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Bright meteor over northern South Africa (2009 Nov 21)  @psychohistorian.org

Bright meteor over northern South Africa (2009 Nov 21)

posted: 3837 days ago, on Sunday, 2009 Nov 22 at 01:39
tags: astronomy, meteors.

Late on Saturday night, 2009 November 21, a very bright meteor was seen flashing across the sky from the northern parts of South Africa.

Videos (on YouTube)

ViconIP - Highway PTZ - 11-21-09 22.52.10.mpg
Posted by: dimrob

Meteor video from Limpopo Province - 21/11/09
Posted by: MarcForrest

Bright meteor over South Africa (2009 Nov 21)
Reposted by: Auke Slotegraaf

Tim Cooper, Director of the ASSA Comet & Meteor Section, estimates that the apparent magnitude of the meteorite was –18.

"I think it is highly likely it hit the ground somewhere north of our borders," Tim writes. He notes that the most northerly sighting came from north of Gweru, Zimbabwe. "Reports also from as far west as Rustenburg, and as far east as Ezulwini, Swaziland" were received, he writes.

The size of the meteorite has been estimated as that of a rugby ball.

In an update today (2009 Nov 30), Tim mentions the possibility that the object was a cometary fragment. "What lends credence to this possibility is the short duration (nearly all reports say 3-4 seconds) and the fact that this was claimed to be a very, very energetic event," he writes.

Another update today, from Freddie Roelofse (Senior Petrologist, Council for Geoscience):

"Only one of our seismic network's stations, the one at Musina, picked up something, possibly a sonic boom at ~23h00 local time on 21 November 2009. We are presently still waiting for feedback from the CTBTO regarding the infrasound data, but it appears as if the event may have been recorded at three infrasound stations. As these things go, the data interpretation may take some time to do, but hopefully we'll get to the bottom of this in due course.

"Please also see the attached Google Earth image that I've constructed using details from the eye-witness accounts posted on your website.

"White dots show localities where the meteor was seen and blue, green and red dots localities where it was seen and heard and / or felt. To me this suggests that the meteor travelled in a northerly direction and broke up or impacted somewhere in eastern Botswana or Zimbabwe. Note also the location of the Musina station of our seismic network."

Dr Claire Flanagan, director of the Johannesburg Planetarium, provided an update on AstroNet (Sunday, 2009 Nov 29):

"We've had huge number of calls and e-mails about this, they've been arriving faster than we can collate them the whole week, and I apologise for not writing this earlier, but here's a brief update from the Planetarium:

"A number of people around the Tuli block border area reported hearing an explosion-type noise, so it seems if anything remains of this meteor / object then it may have fallen there. I believe there's people looking around there this weekend…

"Roger Gibson (Wits University Impact Crater research group) has been trying to collate reports of sightings that include reports of sound heard - the time from the sighting of the fireball to hearing anything puts limits on the distance (similar to timing thunder that follows lighting, although in this case we may be hearing a sonic boom). It is therefore very important that any reports like this include not just an estimate of time delay between events, but also… some detail of how they estimate the time.

"Here at the Planetarium, I'm still following up and collating reports. One thing I can say is that there's been a huge amount of public interest - probably more than in any other similar sighting since I've been here.

"Video recordings would help tie down the trajectory. This would obviously help work out where the object landed (if it did). They would also help work out where it came from. There is a very interesting (but a bit way-out) possibility here - could this have been part of the alpha-Monocerotid meteors? If it was, it was almost certainly a chunk of comet - the alpha Monocerotids seem to be a not-that-well-known shower that has produced short (30min) bursts of meteors half a dozen times over the past century. I'm on thin ice here, it's not my field, so feel free to put me right. The single easy-to-analyse report is from an Australian (embarrassing!) amateur who saw it from Limpopo - coming from roughly the right direction. Tim's going to call him and ask him more.

