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Thread: Huge explosion in Canterbury?

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    Default Huge explosion in Canterbury?


    Hope everyone's OK down that area.

    Huge explosion heard in Canterbury
    12 September 2006

    BREAKING NEWS - 3.15pm
    Police have been inundated with calls after a huge explosion was heard in Canterbury.

    Residents in east Christchurch said their houses shook and rattled dramatically. Emergency services are heading to east Christchurch to investigate.

    Early reports suggest the noise may have been a sonic boom caused by space junk like a meteorite entering the atmosphere.

    The noise was heard as far north as Hanmer Springs through to Christchurch.

    More than 1000 meteorites hit the Earth every year, although many more burn up in the atmosphere before impact.

    - The Press
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    Default Re: Huge explosion in Canterbury?

    And the truth is .........

    Massive sonic boom from meteor
    12 September 2006

    A massive sonic boom rent the skies above Canterbury today as a meteor sped to its fiery end ? but if, and where, it fell remains a mystery. Scientists said the boom was heard as far afield as Wellington, and sightings of a bright speeding light, then cloud of smoke as the meteor apparently burst into a fireball, were reported all over Christchurch.

    One astronomer said it was likely the meteor completely disintegrated when it burst into flames, and debris from the alien visitor was unlikely to be found. The meteor was detected by instruments used to measure earthquakes at two Canterbury recording sites.

    Kevin Graham was working in his garage workshop in Rolleston, 22km southwest of Christchurch, when he heard the boom. His first thought was it was a September 11 anniversary attack, he said. "I don't frighten very easily but I was just about shitting myself," he said.

    He spoke by phone to his wife in the Christchurch suburb of Addington who had run outside because she thought the Addington Raceway stand was going to collapse. "I ran outside because I thought my place was going to collapse as well," Mr Graham said.

    He said the sound shook the garage and he could feel shock waves in the air. "It started off with a little boom then a real massive boom. And I mean massive ? like the daddy of all booms," he said. "I was wondering what happened and I thought `oh, September 12', because we're a day ahead of the States.

    Emergency services were inundated with calls from the public about the noise. Christchurch Fire Communications received its first calls from the public started at 2.53pm today, with people reporting windows rattling and the air "shaking". Police communications fielded over 100 calls in quick time.

    Hanmer Springs police officer Senior Constable Chris Hughey likened the meteor to Haley's Comet, which he saw when it last passed near Earth in 1986. "All it looked like was a vapour trail from a plane coming in at huge altitude," he said. "It was a crystal clear day here in Hanmer and it appeared to have a red ball or something at the front. Then it split into about three and just disappeared."

    Mr Hughey said he did not hear the loud sonic boom. He had seen a few small meteors "coming in here and there" over the years but nothing like today's one. "Never coming in on that angle. "It just disintegrated at great altitude. It was moving, too. I don't know what speed they come in at, but it was going."

    Resident superintendent of the University of Canterbury Mt John Observatory Alan Gilmore said the reports seemed to confirm the meteor burst into a "terminal fireball" while travelling over Canterbury, possibly as low as 60km above the ground.

    The meteor would have broken through the atmosphere at a rate of between 10 and 20 kilometres per second. The thicker air closer to earth could have slowed it down to about 40,000kph, and it was this rapid deceleration that would have caused it to break, Mr Gilmore said. "The stress on the rock is so intense, that it just goes flash and breaks up into a ball of smoke or fire."

    A couple of sightings had put the meteor landing in fields but Mr Gilmore said these seemed to have been discounted. He could only make a "wild guess" at what size the meteor had been, but said he would be very surprised if it had been larger than a basketball.

    It was an exciting, if not totally unusual event. Nine meteorites had been recovered in New Zealand ? the most recent being a four billion-year-old 1.3 kg rock which hit the home of Phil and Brenda Archer in Auckland on June 12, 2004.

    The rock travelled up to 700 million kilometres from the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter before punching through the couple's roof.
    Mother Bear

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    Default Re: Huge explosion in Canterbury?

    Aw man, why do I always miss the good stuff? :'(
    If men had wings and bore black feathers, few of them would be clever enough to be crows.
    - Rev. Henry Ward Beecher, mid-1800s

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    Default Re: Huge explosion in Canterbury?

    Scientists rule out mystery object as meteorite
    13 September 2006
    By CULLEN SMITH



    It looks like cross between a piece of volcanic foam and a hunk of West Coast coal, but scientists today ruled it out as a meteorite. National Radiation Laboratory scientists today pored over the 15cm by 7cm by 3.5cm grey-black object found in a Dunsandel paddock yesterday after a massive sonic boom above Canterbury.

    Dunsandel woman Tanya Haigh found the mysteriously light piece of rock and handed it to police last night suspecting it might have been a fragment of the meteor that flashed across southern skies just before 3pm.

    Under international protocols for man-made objects thought to have come from space, police contacted the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, which called in the boffins to check whether it was radioactive and a hazard.

    Christchurch-based National Radiation Laboratory group general manager Jim Turnbull said today the object may well have come from space, but it was almost certainly not a meteorite. Neither was it radioactive. "I think we can state with some confidence that it's not a meteorite," Mr Turnbull said.

    The object's density was about one-tenth of what would normally be expected of a meteorite. He said the object would be held at the laboratory until Miss Haigh as the "owner" indicated what she wanted done with it.

    Canterbury University had indicated an interest in the object if it was proved to have come from space, but the university's expert geologists were overseas at present.

    Mr Turnbull said the university's geology department was the "most obvious place" for further analysis. "They would be able to determine quite quickly whether it's a metal or some form of lightweight rock material or a naturally-occurring material," he said. "Probably the only way that you'd actually get a real handle on it would be to section it, look at the cross-sectional characteristics and possibly take some of the material and subject it to further analysis."

    That would probably destroy the object or alter it markedly. Mr Turnbull said the laboratory "would not want to go there" without the owner's permission. "They may be quite happy just to have it back to sit on their mantelpiece and look at, or put it on Trade Me."

    The laboratory was "quite happy" to hold the object and had contacted police to get them to find out from the owner what she wanted to do.

    Mr Turnbull said there was no doubt something entered the atmosphere yesterday and probably exploded. "But whether that had anything to do with it, who knows?"

    Miss Haigh said she "definitely" wanted to find out more about the object she picked up from her paddock. She said she would discuss things with her partner before making a final decision on whether to have it analysed further.

    - NZPA
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    Default Re: Huge explosion in Canterbury?

    Yellow fireball seen in Waikato sky
    21 September 2006 ?
    By AARON LEAMAN

    A bright yellow ball was seen streaking across the Hamilton sky about 6.15pm yesterday, leaving a whispy black line in its wake.

    Times reporter Aaron Leaman saw the object and thought it was a meteor.

    He saw the object from the Waikato University tennis courts and said it was heading west toward Raglan.

    It was visible for about 30 seconds before dropping out of sight.

    Hamilton Astronomical Society member, and past president, Carol Thompson said the streaking object could have been a meteor.

    Meteor sightings were not uncommon, she said.

    It was impossible to say where it might have landed although it could have burnt up before hitting the Earth or landed out to sea, she said.

    Earlier this month a meteor was seen racing across the Canterbury skies and was accompanied by a sonic boom as it travelled at an estimated 40,000km/h.

    Mrs Thompson said anyone who saw yesterday's streaking object should contact the Hamilton Astronomical Society and fill out a fireball-meteor report form.
    Mother Bear

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