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Irish Astronomers Investigate Sky Explosion 157

Posted by timothy
from the stopping-snake-attacks-since-400-AD dept.
puroresu writes "Astronomers in Ireland have appealed to the public to contact them with eyewitness accounts of a massive explosion in the sky over the country. From the BBC: 'Astronomy Ireland chairman David Moore said: "So far, reports have been registered by residents in west Cork, Kerry, Cavan and as far north as Donegal, thus suggesting that this spectacular event may have been witnessed by people all over the country. In the past two decades there have been two major explosions in the skies over Ireland. When we investigated these, we were able to conclude that one was a Russian military satellite that exploded over the country, and the other was a rock from space."'"
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Irish Astronomers Investigate Sky Explosion

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  • It could be leprechauns [wikipedia.org].
    • Re: (Score:1, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Leprechauns, you know they don't exist?

      Probably a Guaold Baseship, or an Asgard ship overrun by replicators...

      • Re: (Score:1, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward
        Actually, a better explanation would be that they were drunk. (OK, OK, don't kill me. I'm Irish american with Irish grandparents and let me tell you there is a more than a little truth to this stereotype).
    • And what exactly are they doing with weather balloons?

      -Matt

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Canazza (1428553)

      "Ders a big ball o fire up der, like a big exploshun, it's bin der all day and it goes awa' at night, whaddaya think it is Padrick?"
      "It's the Sun, John, you racist git, bugger off back to London."

    • by 4D6963 (933028)
      Parent's thought process: "OK, so what do I know about Ireland... leprechauns, four-leaf clovers, beer, whiskey... potatoes... mmmh... giant space potato?? No... well.. that leaves leprechauns! LEPRECHAUNS DID IT! hahaha.. haaa.."
    • by tenco (773732)
      Or maybe it's a vulcan survey craft [memory-alpha.org].
  • Pfsst (Score:1, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Whiskey plus Blimp = FAIL

  • Spots (Score:4, Funny)

    by s1lverl0rd (1382241) on Monday September 07, 2009 @04:42AM (#29338015) Homepage

    Of all the spots our new overlords can land, they coose *Ireland?* Geesh.

    • Re:Spots (Score:4, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 07, 2009 @04:56AM (#29338067)

      Of all the spots our new overlords can land, they coose *Ireland?* Geesh.

      Now I'm terrified, why are our new Overlords going to *coose* us?

      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by BlindRobin (768267)
        It's possible they've come for the stouts and porters that have slurred the previous posters keyboard.
    • Re:Spots (Score:5, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 07, 2009 @04:57AM (#29338071)

      Well, Ireland is actually atlantis [breakingnews.ie], see.

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by mrops (927562)

        This story is Bullshit,.

        I have been following a documentary where they found Atlantis in another Galaxy and there are life sucking aliens investation there.

        • I have been following a documentary where they found Atlantis in another Galaxy and there are life sucking aliens investation there.

          That's an interesting way of saying it's across the Atlantic and it's a popular tax haven.

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Sumbius (1500703)

      Of all the spots our new overlords can land, they coose *Ireland?* Geesh.

      I for one welcome our Irish coosing overlords.

    • by c6gunner (950153)

      Of all the spots our new overlords can land, they coose *Ireland?* Geesh.

      It turns out that the only viable use for Guinness is a replacement bearing lubricant for spaceships.

  • by andyh3930 (605873) * on Monday September 07, 2009 @04:46AM (#29338033)

    Learn geography. Ireland in not in the UK, Northern Ireland is, but the Republic of Ireland isn't.

    • by cupantae (1304123)

      !uk!

      I'm sure i heard of something happening in Ireland round about 1916...

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by Atrox666 (957601)

        The Wind that Shakes the Barley is a good movie on the whole thing. Somewhat historically accurate for the most part.
        http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0460989/ [imdb.com]
        The English have a long tradition of being oppressive cunts..the current situation is just the latest bout.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by erroneous (158367)

          "People" have a long tradition of being oppressive cunts.

