reply to post by angelchemuel
Flashes in the sky could be caused by any number things, from meteors to satellites/space junk glinting in the sunlight, and perhaps even fireworks.
It may be that you and your family/friends are seeing different things.
Regarding the the times that you heard a report (explosion), if you heard it at more or less the same time as the flash (within a few seconds) then
whet you were seeing would have been relatively close to you - certainly within a km or two. We can say this with certainty since sound travels
through air at a fairly constant speed, as does light, and if the difference between the time of the light being seen, and the sound arriving is
small, then we know it has to be close.
At the opposite end of the spectrum, if the event happens may tens of km away, as in the case of a meteor with sonic booms, there is always a long
delay between the light reaching your eyes and the sound reaching your ears since light travels very fast (for all intents and purposed instantaneous
when we are talking tens of km), and sound is relatively slow. It usually takes minutes for the booms to reach an observer after the meteor is
So what you are describing there is consistent with something relatively close - my guess would be fireworks.
In the other cases you describe, where no sound was heard, more information would be needed to narrow down any possibilities - Was the flash
localized, or spread out over a large area of sky? Was more than one flash seen during a short time period, and if so, how long between the flashes?
What time/date did it occur? Where in the sky was it? (in terms of degrees, where 90 degrees altitude would be directly up above your head, and 0, 90,
180, 270, describe the direction - N, E, S, W). Colour is very subjective, and probably the least important characteristic.
Even with answers to these questions, it may be difficult to narrow down the cause. The only reasonably sure way is to photograph them using a good
camera (point n shoot digital cameras are virtually useless for this kind of work).
I would suggest looking at a couple of threads that I authored on the subject of identifying these kinds of phenomena:
Flashes and Star-like objects that move strangely in the sky explained
How to view, track, and identify satellites