And it was an explosion, of sorts…
Day before yesterday, I finished lunched and then went out to work in the garden, chucking compost at a sieve so, even though the pile is not entire finished breaking itself down, I can take out the third that is and make from for the insanity of leaves that is coming. Spouse was on the other end of the country, so it was one of those days when I was home totally alone and hadn’t seen anyone who wasn’t a cat, a chicken, a sparrow, a swallow, an owl, or a magpie. Then I heard an explosion, which billowed and lasted for a second or two, coming from just south of due west and for one moment the world went still (even the chickens looked up like, eh?).
And it was definitely the sound of an explosion, not the artillery fire from the shooting range that happens several times a year just north of due east of here, but it had that same sort of deep resonance that you can almost feel in your chest.
There were trees between me and that part of the sky where you’d expect the smoke to rise, so I walked through the grey, heavy day toward the front of the house, waiting for sirens or people to come out of their houses, wondering if this was the end of the world, or at least northern Europe. But there was nothing. And there was no plume in the sky and no further explosions, just a single cloud dense cloud, so I chalked it up to thunder and, with a shrug, went back to chucking compost.
Then, today, Spouse, who is home again, brought me the local newspaper that our neighbors hand over to us when they’re done with it. I thought it would be another article about our former next door neighbor who, apparently, has refused to stand down from head of the suburb’s local Green Party despite having broken German law by writing a letter under a fake name to that same local paper (in Germany, it has been legally decreed that letters to the editor are a platform of the people; politicians already have their own public platform, so they are not allowed to use this one; and Germans take this quite seriously). But, no, it was an article, complete with the most serendipitously timed selfie ever taken by a kite surfer facing almost perfectly due east, about the 1 meter to several meters wide meteor that flew over head, making a brief, bright fireball in the sky.
Here it is, complete with some videos of the streak in the sky, from a weather watcher website: http://watchers.news/2019/09/12/daylight-meteor-fireball-september-12-2019/
Although it is reported as having a nearly half kiloton impact, which must have made some noise, what I hear was more likely the sonic boom of an object traveling at 18.5 km/s, which is way faster than the speed of sound.