Signs Supplement - Meteors,
Asteroids, Comets, and NEOs
is full of doom and gloom, and disturbing facts. Don't blame me
if you have nightmares tonight.
There are a plethora of reasons why the end of our life as we
know it could come to pass. A coronal mass ejection (CME) from
the sun, a meteorite of sufficient size, and of course the ever
present possibility of nuclear war. Its really a myth that the
nuclear age ended in 1989 with the fall of the iron curtain. Missiles
are still pointed at Russia, and Russian missiles are still pointed
at us. In fact, a documentary a few years ago stated that most
missile target coordinates are unchanged. And why not? The theory
of M.A.D. still prevails, because it is really an immutable fact.
As the expression goes, "the names have changed, but the
music is still the same."
The big differences between global thermonuclear war, and a solar
event or meteor impact will be that a meteor won't have radiation
with it. An event from the sun, if severe enough can cause high
radiation levels. But unlike a global atomic war, radiation from
a CME will virtually cover the entire earth. And it might actually
be worse in some respects than a nuclear war, but not as long
BILLIARDS IN SPACE
Asteroid and comet threats are perhaps the worst threat planet
earth has. The control-freak families who decide everything on
earth including wars and world economies, must be frustrated over
anything they can't control. Asteroids cannot be bought out, threatened,
shot at, kidnapped or intimidated. They just keep on coming like
a freight train without brakes. As of this writing, there were
589 asteroids that have been categorized as either continent killers,
or earth life killing objects. There are tens of thousands more
which are also tracked. The determination is of course, based
on their size and mass. Iron is the most common component of an
asteroid. One of the big problems, is that there aren't enough
full-time astronomers to track them all and look for new ones.
Asteroids are mostly made of iron. This is known from those meteors
that make it to earth. And you think an iron skillet is heavy
? Imagine a million of them coming into the atmosphere, at speeds
of 14,000 MPH+. Very bad for your car's paint job, and even harder
on windows and roofs.
These objects collide with one another in space with an unknown
frequency, in ways we do not fully understand or can predict.
It is also believed they can cluster together as well. When this
happens, radar from earth may not be able to ascertain if one
huge asteroid is actually a collection of smaller rocks. Every
object has gravity, and in space even very small gravity fields
can cause clustering.
A coronal mass ejection (CME) from the sun will if severe enough,
will destroy satellites. There are different types of CMEs. Some
don't do any damage, yet others can cripple or temporarily stop
a satellite from working. A CME at higher energy levels can ionize
the atmosphere sufficiently to bring down power grids. One such
event happened several years ago in the Quebec area of eastern
Their grid was down for several days, because the high voltage
insulators were arcing (shorting out) and tripping circuit breakers.
All that grid operators could do is wait for conditions to improve.
And there are levels of severity beyond that, too. Loss of human
life is possible because the jet stream could be depressed by
the force of a CME, down near the surface of the earth. Normally
above altitudes of 30,000 ft, this is not a mild breeze- the jet
stream moves at velocities of 200 Mph or more.
So, with all that said, lets look at what the end might be like.
The common denominator in all these scenarios, is the end of the
infrastructure as we know it. Ever been in an ice or snow storm
where you live ? Remember what that was like ? Any open store
was packed, where people can be seen grabbing bread from another's
hands when it was the last loaf on the shelf..
When people get scared the survival instinct kicks in, like protective
programming. Now in our global disaster example we are not talking
about a simple storm. In a storm scenario, everyone knows (even
the food grabbers in the stores) that in a few days the power
will be back on, and all will be well again.
People know they will be able to fill their cars again and continue
driving when the effects from a regular storm are over. An ice
storm or snow storm are minor inconveniences. Ice storms usually
happen right near freezing temperatures, so one can actually do
without heat in their home. And of course, everyone will live
happily ever after and things will return to normal....
Now, lets examine another situation. A meteorite impact on land
is far worse in the long run, than one in the ocean. Computer
models have predicted what an impact on land will do. It will
blast enough dust and dirt into the high atmosphere to block out
sunlight for 6-8 months. Originally scientists believed it would
last a year, but the impact on plants is what is most important.