          Every society, religion, race or creed that's had the opportunity has gone ahead and done it. It's human nature - human nature that we should attempt to change as we civilise ourselves - but it's not specifically English behaviour.

    • It's probably being tagged 'uk' because the story link is from the BBC, and people are very very lazy.

      Unfortunately the misconception is wide spread, particularly in mainland europe, which to be honest does baffle and infuriate me.

      If it's any consolation at the start of a story on the mainpage the tags are mostly noise, check back at 100+ comments and hopefully things have sorted themselves out... - seriously can see tags get more sensible as time drags on. Mostly.
    • by wrook (134116) on Monday September 07, 2009 @05:42AM (#29338291) Homepage

      Reminds me of a time I was working in London. When I first started one of the guys asked me, "Are you American". I replied, "No Canadian". He just said, "Same thing."

      So, I asked him: "Are you English" and he said, "No I'm Irish." I said, "Same thing".

      I still marvel at the fact that I'm still alive... ;-)

      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Besides him being correct and you not you mean?

        Canada is in the americas. Ireland is not in England.

        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward

          Ok, then call an Irishman "British," because Ireland is in the British Isles. *NOW* do you see his point?

          • I think Ian Paisley would be quite pleased.
          • by quenda (644621)

            Ok, then call an Irishman "British," because Ireland is in the British Isles.

            Well, the Irishman is British. What is your point? He even speaks English.
            In the same way a Taiwanese is Chinese.
            A simple war over religion and politics does not change the culture of the people.

          • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

            by Anonymous Coward

            Ireland is not in the British Isles, The term British Isles is not acceptable within the Republic of Ireland and increasingly with Britain itself.

          • by tenco (773732)
            The British Isles are not a continent.
          • Ok, then call an Irishman "British," because Ireland is in the British Isles. *NOW* do you see his point?

            I think you mean the Irish Isles.

        • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward

          Except that despite being geographically incorrect, people use, "American" to refer specifically to a citizen of the United States of America.

          • Persons who are citizens of the Federated Republic of Germany are Germans.

            Citizens of the People's Republic of China -> Chinese.

            Commonwealth of Australia -> Australians.

            United Arab Emirates -> Emirati.

            Persons who are citizens of the United States of America, despite accusations of chauvinism, are Americans. Citizens of the United Mexican States are Mexicans, not Americans, even though their United States is also located in North America.

            It's generally thought polite to let the country itself define

          • by lannocc (568669)
            I prefer the term "USian" if I need a classification distinct from other Americans (Canadians, Mexicans, etc.).
      • Re: (Score:1, Redundant)

        by Ragzouken (943900)

        You're from the continent named America, he's not from anything called England.

        • Re: (Score:1, Troll)

          by bgarcia (33222)
          The continent named America, eh? The Irish public school system must be every bit as good as the American.
        • by maxume (22995)

          There isn't really a continent named America. There is certainly a place, but the usage, in English, while muddled, is usually to refer to someone from the United States.

          By your argument, the guy would also call someone from Brazil or Argentina the 'same thing' as an American, which starts to get pretty useless.

          • There isn't a continent named America?

            http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amerika [wikipedia.org]

            They were attached before they put a trench trough Panama. Still the same continent thought. :)

          • by daveime (1253762)

            I always understood that there was a North American continent and a South American continent.

            When referring to someone from say Argentina or Brazil, they are called South Americans.

            When referring to someone from Kansas or Texas, we use the shortened form "Americans", and it is implicit that they mean NORTH Americans ... that and the fact anyone from "North America" believes that they are the centre of the universe, and anyone else doesn't count.

      • I said to this Jewish guy, "You sank the Titanic!".

        "That was an Iceberg." he said.

        "Well", I said, "iceberg, Goldberg - same thing".