"The other thing that could possibly be obtained from video is an analysis of the explosion itself - what happens when a lump of something smashes into us? Mark Boslough from Sandia Labs in the US has asked for any video we have, so he can test his simulations of lumps smashing into the atmosphere, and I'm passing on clips to him. He would want accurate time on the video, so IT IS CRUCIAL THAT CLOCKS OF VIDEO RECORDERS THAT CAUGHT THIS ARE NOT RE-SET - it is much much easier to sort out clock corrections in the analysis than to have to deal with a clock reset of the equipment.

"It would also be great if the camera was not shifted or adjusted for a while.

"Video recordings with the trail visible in them are obviously the most useful for both trajectory and for studying the explosion. There is a secondary project that could come out of this - using clips that recorded the flash but not the trajectory (because they faced the wrong direction) - in some of these, there are VERY nice shadows, and even if these clips turn out to be unnecessary, they would make a very nice student project. And a nice Planetarium visual.

"So, we're still hunting for clips.

"We've called SANRL to find out if there are any traffic / road-monitoring cameras in the country that may have picked up something. Apparently such cameras are only installed in Gauteng, and they're going to have a look for us.

"Lee-Anne McKinnell is looking through the ionosonde data to see if it caught anything.

"I spoke to a guy at Air Traffic Control (actually ATNS) - he says normal commercial radar won't have seen it (it uses a identify-friend-or-foe system over that sort of distance), but he'll ask around at the Air Force.

"And it sounds like Magda's spent the weekend walking around farms in her area gathering reports…"

Freddie Roelofse (Senior Petrologist, Council for Geoscience) is using seismic and infrasound data to study the event and to determine if the meteor did indeed make land-fall.

"A provisional trajectory for the object [suggests] that it travelled in a northerly direction and probably broke up or impacted somewhere in eastern Botswana or Zimbabwe," he writes.

Readers are encouraged to contact him with their accounts (tel: +27 12 841 1303, e-mail froelofse[AT]geoscience.org.za

Websurfers to psychohistorian.org have kindly shared their impressions:

Megan Mcguinness (2009 Nov 28 @18:20) writes:

"Hi, my name is Megan, I live in Fourways in JHB. Standing on my balcony on Saturday 21 November, Facing towards Pretoria, at about 11pm seen the "Fireball" Meteor. It was definately way to big to be a normal shooting star and lit up the entire sky for a few seconds. Fantastic!!!!"

thilo (2009 Nov 28 @01:11) writes:

"Our account is quite similar to many above. My husband, my son and myself were driving on the Gaborone - Francistown Road in Botswana, probably about 9 kms North of Gaborone at around 11 - not sure of exact time. We saw a ball of fire hurtling across the sky. My initial reaction was that it was from a firework display - only to realise the magnitude far exceeded that of a firwork display and the Visual was nothing that I had ever seen before. I thought it was possibly some kind of military exercise since we saw it just above a military base
"It lit up the sky like it was daylight. It turned into a bright orange light. We were too mesmerized to have any rational reaction like tak a photo. To me the sighting lasted more than 10 seconds - but I did not measure it. It also seemed to explode/dissipate just ahead of us.
"If there any residues to be found, I do feel that something could be found in a 50-60 km semi circular radius north of Gaborone
"I did call our Air traffic Control (who is about 10 kms from our home) immediately that I got in, but the person on duty had not seen anything. Although one of the new people coming on duty had seen exactly what we had seen.
"To me it was one of the most awesome, scary but fantastic experience."

Steff Van Emmenis (2009 Nov 27 @10:19) writes:

"It was awesome! I live in Durban, but was in Joburg for the weekend.
My friend and I were at a rock show at Cool Runnings, Fourways when we saw the meteor. Luckily we were outside the club in the beer garden when it came down.
I've seen a lot of shooting stars, but that was truely phenominal!!! It was a bright orange fireball that lit up the sky with a blue flash. You could actually see the smoke trail behind it. It felt much closer than it actually was.
I'd hate to be underneath something like that when it hits!"

