Exploding meteor wakes Niue with a start

August 8, 2011

An exploding meteor was believed to be responsible for a huge bang that reverberated around the Pacific island nation of Niue last week, police said Monday.

Niue police chief Mark Chenery said the loud bang on Wednesday night woke the island's 1,200 residents and he initially thought a boat had exploded in the harbour.

Chenery said there was widespread speculation about the cause of the noise but the Carter observatory in New Zealand had told him it was likely to be a meteor exploding 20 kilometres (12.5 miles) high in the .

"There was a large (noise), a huge clap of thunder but it was its normal starry night outside," he told Radio New Zealand.

"People have described seeing a white light, like a flare, shooting across the sky. Niue is 64 kilometres around and it was heard in Lakepa in the northwest down to Avasele in the southeast, so it was certainly heard island-wide."

Chenery said there were no reports of damage.

Explore further: Major Pacific earthquake prompts tsunami warning

Related Stories

Major Pacific earthquake prompts tsunami warning

March 20, 2009

A major 7.9-magnitude earthquake has shaken the South Pacific nation of Tonga and sending people in low lying areas of Fiji fleeing for higher ground after a tsunami warning, according to officials.

Large Meteor Tracked over Northeast Alabama

June 3, 2010

On the evening of May 18, NASA all-sky meteor cameras located at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center and at the Walker County Science Center near Chickamauga, Ga. tracked the entry of a large meteor estimated to weigh some ...

Nature's coming attraction: Geminid meteor shower

December 10, 2010

(AP) -- Stay tuned for nature's coming attraction. Early next week, the Geminid meteor shower will make its annual appearance, just in time for Christmas. Astronomers consider it the best meteor shower of the year, with ...

Channel island named first 'dark sky' community

January 31, 2011

The Channel Island of Sark has been designated the first dark sky community in the world in recognition of the lack of light pollution that allows clear views of the stars at night, officials said Monday.

Recommended for you

WISE, Fermi missions reveal a surprising blazar connection

August 24, 2016

Astronomers studying distant galaxies powered by monster black holes have uncovered an unexpected link between two very different wavelengths of the light they emit, the mid-infrared and gamma rays. The discovery, which was ...

Rocky planet found orbiting habitable zone of nearest star

August 24, 2016

An international team of astronomers including Carnegie's Paul Butler has found clear evidence of a planet orbiting Proxima Centauri, the closest star to our Solar System. The new world, designated Proxima b, orbits its cool ...

Test for damp ground at Mars streaks finds none

August 24, 2016

Seasonal dark streaks on Mars that have become one of the hottest topics in interplanetary research don't hold much water, according to the latest findings from a NASA spacecraft orbiting Mars.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.