      • Re: (Score:1, Redundant)

        by Angostura (703910)

        He was of course right. America is a continent, not a country.

      • When looking over all the responses to your post, I am reminded that there are certain buttons you can push in a geek which make them jump like the floor was electrified. Rushing to split a hair they bloody well know doesn't need splitting is a classic response in the attention-starved smart-kid. "Look at me! I'm still the smartest kid in the room! Love MEEEE!"

        --Tends to happen when you take a smart kid who traded on brain power to win easy love as a child, but who then got dumped into one of those spec

    • Learn geography. Ireland in not in the UK, Northern Ireland is, but the Republic of Ireland isn't.

      There is no political entity called the Republic of Ireland. The phrase "the Republic of Ireland" is the official description of the political entity called "Ireland" which makes up 80% of the island called "Ireland"

      http://dotancohen.com/eng/britain_england_united_kingdom.html [dotancohen.com]

      • by badfish99 (826052)
        There certainly is a political entity called the Republic of Ireland. Most people in Britain either call it that, or else call it Eire, in order to distinguish it from Ireland the geographical region, which is not a single political entity.

        Of couse the name of the Republic of Ireland is just Ireland (or else Eire, depending on which language you are using). But all attentive readers of Alice Through the Looking Glass will know that there is often a difference between the name of something, and what it is
        • by Kiffer (206134)

          From An mBunreacht Na hÉireann, The Constitution of Ireland

          Airteagal 4
          Éire is ainm don Stát nó, sa Sacs-Bhéarla, Ireland.

          Article 4
          The name of the State is Éire, or, in the English language, Ireland.

    • by Atrox666 (957601)

      Wouldn't they let you join if you asked nice? KIDDING!

    • Maybe you meant "Learn politics" rather than "learn geography"? Ireland is where it is, and that won't change, short of some cataclysmic event. Being part of the UK is - well, just politics!

    • I only learn tidbits of information that are either useful or interesting, and currently, that particular piece of info is neither.

    • When in doubt, refer to the British Isles Venn Diagram [wikimedia.org].

    • by houghi (78078)

      Ireland is the whole island. Both Nothern Ireland (which is part of the UK and Republic of Ireland)
      As it could be seen over the whole island, it can be tagged as UK. Now if it only could have been seen in the southern part, then you would have been right.

  • by Joebert (946227) on Monday September 07, 2009 @04:50AM (#29338053) Homepage
    I can't help but think of Robin Williams calling up with his drunken Irish golfer accent to explain "a huge fuckin' fireball in tha sky".
    • Re: (Score:1, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Sigh.

      It never takes long for the drunken comments to surface.

    • I think maybe you meant "drunk Scotting golfer": http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l_OmnP527Dw [youtube.com]

      Funny as hell, BTW

  • no telescope (Score:4, Interesting)

    by backslashdot (95548) on Monday September 07, 2009 @05:06AM (#29338107)

    Too bad the Leviathan of Parsonstown is not in operation and they let it rot, maybe they'd have been able to track it properly.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leviathan_of_Parsonstown [wikipedia.org]

    • Re: (Score:1, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Duh when quoting a wikipedia article you could at least read the entire piece . . . "It has since been reassembled as a tourist attraction"

      • Re: (Score:1, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Because of the castled walls on either side, it looks a bit like a giant catapult and relies on the earth for much of its Azimuth range of motion. Given the cloudy skies and its limited pointing ability, it wouldn't make a good comet or asteroid scope, but it's owner did discover the spiral nature of galaxies through it and it is by far the biggest telescope I've peered through with my own eyes (during a star party in 2001). I've no idea what dim starfield I was gazing at but I suspect it was far beyond

    • That's a fantastic link. It's too bad you don't know what the fuck you're talking about.