Mandy Millican (2009 Nov 25 @17:31) writes:

"I live in Ballito, KZN, and also saw the brilliant green flash in the distance. I am glad to hear that other KZN reports have also come through as i was not sure if what i saw was a meteor or what! I would love to see more footage though…"

George Liakos (2009 Nov 25 @13:30) writes:

"Also saw the meteor flash on Saturday. Time about 10:58pm. Sky background turned blue (like daytime but not as bright), clouds were white with orange fringes. Flashes for about 2 seconds. Maybe 3 flashes (like when fluorescent light is switched on. And then it was all over. My view of the sky was limited, saw no fireball. It was quite amazing: the blue sky at midnight."

Francois (2009 Nov 24 @21:47) writes:

"On Saturday night at 22:52, I was driving in a westerly direction from Meyerton to Alberton when we saw what we thought was a normal shooting star…
Needless to say, we were awestruck by what happened next… the fireball grew bigger and bigger and actually lit up the sky to such extent that we got scared. The sky became a bright green or blue orange/green colour for a few seconds and the fireball broke up into three pieces. Truly something out of a sci-fi movie. It was so low on the horizon we could almost see it fall somewhere, where it made a circle at the end? My wife thought for a moment it was Armageddon LOL but I must be honest, this was nothing like we ever saw in our entire lives."

Martin (2009 Nov 24 @14:58) writes:

"We left a wedding @ Lapeng Lodge and were driving North on the R37 (probably one of the darkest roads in SA) towards Burgersfort. The sky lit up as if God was using his new Arc Welder.
Suddenly, right infront of us, a yellow & red ball, similar to a flare, 'fell' out the sky. It left a burning blue trail behind it. It did look like its falling straight down and as we saw it, it started breaking up just before impact. We did not hear anything but it was amazing to have witnessed it!"

Susanne (2009 Nov 24 @13:21) writes:

"We were sitting outside on a farm near Ficksburg when the sky lit up like a polar light for a second or so and then faded out again. I was facing north and could just see it turn to a dark red/purple on the horizon. We thought that the cocktails Lizette had made for were making us halucinate.... It was an awesome experience and I am so happy that many people had the same experience."

Magda Streicher (2009 Nov 24 @13:08) writes:

"We're making progress in finding out more or less where the meteorite hit.
Some 60km west of Alldays, and 20km from Maasstroom and 15km from the Botswana border, on the farm Exiter, the wall of the farmer's house was cracked, the door shot open, and the Earth trembled."

Nico Stark (2009 Nov 24 @12:23) writes:

"We were having a braai on Saturday night when we experienced the bright light. First the light was illuminating above the clouds and the seconds later the whole earth as far as we could see was lit up like daylight. Even the sky was blue again for a brief moment. I was facing north and saw a very intense red glow like a rod on fire sticking out of the ground. The red glow did not die out but was suddenly gone. Afterward and after all this info I realize I might have seen the tail of the meteorite disapear over the horizon. Bur why was there no movement of whatever I saw. Did I maybe see the trail of impact on the side of a mountain? We were on our farm near Ventersdorp just across from Rietspruit dam."

Billie (2009 Nov 24 @08:47) writes:

"I live in Hillcrest (Durban) and my friend and i were on our way home down Key Ridge N3 at 23:00 o'clock and we saw this amazing green ball flying through the sky and when it hit the ground the whole sky lit up in these amazing colours. My mom was travelling back to Underberg and she was the same light and my brother in law was in Waterfall and he saw the same light. Was a beautiful thing to see."

John Bufton (2009 Nov 23 @21:02) writes:

"I live in the Waterberg (Limpopo), at roughly 22:55 I also saw the sky light up for a number of seconds.
"However a short while later there were 2 very slight vibrations in the ground a minute or so apart.
"Is it possible that the meteor did not break up in the atmosphere but split in two, and the impact of the two pieces hitting the ground caused the slight tremor?"

Mrs Kohl (2009 Nov 23 @18:16) writes:

"My husband and I were driving on the N3 passing the London Bridge offramp. The time was 22h57pm according to our car clock. It was relatively clowdy and from where we were it was very confusing because it seemed the big bright green light which was white in the center became brighter as it got closer to the earth's surface. It was strange because it seemed really close and low. My husband was convinced that it had landed on the next off ramp(Marlboro) and because we did not see it's impact point I was certain it went far... Whatever it was.. it really was LARGE in size! Quite amazing! I'm really keen to see how big it is and perhaps where it landed. i do hope it is found.. I'm sure a lot of us have a lot of unanswered questions around this."

