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Sat, 06 Feb 2016
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Fire in the Sky


NASA creates a 'Planetary Defense Coordination Office' that will track meteors headed toward Earth

© Getty

Why is NASA suddenly so concerned about meteors and asteroids hitting the Earth? After telling us that "no large object is likely to strike the Earth any time in the next several hundred years" last year, NASA is now spending millions of dollars to set up a "Planetary Defense Coordination Office" that will be headed up by a designated "Planetary Defense Officer". According to NASA, more than 13,500 near Earth objects have been found so far, and another 1,500 new NEOs are being discovered each year. Approximately 10 percent of all near Earth objects are one kilometer or larger in size, and if one of those giant space rocks ever hit us, it would likely be considered an "extinction level event". It makes sense that NASA would be concerned about this threat, but why now?

The announcement of this new office was made on Friday, and very few mainstream news outlets covered it. But I did find this story on CNBC...
If and when the interplanetary asteroid apocalypse comes, NASA plans to be prepared.

In a little noticed move this week, the space agency announced that it had created a directorate for "detecting and tracking near earth objects (NEOs)."

The new Planetary Defense Coordination Office—which, despite its science fiction-sounding name, is part of a very real effort to ward off the potentially deadly impact of asteroids that may hit the planet—is charged with supervising "all NASA-funded projects to find and characterize asteroids and comets that pass near Earth's orbit around the sun."
Of course once again NASA played down the idea that there is any sort of "imminent threat" during the announcement of this new program, but if there is no threat why go to so much trouble and effort?

According to the Washington Times, one of the things that this new Planetary Defense Coordination Office will be focusing on is a way to "redirect" potentially dangerous asteroids...

Comment: No. Even NASA's own space data supports citizens' recent observations, namely the inconvenient fact that meteor fireballs are increasing dramatically.

Asteroid 'redirection' or 'deflection' remains just theoretical. A more accurate way of looking at it is that NASA is funding deflection and redirection of the topic of space threats by 'getting the message out' that 'everything is just fine'.

It is well worth remembering what can come out of the sky, without any warning at all, such as the Chelyabinsk meteor in February 2013:

For more on the very high probability of Earth soon being on the receiving end of direct or indirect cometary bombardment, and why, see Laura Knight-Jadczyk's Comets and Catastrophe series: And the books: Comets and the Horns of Moses by Laura Knight-Jadczyk and Earth Changes and the Human Cosmic Connection: The Secret History of the World - Book 3 by Pierre Lescaudron and Laura Knight-Jadczyk

Fireball 4

Huge meteor fireball lights up sky over Argentina

© Youtube/Merve Kavak (screen capture)
Fire In The Sky Huge Meteor Lights Up Argentina.

Comment: NASA space data supports citizens' observations: Meteor fireballs are increasing dramatically
comparing 2014 to 2013, the frequency of fireballs increased by 120%. Comparing 2015 to 2014, fireballs increased by 20%. That is a significant increase, and it should be generating a lot of attention. If it is, then it's being done very quietly behind closed doors.
Further research into increased meteor fireball activity - including its causes, effects, and role in human history - can be found in Earth Changes and the Human-Cosmic Connection by Pierre Lescaudron and Laura Knight-Jadczyk.

Fireball 2

Meteor fireball filmed over Tulsa, Oklahoma

January 9, 2016 Meteor - Tulsa Oklahoma


Mysterious fireball-like object filmed over Ukraine, Belarus and Russia

What was this mysterious flying object spotted over Ukraine, Belarus and Russia on January 3, 2016?
A mysterious flying object was observed in the sky of Ukraine, Belarus and Russia on January 3, 2016.

But nobody knows what it is. Here maybe a clue...

Cameras of the Ukrainian observation network recorded a burning meteor-like object striking the sky of Ukraine, Belarus and Russia at around 9:40 pm local time.

The strange flashing object was travelling at an altitude of ~ 77 km and a speed of about 6 km/s, from the southwest to the northeast.

Its disintegration created a long, wide, slightly glowing orange-red trail resembling a slow-burning gases. Was it a comet? A meteor? Space junk?

Fireball 3

NASA space data supports citizens' observations: Meteor fireballs are increasing dramatically

© Sott.net
Another spectacular meteor fireball explodes high above Bangkok, Thailand on November 2nd, 2015
SOTT.net last looked in detail at the frequency of meteor fireballs in 2013, using the data garnered by the American Meteor Society (AMS). SOTT.net pointed out the increasing frequency of fireballs1, and asked the question: "What does 2014 have in store?"

