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Comet

Rosetta's comet shows spectacular increase in dust emissions

comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko
© Credit: ESA/Rosetta/MPS for OSIRIS Team MPS/UPD/LAM/IAA/SSO/INTA/UPM/DASP/IDA
Two views of the same region on the “neck” of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. The right image was taken with an exposure time of less than a second and shows details on the comet’s surface. The left image was overexposed (exposure time of 18.45 seconds) so that surface structures are obscured. At the same time, however, jets arising from the comet’s surface become visible. The images were obtained by the wide-angle camera of OSIRIS, Rosetta’s scientific imaging system, on 20 October, 2014 from a distance of 7.2 kilometers from the surface.
Rosetta's comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko is beginning to show a clearly visible increase in activity. While in the past months most of the dust emitted from the body's surface seemed to originate from the neck region which connects the two lobes, images obtained by Rosetta's scientific imaging system OSIRIS now show jets of dust along almost the whole extent of the comet.

"At this point, we believe that a large fraction of the illuminated comet's surface is displaying some level of activity", says OSIRIS scientist Jean-Baptiste Vincent from the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research (MPS) in Germany. During the past few weeks, the OSIRIS team has witnessed a gradual but qualitative change. "In the first images from this summer that showed distinct jets of dust leaving the comet, these jets were limited to the neck region", says OSIRIS Principal Investigator Holger Sierks from the MPS. Now, jets appear also on the "body" and "head" of the comet.

Currently, still more than 450 million kilometers are separating 67P from the Sun. Based on a rich history of ground-based observations scientists expect a comet's activity to pick-up noticeably once it comes within 300 million kilometers of the Sun. "Being able to monitor these emissions from up close for the first time gives us much more detailed insights", says Sierks. From the OSIRIS images, the team now wants to derive a better understanding of the evolution of cometary activity and the physical processes driving it.

Since under normal circumstances, the comet's nucleus would outshine the jets, the necessary images must be drastically overexposed. "In addition, one image alone cannot tell us the whole story", says Sierks. "From one image we cannot discern exactly where on the surface a jet arises." Instead, the researchers compare images of the same region taken from different angles in order to reconstruct the three-dimensional structure of the jets.
Comet

Two comet families found around nearby star Beta Pictoris

exocomets
© Credit: ESO/L. Calçada
This artist's impression shows exocomets orbiting the star Beta Pictoris. Astronomers analysing observations of nearly 500 individual comets made with the HARPS instrument at ESO's La Silla Observatory have discovered two families of exocomets around this nearby young star. The first consists of old exocomets that have made multiple passages near the star. The second family, shown in this illustration, consists of younger exocomets on the same orbit, which probably came from the recent breakup of one or more larger objects.
Beta Pictoris is a young star located about 63 light-years from the Sun. It is only about 20 million years old and is surrounded by a huge disc of material - a very active young planetary system where gas and dust are produced by the evaporation of comets and the collisions of asteroids.

Flavien Kiefer (IAP/CNRS/UPMC), lead author of the new study sets the scene: "Beta Pictoris is a very exciting target! The detailed observations of its exocomets give us clues to help understand what processes occur in this kind of young planetary system."

For almost 30 years astronomers have seen subtle changes in the light from Beta Pictoris that were thought to be caused by the passage of comets in front of the star itself.


Perhaps 'something wicked this way comes'?





Comets are small bodies of a few kilometres in size, but they are rich in ices, which evaporate when they approach their star, producing gigantic tails of gas and dust that can absorb some of the light passing through them. The dim light from the exocomets is swamped by the light of the brilliant star so they cannot be imaged directly from Earth.


Rosetta update: Dirty snowball is "dry like hell"

"It is nothing like the so-called dirty snowball or fluffy ice ball that mainstream astronomers have long envisioned. Most astonishingly,scientists have reported they have not found a single trace of water ice on the comet surface. It is, in the words of mission scientist Holger Sierks, "dry like hell."


To study the Beta Pictoris exocomets, the team analysed more than 1000 observations obtained between 2003 and 2011 with the HARPS instrument on the ESO 3.6-metre telescope at the La Silla Observatory in Chile.

The researchers selected a sample of 493 different exocomets. Some exocomets were observed several times and for a few hours. Careful analysis provided measurements of the speed and the size of the gas clouds. Some of the orbital properties of each of these exocomets, such as the shape and the orientation of the orbit and the distance to the star, could also be deduced.

