia) with a maximum thickness of 0.124 m = 0.408 ft.

At this impact velocity ( < 12 km/s), little shock melting of the target occurs.

 

Thermal Radiation:

What does this mean?

 

At this impact velocity ( < 15 km/s), little vaporization occurs; no fireball is created, therefore, there is no thermal radiation damage.

 

Seismic Effects:

What does this mean?

 

The Richter Scale Magnitude for this impact is less than zero; no seismic shaking will be felt.

 

Ejecta:

What does this mean?

 

Most ejecta is blocked by Earth's atmosphere

 

Air Blast:

What does this mean?

 

The air blast will arrive at approximately 0.0303 seconds.

Peak Overpressure: 783 Pa = 0.00783 bars = 0.111 psi

Max wind velocity: 1.84 m/s = 4.12 mph

Sound Intensity: 58 dB (Loud as heavy traffic)

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Crater Dimensions:

Transient Crater Diameter: 1.01 m = 3.3 ft

Transient Crater Depth: 0.356 m = 1.17 ft

 

Final Crater Diameter: 1.26 m = 4.13 ft

Final Crater Depth: 0.269 m = 0.881 ft

I was going to suggest tracking down the impact site and setting up an earthcache, but maybe a 3-foot hole in the ground would be somewhat lacking in WOW! value. :rolleyes:

 

dave

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I wasn't going to say anything but i did see a UFO on Sunday, it was in the Southern sky north of Toronto. It wasn't green with blue sparks though, it was shiny. I figured it was a plane, but then it disappeared. I looked at the clear sky (surrounded by farmers fields) for a minute or two trying to find a plane, or the object again but couldn't

 

Shame too! I had swifteroo's videocamera with me at the time.. If only I had been more paranoid and thought it was a UFO at first rather then a plane!

 

edit: Just wanted to say it probably has nothing to do with the incident on the 401, which was about 7 hours later then my UFO - Which I can perfectly accept as being a plane and get on with my life :rolleyes:

Edited by Juicepig

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Crater Dimensions:

Transient Crater Diameter: 1.01 m = 3.3 ft

Transient Crater Depth: 0.356 m = 1.17 ft

 

Final Crater Diameter: 1.26 m = 4.13 ft

Final Crater Depth: 0.269 m = 0.881 ft

I was going to suggest tracking down the impact site and setting up an earthcache, but maybe a 3-foot hole in the ground would be somewhat lacking in WOW! value. :rolleyes:

 

dave

 

Yeah, unfortunately most meteors never hit the ground, and most of the ones that do aren't super impressive (beyond the fact that they are from space and there's money to be made finding them!) With more and more land being developed by humans, however, they do hit "stuff" often enough, and every few years there's a news article about someone's house or car getting pummeled. Let's face it, even a small one is still a half-kilo chunk of iron zipping along at a few hundred km/h... you wouldn't want it to land on you.

 

The ones that will rearrange landscape in a significant way only fall every few centuries, and most of those (like most meteors that survive to the surface) hit the water, never to be seen again.

Edited by geoSquid

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Not to belittle an excellent crater in AZ, the first I actually visited, but in Canada we have several great ones. My top choice is of course my Earthcache; The Manicouagan Impact Crater GC119VE

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Cool, I'm glad others saw it. There was an article in theTorStar yesterday about it. I found it interesting that everyone who saw it thought it hit the ground a few miles south of where they were, regardless of where they were. I'm guessing that because we are not used to seeing such high-altitude objects moving so rapidly that the human brain "thinks" that it is much closer than it is. I also found it intriguing that people saw it with different colours. I suspect there is some refraction going on here and it depended upon your viewing angle.

 

As for Juicey's UFO, this could be a refraction phenomena too. Conditions can exist where you can see well over the horizon. Given the change to warmer weather this is more likely too.

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As for Juicey's UFO, this could be a refraction phenomena too. Conditions can exist where you can see well over the horizon. Given the change to warmer weather this is more likely too.

 

Well... mine was perfectly stationary and around 1pm (7 hours before everyone else saw it)

 

Sure, you can account for the refraction of light from the object, but can you account for time dilation? *queue spooky music*

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I also found it intriguing that people saw it with different colours. I suspect there is some refraction going on here and it depended upon your viewing angle.

 

I saw a big one back around 1976. The real interesting thing about it (beside the flaming ball of fire that it was) is that I HEARD it blazing through the night sky. I later learned that it was quite impossible to hear it, but even later yet I learned it is not uncommon for people standing on the ground to "hear" a large meteor.

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As for Juicey's UFO, this could be a refraction phenomena too. Conditions can exist where you can see well over the horizon. Given the change to warmer weather this is more likely too.