Magda Streicher (2009 Nov 23 @17:14) writes:

"At the farm site around 15km from the Zimbabwe border, 16km north of the little town Alldays … The brightest light ever seen was light up the bush field as far as the eye could see, you should be able to read a book! The next second an impact sound close to that of a bomb blast which sound like a definite ground impact sound, follow up with an after sound that went over into a rattle sound which last for around 3 seconds. My room windows rattle and suddenly it was dead silence.
"I telephoned various people around the area and there was a few who saw the bright meteorite entry.
"Johan Willemse report from Botswana just over the border at Platjan who was outside in the field at the time. He reports that the blinding meteorite turn into a fiery red purple fire ball. In this stage a loud sizzling sound was heard, burning smoke was seen and the earth was rambling with windows shaking like mad. His children cried and was very scared by it all.
"Philip du Plessis report from a farm close to Platjan border post that he thought his house is been blast away and ran outside with shock.
"Pieter Lombard saw the meteorite also going into the direction of the north west border between SA and Botswane. He also saw the meteorite as a glowing burning ball of fire.
"Schalk Potgieter was in Waterkloof just north of the Southpansberg between Louis Trichardt and Alldays. He reports a blazing white meteorite light up the field and travel with speed. He also heard the impact sound, although not that loud.
"This morning, Monday I talk to another Botswana guy who said that the impact was like a bomb blast close to him. He stayed around 20 kilometres inside Botswana from the SA border. Because of the rain no fire was report in the area around us. It looks like the sound was been heard over a radius of more that 150 kilometres."

petrasha (2009 Nov 23 @16:34) writes:

"hi, it was scary. on our party, we were sitting around a big fireplace. 11.57 pm we saw a very bright and white light on the sky. it feels, somebody turns on the light. everybody looked into another direction and everybody had the feeling, it went off in the direction they looked. we are in pretoria east."

poehler (2009 Nov 23 @16:18) writes:

"saturady, 21.11.2009
we were sitting outside arround the fireplace. at 11.57 pm when we sit in a bright light. everybody from us looked in other directions, and everybody thought, it went in one direction away. i live in pretoria east!
meteorit? comet? what did we saw?"

Louis van der Merwe (2009 Nov 23 @14:47) writes:

"I was preparing for the Monocerotids meteor shower on my farm near the Botswana border, between Thabazimbi and Ellisras, with total silence and saw the area surrounding the house (I was inside) lit up by a massive lighting strike at around 11PM - as I knew there were no clouds in the sky, I ran outside and confirmed this was not a lighting bolt-there was NO noise accompanying this event-wish I was outside to see it!"

Elisa (2009 Nov 23 @14:38), via ASSA website, writes:

"I'd like to give you my account of what we saw on the 21st of November, 2009, Saturday night at around 11pm.
We were at an upstairs open-air bar which faces the airport landing runway (N12 highway). The (what I think) was a comet came flying from a South Eastery direction at an angle of about 45 degrees to the Eastern horizon. It was a ball that glowed a luminous green and seemed to be roughly the size of the moon (not the moons diametre in actual kilomtres, but the size that the moon appears from the Earth). It had a trail of luminous green behind it. If I had to hold up 30 centimetre ruler to the sky and look at it from my viewpoint, that is roughly how far it travelled in that state. It then changed for just an instant into an orange ball and then burst into flames. It carried on travelling (another 30 centimetre ruler) but now as a firing ball with a firey trail. It sped towards a North Westerly direction and disappeared (at this point the angle was roughly 5 maybe 10 degrees from the horizon).

I do not remember the sky changing colour, if anything it was just brighter around the area the meteor/comet was travelling.
I am believer in UFO's but really I do not think that it was one. I've seen comets many a time and what I saw definitely was not a UFO. Why are the papers reporting it as such? (Not that I am blaming you for that).
Also, why are some reports claiming it was 8 o'clock at night? Are there seperate incidences here?
Hope the information helps."