Comment: As the British astronomer Victor Clube said:
"We do not need the celestial threat to disguise Cold War intentions; rather we need the Cold War to disguise celestial intentions!"
Beware of PTB propaganda / information warfare: As cometary/fireball activity intensifies (Brazil (twice), Alabama, the Netherlands, Iowa, and probably Northwestern Louisiana too), expect more blaming of cyclical celestial events on their enemies; such as Russian military satellite, EMP and baiting conspiracy theorists with chemtrails disinformation.

For more on Sol's dark companion and accompanying cometary swarm and much more, read Earth Changes and the Human-Cosmic Connection.

Sun

Sun unleashes massive X-class solar flare

solar flare
© NASA
The Sun has fired off a massive X-Class solar flare which astronomers are suggesting could be the start of a huge increase in solar activity.

NASA's Solar Dynamic Observatory captured the X-class flare -- the most powerful there is -- erupting from a massive Active Region on the star's surface.

Since the solar flare the sun spot has apparently doubled in size and is now around 78,000 miles wide -- that's almost as wide as Jupiter.

Comment: One wonders if there is a correlation between this massive solar flare and recent fireball activity over Brazil (twice), Alabama, the Netherlands, Iowa, and probably Northwestern Louisiana too; and the recent close shave of Comet Siding Spring with one of our planetary neighbours, Mars?

To understand more about the Electric Universe theory, Plasma discharge modes, our Sun's companion and it's accompanying cometary swarm, and much more, read Earth Changes and the Human-Cosmic Connection.

For more relevant information, listen to:

SOTT Talk Radio show #70: Earth changes in an electric universe: Is climate change really man-made?

SOTT Talk Radio: The Electric Universe - An interview with Wallace Thornhill

Comet 2

5 days after massive fireball sets sky on fire over Recife, another comet fragment burns up over Ceará, Brazil (VIDEO)

Translation: SOTT.net

A bright flash in the sky caused by a meteor drew the attention of residents in the State of Ceará on Monday night (October 20th). The Civil Police of Ceará received reports of the meteor's passage through several cities in the state.

"Some residents reported the fall of an object in neighboring cities, but there is no record of anything," says officer Francisco Couto. "A lot of people claimed it was a plane crash, some said that they heard the noise of the crash," said the policeman.

Sergeant Lins, from Recife Air Base, which controls air traffic from high altitudes throughout the Northeast, said that there is no record of any missing aircraft in the region late on Monday.

For the astronomer Pedro Antunes, meteors are commonly confused with burning planes or with unidentified flying objects (UFO). "People see that flash in the sky, which is not very common, and are impressed, just imagining things, but lately we're registering many meteors in the sky of Ceará," he says.

According to the Civil Police, the meteor has seen by people in the town of Iguatu in the interior of Ceará, and on the coast of the state. "It's possible for a meteor to travel a great distance in the sky. While it suffers friction with the atmosphere, it combusts and turns into pieces. A burning plane would never go so far before hitting the ground," argues the astronomer.

Source

Comment: It's not so much friction with the atmosphere that causes meteor fireballs and comet fragments to 'slow down' - it's their electrical interaction with different charge layers of the atmosphere.

Note that this happened over the same region just five days prior to the above event:

Meteor fireball sets the sky on fire over Recife, Brazil

Tumultuous times in the sky seem fitting to tumultuous times among a divided Brazilian population, where hatred among 'factions' has been driven ever higher in the second round of presidential elections.

Fireball 5

Fireball over Alabama captured on video

Fireball
© Jason Reed/YouTube
The moment a bright light streaked across the night sky in Trussville, Alabama, was captured on video last night.

The sighting came as the Earth passed through the debris cloud from Halley's Comet, which produces the annual Orionid meteor shower.

Bill Cooke of NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, told ABC News there were "several bright Orionids last night, as well as a spectacular fireball over middle Tennessee" that he said broke apart at 24 miles altitude just south of Nashville.

Comment: Another possible angle of same fireball:



Fireball 3

'Fireball' meteor streaks across Dutch sky

© Koen Miskotte
Fireball visible above the Netherlands last night
Last night a fireball was visible above the Netherlands.