An ocean impact forces the water to absorb a large part of the
energy. Tidal waves of huge proportions will be generated, but
the sun won't be blotted out. But the people living along the
coastal areas, will be. Although the loss of life will be in the
millions, many scientists believe it won't threaten the very existence
of humankind on earth. These tidal waves will be the biggest ever
seen in recorded history. Some predictions state these waves can
reach up to 100 miles inland. Its very difficult for anyone to
imagine a wave one mile high, but it can happen. This wave will
wash out everything within its reach. All the coastal cities around
the world will be in grave danger of being washed away from such
an impact. Its also believed that the resulting shockwave will
circle the planet twice. See
here for what an earthquake-generated tidal wave can be like.
With an impact on land, three days without any sunlight will cause
loss of most ALL plant life. Including trees, crops, grass, plankton...well,
you get the idea.
IT WILL BE LIKE
If you are of the faint of heart or sickened easily, this is your
last warning. It gets worse from here.
There will be several kinds of survivors. The first are those
who live through the initial event and are happy and well off,
because of food and shelter and being in the right place at the
Then there will be those in shock, and that will be replaced by
fear later. And then there will be those injured, who may never
get medical attention. Hospitals everywhere will either be destroyed,
or those still in operation will be swamped with emergency patients.
Lines will extend into parking lots and down the road.
Remember that the key word here is survival of the human race.
And this one fact will be the driving factor for any surviving
law and infrastructure. A ruthless form of martial law will rule.
And if the meteor hits land- you will have martial law declared
and enforced in near total darkness for months. Worse than any
nightmare you can imagine. Get caught out on the streets during
curfew, and you will be shot.
In the following sections, we will explore how you will be PLUNGED
HEAD FIRST back 200 years without electricity. And unlike a storm
where you know the power will be back on at some point- this is
worse because IT WON'T BE COMING BACK ON, if at all, for years.
And because everyone will know it, panic and desperation will
Recall my mentioning an ice storm ? For those of you have not
lived through one, here's what its like if you live in a rural
area as I do, where the impact is even greater when power goes
out. You quickly find out your not as self-sufficient as you thought.Your
well pump won't run without power. Therefore, the only running
water you have is what's left in the pressure tank. This is usually
only a few gallons. When its gone, its gone. The first time that
happened, I created a backup system so our quality of life won't
suffer the next time it comes along. If it isn't a summer storm,
then it will be a drunk driver hitting a pole, or a power equipment
failure at a substation.
Flushing toilets is something people never think about. But without
running water, it better be planned and limited. Of course, that
creates its own problems. And when the telephone poles come down
with the power, the internet and telephones will become a faded
memory. Cell phones won't work either. I've been telling people
for years now, DON'T just save a link to that important information-
PRINT IT OUT. Don't even bother to put in your HD to "read
later." Because without power- later will never come. And
you can read books without electricity during the day.
Open the fridge out of habit- and its dark. The sudden realization
of all your food spoiling comes to mind. The news on the car radio
is not good- that power will be out for up to a week (for an ice
storm or other similar event.)
Have an electric stove? Forget it. Useless. If you have a gas
stove, these appliances today all have electric igniters. So the
gas on the burner comes on, but it won't light. Matches or a BBQ
lighter fixes that. Gas ovens today are designed so the main gas
feed won't come on, until the pilot is lit. Do NOT do this, but
people manually have lit the pilot down in the broiler, and when
the safety sensor gets hot the main burner turns on. This is dangerous
if your arm is still inside, so don't do it. Yet these are minor
inconveniences compared to other problems. In the case of a global
catastrophe, dead appliances will become useless. Like that washing
machine and dryer that cannot run anymore.
Go to the gas station to fill your car. No gas because the pumps
don't run without electricity. You can find an open station, just
by the long lines at the pumps. Perhaps you won't run out while
waiting in line... If so, you'll be pushing your car to the pump.
I've always wondered WHY most gas stations don't wake up, and
install a generator to keep the pumps running. They could charge
$5.00 a gallon, and people will still pay it. The great American
love affair with their cars continues. But I won't pay $5.00 a
Gasoline brings us to the "woodstove connection." Why?
Because people use gas powered chainsaws to create kindling. Oops-
can't run your gas or electric chainsaw can you? You're no better
off now than your neighbor with the electric furnace. People think
wood will always be available. But what happens when the trees
These life saving institutions will be able to function for a
while. Most of them are required by law to have backup generators.
Remember that up until the mid 1900's, hospitals reused most of
what they had after washing and sterilizing. Those days have been
replaced by glorious plastic. Use it once, throw it away and bill
the patient for it all. Great for preventing the spread of disease
as we all know. Bad news when the supply trucks don't come anymore.