Subsequently, Elisa spoke to her sister, also from Boksburg:

"My sister was driving in a Southernly direction at 11pm and she saw the sky change from night to day for a few seconds. This might mean that people witnessing the event from a North position looking South (those who saw it coming at them) saw the light emitted from the comet/meteor whilst those viewing it from a Southern view, looking North, saw the comet/meteor moving away from them and therefore (like myself) did not see a great flash of light but the actual comet/meteor itself."

Louis Viljoen (2009 Nov 23 @14:20) writes:

"We were a few people, departing from a friends house on a farm near Harrismith, that confirmed that they also saw the bright light. We were travelling in a southern direction when I saw a bright white lined light in my rearview mirror. After that we saw the night come to light with a greenish colour. It was spectacular. No sounds were heard!"

Petro Botha (2009 Nov 23 @14:02) writes:

"Thabazimbi Limpopo.At last I am not alone... something woke me, and a light, dim at first were shining through my bedroom window but the full impact of the light as it came closer was blinding. At first I thought I was dreaming cause everything was so quiet. The light moved north. What an experience."

Chrystelle (2009 Nov 23 @14:00) writes:

"Hi, we also saw the bright light on Saturday around 23:00. We where on my father-in-law's game farm +/-30km out of Polokwane/Pietersburg. I noticed a burning object in the sky and made it out for a flare or something of that sort, but as soon as it hits the earth it lighted up the farm with a bright green light at first and then a white bright light. It was the most scary thing I have ever experienced in my life. There was no warning of a sort. No sound, no feeling nothing. It makes you think what will happen in 2012?!"

Christo (2009 Nov 23 @13:48) writes:

"I also saw the light. It puzzled me and I stayed awake trying to retionalize what i 've seen. I came to the concluusion that it could only be onne of three things A) Meteor b)Massive exploison of some sort c) Some kind of electrical storm"

Marius de Lange (2009 Nov 23 @11:53) writes:

"Hi im based in Gweru 400km north of musinna in the midlands of zimbabwe and saw this bright meteor at aobout 11 pm on saturday night."

denise huxham (2009 Nov 23 @11:47) writes:

"I was at the Limpopo Lipadi Game Reserve in Botswana 21/11/2009.This is on the Limpopo River, very close to the Zanzibar border crossing. Around 23h00 here was a very bright light that streaked across the sky, about 10 minutes later there was an explosion that shook the building we were in. It was a very very big and loud explosion. probably further north in Botswana. We thought it was a meteor that had impacted.I have asked people at the reerve to let me have more details, as I am back in Pretoria now."

John Power (2009 Nov 23 @11:04) writes:

"I awoke to a loud bang like an explosion - thought maybe the Venetia mine were exploding, sounded like artillery shells, then the sky lit up and it seemed brightest in west toward Limpopo river, sort of west of Alldays..it was amazing, and there was a tremble through the air - realised it was meteor of sorts."

Maryke (2009 Nov 23 @10:48) writes:

"We saw the light in Clubview Centurion. The sky suddenly turned blue/white, and then changed to orange/yellow/red, which was followed by a ball of fire. After the ball of fire disappeared the sky returned to normal. All of the above happened within seconds, but afterwards it was as if you could see some kind of "after glow" (yellow Glow) on the horizon. This happened 22:55 - 21/11/2009"

Tracey (2009 Nov 23 @10:32) writes:

"Uplands, White River
We were running a cash bar at a farewell and through the skylight windows, we noticed a bright orange light. Some wrote it off to lightening but it looked more like an explosion of sorts."

Zenda Marais (2009 Nov 23 @10:26) writes:

"On Saturday evening, around 11pm, my husband was just about to close our back door, when we both saw a flashing white light, almost blue, like the colour of the xenon lights on a vehicle passing through the sky. I asked my husband what this was, and he said, the only thing that can make that much light at night, is a flair like they used in the army days. I was amazed the next morning to hear of several people all over the northern region of South Africa that was witnessing the very same thing. According to some people, they think that the impact was about 200 km or so near Botswana or in Zimbabwe. I would love to hear and learn more about this."