The Werkgroep Meteoren says that it was visible as a bright sphere. The work group received more than 20 reports from people who saw the fireball within 45 minutes. This was the 5th fireball visible above the Netherlands.


Fireballs are meteors that are much brighter than normal. They are usually seen during meteor showers. During the next few days the Orioniden shower will reach its maximum. According to the work group, the shower will probably be very visible.

The Orionidens originated in Halley's Comet, which comes close to the sun and the earth every 76 years.

Comment: Earlier in the same evening, this was filmed over the Netherlands:



Fireball 3

Iowa photographer accidentally captures a fireball explosion and smoke trail in his night sky time-lapse

Astronomers can wait decades to see or capture what Ben Lewis photographed by accident while shooting a time-lapse Ashton-Wildwood County Park, Iowa very early this morning. Called a 'bolide fireball,' what you see in the short time-lapse above is an exceptionally bright meteorite that explodes in a bright flash at its end, leaving behind this strange bright puff of red smoke.

To the untrained eye you would think a 'night fury' from How to Train Your Dragon just passed by, but this is in fact a natural phenomenon that, in real time, lasted an amazing 12 minutes!

Shot with a Canon 6D and 35mm lens at f/1.4 10 sec, and ISO 1600 with a 10 second delay between frames, Lewis was actually sleeping when this happened. When he came back to review the footage he initially thought it was an airplane, but upon closer inspection he realized it was much stranger than that.

Fireball 5

Meteor fireball sets the sky on fire over Recife, Brazil


The amazing moment a meteor lights up the sky above the Brazilian city of Recife has been caught on camera.

In the incredible clip, taken on Wednesday at around 10pm, the sky is illuminated with red and yellow light as the meteor crosses the sky.

Locals immediately took to social media to express their surprise at the awesome sight.

'A flaming ball broke apart as it fell towards the ground,' wrote one user on Facebook.

Comment: The above footage could be a transformer blow out, which may be connected to the widely observed fireball. Various cameras caught it:


Problem is, authorities in Recife didn't report a transformer blow-out... so the glowing 'after-effect' lights in the sky could be something else.

Fireball 5

A loud 'boom' rattled Northwestern Louisiana, and the National Weather Service has spotted a 'debris field'

Debris Field_1
© Lunar Meteorite Hunters, KSLA
Residents of northeastern Louisiana were rattled Monday when a still-unexplained (as of this post) loud boom cracked the sky, and now the National Weather Service has confirmed that whatever it was has left a debris field.

At about 4:27 P.M. local time on Monday, residents of the area colloquially known as ArkLaTex (that is, the region that includes Northwest Louisiana, Southwest Arkansas, and Northeast Texas) were jolted by a loud boom, that according to some reports shook the ground, according to WLOX (Biloxi). One area resident said the boom was so loud, she thought her house might collapse.
"My couch came up off the floor a little bit, my back wall felt like it was going to cave in, it was so loud!"
The area is dotted with oil refineries and pipelines, and there are some military installations in the area, but KSLA (Shreveport) says that their investigation has turned up nothing amiss at any refineries or military installations in the area. Although there was precipitation in the area at the time, WLOX Meteorologist Jeff Castle says that any source of thunder would have been too far away. And the United States Geologic Survey denies any seismic activity in the region that day.
Magnify

Loud boom heard in Camden, Maine a mystery

Question marks
For some residents who were awake, the loud boom around 1:30 a.m. Sunday was unmistakable. For others, who were asleep, the sound jarred them awake.

Following the single loud noise, nothing came across the police scanners indicating that first responders or police were investigating or responding to an emergency. A call to Knox County Regional Communications Center Sunday morning revealed that nobody had called in to report an issue, or hearing a loud boom sound.

But a post on Facebook brought out reports from others who heard it.

It's not clear where the boom originated, but there have been reports on Facebook of it being heard on lower Chestnut Street, Sea Street, Trim Street and Free Street. I know I heard it on Chestnut Street, near Highland Avenue, but the sound was in the distance as it came in from an open west-facing window.

Comment: The data provided by the article points to a frost quake not causing the loud boom. Sott.net has covered many similar stories of unexplained booms and proposes the hypothesis that instances of such booms without any other explanation are in all likelihood the result of unseen meteors exploding upon entry into the atmosphere.

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