      Starting from the top: Most telescopes can't track satellites. If this was a satellite burning up over Ireland, (as has happened before) that telescope, nor any others, would make a difference. If it was an asteroid, it still wouldn't make a difference. While that design was amazing for its day, it would in no way be able to track accurately enough to image asteroids. You need very accurate, very consistent obse

  • by Anonymous Coward

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Explosions_in_the_Sky

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 07, 2009 @05:21AM (#29338191)

    ... it was just my iPod exploding. Again.

  • Idiocracy (Score:4, Funny)

    by Jugalator (259273) on Monday September 07, 2009 @06:19AM (#29338437) Journal

    and the other was a rock from space

    A meteor, in other words?

    Damn idiocracy.

    • by Jugalator (259273)

      "This was actually the planet Jupiter and it can be characterised by being by far the brightest star in the entire night sky," he said.

      ... and Jupiter is apparently promoted to "star" status now too. What the HELL. *cries*

      • Re:Idiocracy (Score:4, Insightful)

        by anarchyboy (720565) on Monday September 07, 2009 @07:29AM (#29338723)
        Planets that are visible by the naked eye and look like stars are often called stars even though we now know they are not, like venus for example. also some of the 'stars' in the night sky may be galaxies and shooting stars have nothing to do with stars either. Calling twinkly points of light in the sky stars even if they're something else is not uncommon.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by digitig (1056110)
        It started out with "star" status -- in classical terms it was specifically a wandering star (mods, please mod any Lee Marvin references down!)
      • by daveime (1253762)

        I think you have to wait for 2010, and something to do with an obelisk measuring 1 x 4 x 9.

  • Dublin welcomes careless alien pilots
  • From the article:

    "This was actually the planet Jupiter and it can be characterised by being by far the brightest star in the entire night sky," he said.

    That's gonna really follow that astronomer around for a long time...
  • The sky is exploding! The sky is exploding!

  • ..cuz in Ireland where are you going to find 3 wise men and a virgin?

  • by Vexar (664860) on Monday September 07, 2009 @08:27AM (#29339001) Homepage Journal
    http://www.digitaljournal.com/article/278826 [digitaljournal.com] I think what happened here was that the BBC found the Digital Journal article, got famously sloppy, and reprinted a dumbed down version. I think the Slashdot community needs to do what it can for the astronomy groups in Ireland (North or otherwise). There's been more debate over whether a skit from decades ago was about an Irishman or a Scotsman than discussion of the actual article. Granted, neither article has anything more than several people reporting seeing an explosion in the night sky (apparently while watching Jupiter), but is there any follow-up?

    Well, yes there is: http://www.mail-archive.com/meteorite-list@meteoritecentral.com/msg77530.html [mail-archive.com] So, a meteorite, or if you read the BBC papers, a "space rock." Let's at least pretend we care about the news, not being our usual, fitful selves.

    • I think what happened here was that the BBC found the Digital Journal article, got famously sloppy, and reprinted a dumbed down version.

      I agree with everything you've said, except for what I've quoted. It more likely happenend the other way around. The tip-off should have been the first words of the article you link to:

      BBC News reports...

      Otherwise, nice find and nice post. btw I blame the Digg Hoard... I think they're the ones flooding Slashdot with silly posts.

  • Fireball forensics (Score:4, Informative)

    by clyde_cadiddlehopper (1052112) on Monday September 07, 2009 @08:52AM (#29339189)
    Two good observations are sufficient for triangulation. CCD equipped all-sky cameras [cloudbait.com] and run-of-the-mill security cameras are watching about everywhere. Without multiple images, here's [phys.uvic.ca] a trajectory analysis based on sound (sonic booms?) at seismic stations.
  • I saw a rather spectacular meteor probably five hours later over east Texas. It was low (appeared to be below the clouds) and very bright.

    The only more impressive one I've seen was during the Perseids shower in 1998, one left a visible trail of dust/smoke/whatever.

  • Call these guys [explosionsinthesky.com], they'll know what to do.

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