Jennifer Lotter (2009 Nov 23 @10:19), via ASSA website, writes:

"Susanne and some friends of hers were staying in one of our cottages for the week-end 19-22nd November.
They told us about the magnificent light they saw in the sky around 11pm, when they were sitting outside talking. We live in the Highlands of the Eastern Free State co-ordinates S 28/48/46.2 E 027/39/25.4.
So the area in which this was seen is enormous, as we are along way from Middelburg!!"

In a follow-up, Jennifer noted:

[the ladies] mentioned that after the "white light" there were incredible lights like the Northern Lights, green, purple etc.
We have just ascertained that guests staying at Ben Nevis Cherry Farm some 8 kilometers from us, about 6 kms from the Village of Clocolan in the Eastern Free State, also saw the lights."

Rick (2009 Nov 23 @10:12) writes:

"I wish to have seen the event as I am interested of what happens in and around our home called earth and beyond. I was visiting friends who saw the sudden brightness wich was described as a flash of lightning lighting up everything around. Some neighbours in the complex shouted out as it took place. Everyone who experienced it is so fortunate, good for you!"

John Power (2009 Nov 23 @10:04), via ASSA website, writes:

"Am sure you have been inundated by calls re this phenomenon witnessed by our countrymen in northern SA.
I am situated in Limpopo, near Pontdrift, N Alldays, and we were witness to more than just a bright flash..we heard a tremendous blast (sound barrier..?), or impact (like an explosion) ?? Anyway, just thinking that may be there has been a meteorite that has landed somewhere here, i.e East Bostwana, NW Limpopo, maybe SW corner of Zim.
Anyway, cannot profess to be an expert, but just some advise should people be needing to examine closer at particular areas, sat images ?? There are a lot of rural areas out here, so reports might not be as forthcoming so quickly.
Anyway, it was an exhilirating experience to behold, and Im keen to know more about meteors/ asteroids etc."

Elsa van Rooyen editor of Mogol Pos (2009 Nov 23 @08:58) writes:

"On Saturday here in Lephalale (Limpopo Province) we also saw the blue/red "UFO". But here … (Gauteng, Mpumalanga and Limpopo) there's a difference of opinion as to where it was most clearly seen. Magda Streicher said on the radio this morning that it could have fallen in the Platjan/Groblersbrug area. But I read in 'Beeld' that it was brightest over Middelburg.
And it seems that the experts disagree on what exactly the object was.
… those who saw the object say it was low and the region was light as if with daylight.
Apparently tremors were felt in Pietersburg, All Days and Louis Trichard. People in Lephalale who saw the object also said that it was accompanied by thunderstorms (its currently our rainy season)."

Conrad Pretorius (2009 Nov 23 @08:58) writes:

"We were a couple of friends staying over at a lodge close to Steilloopbrug on the N11 halfway between Potgietersrus and Grobler`s bridge (Botswana border) and around 22h00 or 23h00 we saw a huge light around us for about 2 sec,one friend compared it to an atomic bomb,don`t know where he saw an atomic bomb but yes we saw it! Was so cool."

Charmaine Mengel (2009 Nov 23 @08:50), via ASSA website, writes:

"I recently read an article about the fireball that many people in Witbank witnessed at 11pm on Saturday, 21stNovember 2009. My husband and I also witnessed this frightening and fascinating sight in Ezulwini, Swaziland. We first thought it was fireworks, but then it turned green and seemed to get bigger and bigger. We assumed it hit the next town (Mbabane) but didn't notice an explosion of any sorts."

Heleen Joubert (2009 Nov 23 @08:16), via ASSA website, writes:

"We live in Boksburg (south/east). We were sitting outside around a boma when a light appeared as bright a daylight and then turned blue.
We didn't see any object as we have quite a few high trees around us, but experienced it as being strange as everything around us was dead quiet."

Greg Campbell (2009 Nov 23 @08:11), via ASSA website, writes:

"I am an amateur astronomer from Australia, and I witnessed the fireball seen in various parts of South Africa on the night of the 21st of November 2009. I recorded as much as I could about the incident in the hope that it might prove useful to anyone researching the matter.

