Fire Balls, Space Junk and Ring Lightning (by )

Wednesday on our way home from the kids drama and singing lessons we saw a weird orange light in the sky that seemed to flare but by the time we had processed it and mentioned it to each other it was just another dimming light that could have been a floating lantern or a satellite or plan wing tip - having just come back from a conference on the paranormal and tricks my mind churned with the possibilities. At first I thought it might be a satellite dancing across the sky or a launch I had lost track off - after all something was due to happen with Space Link wasn't it?

I struggle these days to keep up with launches and fly bys and some are more noticeable that others - also due to the visual distortions caused by a mix of graves disease, damage from head injury ie a blind spot my mind tries to correct for and sometimes wrong colour due to blood sugar levels mucking up my lenses - I am always suspicious of what I see. But I wasn't the only one and we talked about Day of the Triffids and I thought on how it didn't seem right for the fly bys or launches I have seen. Nor if I am honest did it look like any meteor shower I had seen including one with a confirmed landing.

Now as a family weird stuff does happen to us - the probabilities of our life are so extreme they have to be real life because you could not get away with this shiiiite in fiction and sky phenomena is one of the things we seem to be proune too. We have seen clouds with fluorescent edges, cold fire flickering in strange colours(st elmos fire), a green flash from the sunrise, sundogs guarding the sun, moon bows, transits of planets in tear drop shapes across the sun, eclipses, green skies, sand storms in spout form, strange lightning, shooting stars.

I on my own have seen, felt and heard a thunder bolt crash in a flash to the ground - the sound of it was deafening as we sat in our car by the traffic lights - a ring of lightning that arrived in Grey Towers at the end of Hornchurch town centre when I was very small - it was amazing and painful and very too close - I am not sure what the out come would have been if we hadn't been sitting in the car with its rubber insulated feet.

Alaric on the other hand has witnessed not 1 but 2 fatal air craft accidents, on of which they then spent their time administering first aid to the crowd (to be fair they have attended a lot of air shows and been a first aider/emergency response of some sort at many events).

We've seen strange fogs, and rare cloud formations, inverted rainbows, but not the aurora - I thought the translucent clouds we saw were this but they did not shift and move and are another meteorological phenomena called Iridescence or Irisidation. Some I thought could not be real like the dawn flash - but they are along with scientific explanations.

I wonder if it is just because we are outside a lot or because we look to the sky or because the improbable is still probable if there are billions of people living their lives on an increasingly chaotic system of a planet.

So I promised the kids I'd see if there was anything on meteor watch about the strange lights in the sky - and promptly forgot as not only did it remind me of Day of the Triffids but it reminded me of Smallsville - a Superman spin off taking us through the adventures of a town decimated by a meteorite strike - and I ended up knitting and watching that instead. It didn't even seem that strange if I am honest - oh another UFO - I wondered if a satellite had fallen, burning before it could crash into the surface of our world but no biggy really.

The next morning however I woke up regretting that I had failed to capture it on my phone - I had tried but it was over and we were weaving around small roads and I just took too long - now I wanted to know what it was... as a personal set completion - space junk was preferable - from a studying and travelling the cosmos point of view a meteorite would be preferable on many many levels including just not making our own sky a no go travel zone because we've created so much space pollution ie debris.

So what do we know about this fire ball? It was seen most in Scotland and Northern Ireland but others including here in the SW of England saw it, some of which are our friends who commented on my Facebook post - also if you say you saw one mysterious sky object people will tell you all their UFO stories - I like this it is interesting - if you want to share go ahead and leave a comment <3

When I initially checked it was thought to most likely be debris from something and that was being checked out - but later in the day it seemed to have become the meteor scenario - so a rock from space that exploded in our atmosphere from uneven heating caused by the friction of falling through our atmosphere and the different materials, cracks and possible things like ice evaporating to super heated steam very quickly (this process can cause serious explosions as can many gas or liquid reservoirs within things like asteroids - also there are classification systems for all of this which I am semi ignoring to use words more widely know).

WE didn't even really see a fire ball - just a flare at most and there seems to be two times floating around for the even which might be an issue with daylight saving or maybe there are two events which wouldn't be particularly surprising as natural or human origin space debris tends to scatter on its way down especially if there are explosions! Or of course people are people and they make mistakes!

I really thought it was going to be one of the star link satellites if I am honest but according to the UK Meteor Network and other such groups and bodies of experts it looks like it was a meteor and that it is likely to have landed in the sea. There is more sea than land on Earth so that isn't really surprising and I recall several lectures on the finding and not finding of meteorites and the reasons behind this - the Earth is still "accreting" were are hoovering up space dust and being bombarded with rocks and narrowly missing the big chunks of other planets that are no longer planets or never quiet formed into planets in the first place.

Of course I am obsessed with space rocks so could bore you for hours with them - I am currently trying to set things up so that I can collect micro meteorites as such projects like Project Star Dust have managed - I even rope in groups of scouts - mainly we stare at bits of sand blown in from the deserts, or rocks thrown off the road but occasionally something unusual turns up.

(I found that this post had not gone live for some reason so it was back blogged to the date of writing)

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