And there are the drugs that will quickly run out, too. And in
the case of real nationwide disaster no matter what country you
live in, the military will take control of all of it. It could
even come down to euthanasia for patients who have too many injuries.
This is the part that really brings people to their knees. How
many really know what REAL hunger is? You can only live about
three days without food and water. What happens to the body during
starvation ? Our bodies are marvels of engineering. There is an
automatic survival mechanism inside you. When you don't have gas
in your car, it stops point blank. But your body without food
goes into survival mode...it begins to use itself to keep your
organs functional. It consumes fat first, then muscle. When that
runs out..it continues on to other parts of the body. The survival
mechanism doesn't stop until the organs shut down. These and other
recorded effects were found during semi-starvation testing under
controlled conditions, are found at http://river-centre.org/StarvSympt.html
As long as you intake enough fresh water (without parasites -
forget that creek, river or lake near your home) you'll live for
weeks. But it won't be pleasant. After just a couple days, you
begin to hallucinate. You start seeing double and cannot focus.
You can even have auditory hallucinations because your brain can't
function correctly or focus right. It gets worse from there. It
can take a year (or more) for the food distribution pipelines
to fill again AFTER the crops come in. What most people don't
know, is that supermarkets today operate with little more than
THREE DAYS of food in the store. Just go ask one of the local
Stores *assume* that a truck will always arrive to re-stock the
store. And that brings us back to gasoline and diesel fuel - those
tractor trailers don't move, unless their two 40 gallon tanks
are filled. The fine men and women that drive those rigs are not
fools, and are not about to start out on a trip not knowing whether
a filling station will be open somewhere.
Now, you haven't lived until you been to a store when an ice storm
or blizzard has happened. You reach for that loaf of bread- and
someone else will literally snatch it right out of your hand.
I've seen this happen. Why? Because the instinct for survival
is very strong in humankind. Deep within all of us are animal
instincts to live, and when "push comes to shove" people
will do anything to live. Even laws won't matter anymore when
the survival mode kicks in.
The solution to the food problem is to grow your own. But you
will NOT be able to do that outdoors. One
main reason is lack of sun. The other is, it will be stolen from
you just about the time its ready to harvest. So, gardening outside
will be impossible. You will either need to grow it indoors or
have enough dehydrated storage to last you for perhaps two years.
If you think you can run to the store fast enough to get what
you want, think again. The US Army several years ago, began a
quiet planning program for takeover of the stores. The small mom
and pop stores they don't care about. Its the big chains that
will become food distribution centers. And the men and women assigned
to guard and screen store customers will be armed, and will shoot
to kill anyone who attempts entry on a day they aren't assigned
to come in on. In other words, a strict rationing system.
Just where does that water in your tap come from if you don't
have a well ? ALL treatment plants rely on electricity for the
systems they use. They may have backup generators and storage
tanks, but at some point, perhaps in a few days or weeks, these
will run out. No more baths, dishwashing, cleaning, showers, or
even something to drink.
Needless to say this will skyrocket. No other film could more
accurately illustrate this, than the 60's movie called "Omega
Man." If you haven't seen it, go rent it if you can. You
will see what cities will become. Sure, there will be the military
patrolling the streets in tanks. But that won't be enough. Want
proof ? Look at Fallujah, Iraq today. Only one city, and we cannot
secure it. Now imagine trying to restore order to all the big
cities across the united states.
Bush has said he'll "put foreign troops on the streets."
Now that's for a major terror attack. Yet minor, compared to a
global catastrophe. Killing for just a candy bar will take place,
as people become more and more hungry. Those living, will be envying
those that died. They will feel there is nothing to live for,
and they may be correct in many ways. The very fabric of society
will unravel in just days.
Any country's border is only as good as its defense. Imagine you
work for the government, and do border patrol. It doesn't even
matter which country. When global catastrophe hits, NO government
will stay solvent. Suddenly you will realize that you are just
as unemployed as that steel worker from Indiana. What will you
do ? Say the heck with it, and go home to your family. The borders
everywhere will be unguarded. Millions will cross over into the
country and join in the looting and scavenging.
CONCENTRATION/ FORCED LABOR CAMPS
People laugh at this. I took one camp name at random two years
ago from a list on the web and paid it a visit. Ft. AP Hill in
Virginia (estimated capacity 45,000.). Its no laughing matter
when you visit one. These are REAL. And when t hose that are starving
go to the government for help, this is their final destination.