"The details I have are as follows:

"My Location: Mabelingwe caravan park, Limpopo Province, South Africa

"Specific Coordinates: South 24 degrees, 50.774 minutes, East 28 degrees, 2.797 minutes

"Approximate start time of fireball track: 2255 Local (2055 UT)

"Start of Fireball track: Approximately halfway between Beta Taurus and Theta Auriga (i.e. very close to M37)

"End of Fireball track: At the horizon, directly underneath the Pleaides.

"Description: The fireball took around four seconds from start to "explosion", starting from bright green and remaining green for about 2/3rds of the track, then turning yellow and red at the end of the track. When the fireball touched the horizon or just below, the sky swiftly turned to a bright white false sunrise, turning the quarter of the sky I was looking at to near daylight brightness. Other witnesses not looking in the general direction at the time mentioned the whole sky was like daylight. There was no sound. The white light persisted for only a few seconds. The fireball trail, particularly the first quarter of the track remained visible for some minutes afterwards as a misty white trail.

"There were also many other meteors visible that night, about 1 or 2 per minute around the time of the fireball.

"I hope my information proves useful. If so, please let me know, so that I can inform my fellow astronomers back home on the importance of remaining vigilant!"

Juan Jordaan (2009 Nov 23 @07:45), via ASSA website, writes:

"I dont know if this would help, but this is the direction I was looking in where the "impact" would have been. Im pretty sure the direction is accurate. Based on Google earth of a bearing around 345 to 348 degrees from Durban.
Maybe if you find any more witness reports you guys can triangulate a possible crater site. Now that would be cool!
Anyways, the sky lit up a bright blue green after it disappeared behind the horizon, so I'm pretty sure there must have been an impact.
Hope this helps."

Glen Anderson (2009 Nov 22 @22:46) - via Jurg Wagener - writes:

"…about a strange anomaly my girlfriend and I saw over skies of the Eastern Freestate on Saturday evening 21 Nov 2009 at aprox 11pm. Town of Reitz / Eastern Freestate.Sky clear, new moon.
I am a pilot with SAA and regularly fly through the night. I often see meteor's entering the earth's atmosphere but never have I seen something like this. This is why I contacted you. We were standing outside looking at Orion's Belt. As we stood we were facing a Northerly direction.The next thing the entire Northern horizon lit up. It was a few seconds of daylight where the sky turned blue as daylight would, then faded to a sunset yellow/orange colour, then back to the dark night sky as it was a few seconds before. The amount of energy lit up a large part of the northern night sky. From our visual perspective the sky was lit up one quarter to a third of the sky from the horizon up. The sky literally looked like an African sunset speeded up but the source of the energy could not be seen.
I hope you will be able to use this in order to investigate what might have occurred this night. I would really be interested if you find any answers."

Jan-Louis Pretorius (2009 Nov 22 @19:01) writes:

"Hi everyone - we were in the far northern Limpopo, right at the Botswana border post at the Pontdrift. We also saw the bright light, but about half a minute later heard and felt a very large and loud impact. It is difficult to judge how far away and in what direction the impact was made, but we suspect it may have been in the Thuli Block, Botswana."

Carmen (2009 Nov 22 @18:07) writes:

"We were driving home from Bronkhorspruit at about 23:00 and saw the white light across the sky turning the sky BLUE as if it was daylight, the white changed to red and then it disappeared and the sky turned black. It was truly amazing, exciting and scary at the same time."

Brian Kalshoven (2009 Nov 22 @17:48) writes:

"While enjoying a party, from a sheltered lapa, without warning, the night was made bright, as with a military flare, but only lasted a second. All experienced it, and two people who were separate from the group, outside the shelter did, too. There was no sound. As the night was overcast, no-one had seen a moving object in the sky."

Marina (2009 Nov 22 @16:01) writes:

"We were a lot of people sitting outside our home in Ellisras, Limpopo. We suddenly saw a very bright light lights up the sky, and then turns the sky a yellowish/orange colour, then it was almost daylight and it was suddenly dark again. It was an amazing experience!"