 

Well... mine was perfectly stationary and around 1pm (7 hours before everyone else saw it)

 

Sure, you can account for the refraction of light from the object, but can you account for time dilation? *queue spooky music*

Question JP, how high above the horizon and in what direction did you see it? Through some coincidences there is a possible astronomical explanation but the specific one depends one the answers.

 

JD

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Question JP, how high above the horizon and in what direction did you see it? Through some coincidences there is a possible astronomical explanation but the specific one depends one the answers.

 

JD

 

15 degrees-ish above the horizon facing due south

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15 degrees-ish above the horizon facing due south

 

Temperature inversion. You saw it alright, but it wasn't really there.

 

http://www.abc.net.au/science/news/stories/s818193.htm

 

There's some beach in Florida where all the UFO fans hang out to what the UFOs, which have been proven to be refractions from a city hundreds of miles over the horizon.

Edited by Couparangus

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15 degrees-ish above the horizon facing due south

 

Temperature inversion. You saw it alright, but it wasn't really there.

 

http://www.abc.net.au/science/news/stories/s818193.htm

 

There's some beach in Florida where all the UFO fans hang out to what the UFOs, which have been proven to be refractions from a city hundreds of miles over the horizon.

 

Sure. B)

 

but this "night-time phenomenon" was happening at 1pm on a sunny bright day..

 

Anyone else want to fathom a guess? I am willing to accept anything that makes sense. Swamp gas reflecting off Venus has the top spot for beleivability at the moment.

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15 degrees-ish above the horizon facing due south

 

Temperature inversion. You saw it alright, but it wasn't really there.

 

http://www.abc.net.au/science/news/stories/s818193.htm

 

There's some beach in Florida where all the UFO fans hang out to what the UFOs, which have been proven to be refractions from a city hundreds of miles over the horizon.

 

Sure. B)

 

but this "night-time phenomenon" was happening at 1pm on a sunny bright day..

 

Anyone else want to fathom a guess?

 

How about "massive cover up conspiracy to keep the truth from us"? Everybody from the President right on up to the guy who sweeps the floors at an obscure records office in New Mexico... they're all in on it!

 

You realize what the UFO conspiracy really means? It means there are very little of "us".

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Ok JP, from your description I am going for a plane, and in this case US Military from the base near Buffalo or Buffalo airport. When you are in Niagara Falls you can see them take off directly toward Canada and then make an extremely tight turn to the south. Missing Canadian airspace is really a terrifically diffcult thing with a very strange takeoff pattern. When we have a room at the Sheraton Fallsview we can watch the pattern. Its very steep take off, and then a sharp turn which is also accompanied by a bit of a loss of altitude. BOth civilian and military craft do this. Really fascinating to watch.

 

The reason I pick on the US military is that they also fly those huge Hercules out of there occasionally. Its also a B52 base and they fly missions directly to places like Iraq and Afghanistan from there. The extremely tight turn and relatively low altitude means they are visible sometimes from TO for very brief periods, 30 seconds or less at the top of their takeoff attitude. Add to that the lens effects in the atmosphere that occur over water and you could see it under the appropriate conditions on a bright sunny day.

 

JD

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Actually it was me causing the UFO. I can explain if you like. You need a dry cleaning bag, aluminum pie plate and a birthday candle. You affix the dry cleaning back to the pie plate and remove as much metal as you can and still hold the candle. holding the bag up, you light the candle and after a minute or so the bag will inflate and if you're lucky it will rise up. The effect is best on a very cold winter night with little or no wind. It makes for quite an impressive UFO.

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That sounds fun.. Maybe I will send an "Armada" over base borden to see what I can muster up B)

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It works best in cold & dense air. If you get it high enough it shows up quite handily on airport radar, so I've heard (yuk, yuk!! wink, wink!!) B)

 

EDIT: I just found this link This person is really stoking up their balloon!

Edited by Couparangus

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Hello :D

I saw the meteor too ! It was awesome :D

It was bright flourescent green, trailing sparks with a tail.

It must have been between 830 & 930 pm.

I was driving westbound & it was so perfectly obvious right in front of my view. It was incredible.

I've seen some falling stars before, and small meteor showers but nothing so impressive.

I felt fortunate to have been in the right place at the right time, looking in the right spot at the time :lol:

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At the risk of sounding like a UFO junky...

 

I also heard a report that it had landed and started a fire, but didn't hear where that happened. It was hard to say from my angle, but if it touched down it may been near Lawrence and Keele (guessing).

 

Anyone else see it?

 

C-A

 

I lived in North York for many many years before moving to Mississauga and eventually here in New Brunswick.

All I can say for certain is that if it did land at Keele and Lawrence as noted, the meteorite was held at gun or knifepoint, beaten unconscious and stripped of absolutely everything.

Even if someone found it they would not recognize it.

:unsure::)

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