[meteorite-list] Sonic Boom Rattles Australians

From: Robert Verish <bolidechaser_at_meteoritecentral.com>
Date: Thu Apr 22 09:37:38 2004
Message-ID: <20001227183122.34406.qmail_at_web10401.mail.yahoo.com>

While it has been quiet on the List, there have been a
number of reports and discussions about fireballs,


December 27 , 2000
Night Sky Boom Rattles Australians, Baffles Police

SYDNEY (Reuters) - Australian authorities were baffled
on Wednesday by overnight reports of bright lights and
booming noises in the sky which shook some houses and
prompted fears of falling space junk or meteorites.

Police said they received numerous reports of
``explosions in the sky, sonic boom-type noises and
flare-type lights'' over a two hour period on Tuesday
night from residents along a 124 mile stretch of the
country's east coast.

``There was a huge bang which shook my house,'' one
resident of Bateman's Bay, 177 miles south of Sydney,
told Australian Broadcasting Corp radio.

``I thought the house next door had blown up,'' he

Police said they had contacted meteorology, air
safety, emergency, and defense experts, but were
unable to come up with any official reason behind the
unusual night sky action.

A number of small grass fires were also sparked around
the nearby capital of Canberra at about the same time,
they said.

``No debris has been found,'' a police spokesman told

The noise and lights prompted fears the accident prone
Mir Space station could be making an uncontrolled
return to earth after Russian space officials lost
contact with the 130-ton craft for 24 hours until late
on Tuesday.

The craft, which remains safe in orbit, is to be
dumped in the Pacific Ocean, 900 to 1,200 miles off
Australia, in late February.

Australia's Deep Space Communications Complex said a
small meteorite was the most likely explanation for
the sightings.

``That would cause a sonic boom and would also cause
some good flares around it,'' operations supervisor
Ian Warren told domestic news agency Australian
Associated Press.

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Received on Wed 27 Dec 2000 01:31:22 PM PST

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