Elanie (2009 Nov 22 @13:08) writes:

"We live in Mokopane and we saw the light as well. I saw the big ball, it was a bright blue / white light and then when it got closer to the ground / earth it went bright orange! We heard nothing but it was scary. Some people say that it fell here in our town, I am going to take a drive and have a look."

Anonymous (2009 Nov 22 @11:14) writes:

"Did you see the bright light over Centurion last night??
"At around 22:57 (21 November 2009) the sky lit up to DAYLIGHT for split seconds as a bright light passed over. There were no sound as when something flies over... and no sound of something crashing either. It was pretty freaky, whatever it was also cut through a cloud, myself and a few friends saw this highway cut through the cloud."

Jaco (2009 Nov 22 @09:42) writes:

"I'm not sure if anyone noticed, but we saw a bright light last night. It changed colors from bright to a blood red and moved very fast across the sky for about 10 to 20 seconds. This was seen in the Honeydew, Roodepoort, Gauteng area. It was around 11PM on the 21st of November 2009. Honestly I was scared out of my wits."

Anton Minnaar (2009 Nov 22 @08:57), via the ASSA website, writes:

"Last night 21 November 2009 at 22:54 (on my cars clock) as I was driving on the N1 North. Just before the New Road exit I saw a very large, what seem the be a Meteorite falling from the sky.
It was very large (Blue and Red in Colour) and it seemed to break up into smaller pieces as it got closer to the ground. A larger piece might have actually hit the ground.
It was moving from East to West with an angle probably between 30-45 degrees. It was exactly north of my locations (N1 North just before New Road)and I estimate it landed in the WierdaPark area, but it was very difficult to judge the location because it was large and moving very fast."

Jurg Wagener in Sutherland has also received queries about this event; he writes:

"An Air Asia pilot, who was in Reitz in the Free State, at around 23:00 saw to the north a tremendously bright light that, for several seconds, lit up the sky very brightly."

Kos Coronaios has received several reports all of which describe something bright, seen around 23:00, moving from east to west (or south-east to north-west). One report Kos received even notes that a rumbling sound was heard, with trembles that caused paint to fall off a wall! He writes:

"Reports of the event on Saturday (21/11) evening received so far this morning from: Pretoria, Tzaneen, Potgietesrus, Polokwane, Louis Trichardt, Levubu, Vivo, Alldays.
"All consistent with a bright flash of light that was visible with no sound (except from the Vivo, Alldays region). Most sites were partly overcast in Louis Trichardt and from my location it was completely overcast with drizzle and all we saw was a bright light lasting perhaps a second or two and very bright. One observer in Pretoria (23:00) said that the light was green and that he saw a shooting star streaking accross the sky.
"Another observer from Tzaneen mentions that this bright light flashed on and off three times.
"My estimates of direction from the various reports was that the object was travelling east to west or possibly southeast to northwest. I was sitting at my desk with Jonas(A Swedish Grippen pilot from the Airforce base), looking northwards toward the Soutpansberg Mt when we saw the flash. The question of "what was that" prompted me to say lightning and we both looked at each and shook our heads, as we realised that it could not have been lightning.
"Reports on times have all been consistent between 22:30 to 23:00, with Magda accurately putting it at 23:05."

More videos

Frans Deysel of Westonaria (@Beeld website)
CCTV in Nylstroom (@Beeld website)

via: Anton Minnaar, Brian Kalshoven, Carmen, Charmaine Mengel, Christo, Chrystelle, Conrad Pretorius, denise huxham, Elanie, Elisa, Elsa van Rooyen, Freddie Roelofse, Glen Anderson, George Liakos, Hannes Pieterse, Heleen Joubert, Jaco, Jan-Louis Pretorius, Jennifer Lotter, John Bufton, John Power, John Power, Juan Jordaan, Jurg Wagener, Kos Coronaios, Louis van der Merwe, Louis Viljoen, Magda Streicher, Mandy Millican, Marina, Marius de Lange, Maryke, Mrs Kohl, petrasha, Petro Botha, poehler, Rick, Tracey, Willie Koorts, Zenda Marais, anonymous.

nothing more to see. please move along.

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