Well, the results are in, and the answer is simple: comparing 2014 to 2013, the frequency of fireballs increased by 120%. Comparing 2015 to 2014, fireballs increased by 20%. That is a significant increase, and it should be generating a lot of attention. If it is, then it's being done very quietly behind closed doors.

Since October 2013, the web site spaceweather.com has published daily data from NASA's All-Sky Fireball Network, which observes, and daily reports, fireball activity over the US.2

I have collated both sets of data - from NASA and the AMS - to produce the following graphs, taking into account that each dataset relies on different definitions of 'meteor fireball'. Click on the graphs to view them at full size.

© Dr M.A. Rose
Overall increase in meteor fireballs over the US in the last decade

Comment: Readers interested in the changing near-space environment might enjoy our research into increased asteroid and fireball activity - including its causes, effects, and role in human history - in Earth Changes and the Human-Cosmic Connection.

Fireball 2

Meteor fireball filmed in Blanchester, Ohio

Meteor 1/7/16 Blanchester, OH


Bright meteor fireballs streak across Arizona and New Mexico skies

© nemesis maturity/youtube (screen capture)

Two bright meteors explode over AZ & NM in U.S. in the early hours of January 3, 2016.

The bright meteors recorded by the NASA All Sky Fireball Network exploding up to the atmosphere.

The Latest Worldwide Meteor/Meteorite News 04JAN2016

Clips credit: NASA All Sky Fireball Network

Fireball 2

Supermarket worker sees meteor break up over Plymouth, UK

© John Allen
David Butland with some of the meteorites he has collected previously
A supermarket worker claims he saw a meteorite enter the earth's atmosphere and break up over Plymouth.

Amateur space watcher David Butland, aged 42, says he was standing outside his parents' house in Beacon Park at about 7pm on New Year's Eve when he noticed a "yellowish light" in the sky, passing from south to north.

"I kept watching it and it started growing and changing colour," David said.

"About 10 seconds before it disappeared it started burning up, then four or five fragments broke off it.

"Originally the colour was mainly white, but as it started to break up it turned into a tint of yellow then deep yellow as more pieces broke off.

Fireball 2

Another space object breaks apart over Thailand - Third major cosmic event there in 4 months

A fireball seen in the early hours of Jan.2 in Lampang.
The sky in northern Thailand this morning saw not only the second light of 2016, but also a 30-second long fireball.

Aside from in Lampang, the mysterious light was also seen in many places up north including Chiang Rai, Loei and as far south as Phitsanulok.

The fireball that appeared at 6am Saturday was not a meteor but space debris, a collection of defunct man-made objects from old satellites or spent rocket stages, falling into the earth's atmosphere, an expert from Bundit Observatory believes.

In an interview with Matichon, Worawit Tanwutthibundit said the slow speed of the fireball indicated that it's not a falling star which normally travels at 80-kilometer per minute. The moving object was only travelling at around 20 or 30-kilometers a minute, the speed of space junk.

Comment: See also:

2 November 2015: Huge meteor fireball lights up skies over Thailand

7 November 2015: Massive meteor fireball witnessed in Thailand, explosions heard

Fireball 4

Massive meteor fireball over Spain ends 2015

On the last day of 2015, a skycam in northeast Spain caught a tremendous fireball — a very bright meteor — burning up in the morning sky:

© Ebro Observatory (E. Blanch/CSIC-URLl - JMTrigo/CSIC-IEEC)
Watch animated GIF here
Wow. The camera is operated by the Ebro Observatory. The fireball is pretty stunning; it lasted only a few seconds, but probably got brighter than the full Moon. It was apparently seen by many observers in central and northern Spain.

There are two things I want to point out in the video. It looks like it passes under the clouds, but that's an illusion. A meteor happens when a solid bit of ice, rock, or metal (called the meteoroid) slams into Earth's atmosphere from space, moving many dozens of kilometers per second. The huge pressure generated as it compresses the air in front of it heats the gas up, which then glows. This luminous phenomenon is what we call the actual meteor. That typically happens 90 - 100 km above the ground (though sometimes lower depending on the given event), far higher than the clouds. It's so bright it shines right through the clouds, though, making it look like it's just above the ground.

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