These camps will exist for several reasons- one to punish looters
and those that break martial laws, to organize work groups, and
extermination. Look at the great purge of the old Soviet Union.
The details about this (purge is a nice polite name for MASS GENOCIDE)
among many other places on the web. Out with the old, in with
the new....slaves, that is.
Think about the country and what it could become because of a
global catastrophe- millions of telephone poles down and all the
cables. High tension towers flattened. Thousands of water lines
and water treatment and sewer facilities destroy ed. There are
other plans for the camps according to go vt. documents, including
using them as execution centers. And Christians are on the list
for pickup among others. Here
is a list of camps state by state:
THE DEAD AND WOUNDED
Millions or perhaps billions of unburied corpses and wounded laying
everywhere. City buildings will become mausoleums for the unprepared
dead. Disease will become rampant, as the plaque from the decaying
bodies will spread through animals and insects. It will boggle
the mind, just thinking about where to begin. There will be people
still alive, so wounded and hurt that death will be welcome to
them. They will even beg for the end to come. Who will give it
to them ? An injection, or a bullet ?
The military has what they call "portable crematoriums."
The question will be - do they have enough of these ? Not likely,
because the race against time will be about preventing the spread
of disease. There won't be enough body bags for the dead - I'll
leave that part out. [...]
minor rumor has hatched on the Internet that a large and deadly
asteroid will strike Earth this fall. Bulletin board discussions
cite a 63 percent chance of impact, while concerned readers have
e-mailed SPACE.com wondering if it is true.
know of no such impending doom.
rumors are likely rooted in a real event, however. On Sept. 29,
2004 an asteroid the size of a small city will make the closest
known pass of such a very large space rock anytime this century.
model based on radar data reveals different views of Toutatis.[...]
orbit of Toutatis is pinned down with better precision than any
other large asteroid known to cross Earth's orbit. Toutatis' 4-year
trek around the Sun ranges from just inside the Earth's path out
to the main asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. The asteroid
visits us every four years.
fall, it will zoom by our planet within a million miles, or about
four times the distance to the Moon.
close by cosmic standards for an object that could cause global
devastation . Toutatis hasn't been so near since the year 1353
and won't be that close again until 2562, NASA scientists have
calculated. No other asteroid so large is known to have come so
close in the past, though accurate tracking of space rocks is
a fairly recent, high-tech skill that still leaves wide margins
of error for many objects.
is about 2.9 miles long and 1.5 miles wide (4.6 by 2.4 kilometers).
smaller space rocks have passed by much closer, well inside the
Moon's orbit. Other asteroids in the size range of Toutatis have
surely navigated that window, too, but were unseen in eras when
the skies were not scanned so fully as today.
throughout history, several asteroids and comets have hit the
planet. In fact, an object the size of Mars hit Earth when it
was very young, creating the Moon, scientists believe. But experts
say the odds of a major collision in any year are extremely small.
Any other near-Earth asteroid as big as Toutatis would almost
surely be spotted decades or centuries before any possible impact.
prediction of any such event would make huge news rather than
across Perth have reported seeing a huge meteor across the north
west skies overnight.
Mundaring observatory says people from Armadale, south-east of
the city, to The Vines in the north-east reported the event which
is said to have happened close to 10 o'clock AWST last night.
Some reported seeing a huge glow once the object hit the horizon.
Chester from Dianella told the ABC it looked like a giant fireball.
just saw this really bright meteor coming down probably about
a 30 degree angle heading across the north-west, then it disappeared
behind some houses and there was a really bright flash,"
was sort of brilliant white with an orange tail but it was really
large, I mean much bigger than any I've seen before."
clue to end of Middle East civilizations"
Meteors & Myth: New Evidence for Toppled Civilizations and
Atlantis, the Great Flood, the Old Kingdom in Egypt, the Epic
of Gilgamesh, and the Akkadian culture of Iraq -- what do they
have in common? Whether real or imagined, all involve the disappearance
of advanced civilizations by unexplained or catastrophic events
prior to 2,000 B.C. New clues may explain all these civilization-ending
Bronze Age mysteries as the result of an attack from outer space:
while still speculative, the clues point to meteors and comets
wiping out the "first" civilizations and empires on
examination of satellite imagery reveals a 3-km crater near the
junction of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers in Iraq. This region
is historically known as Mesopotamia and formed part of the larger
Fertile Crescent -- a region that stretched to the Nile River.
Access to water and irrigation techniques led to the rise of many
of the first recorded civilizations along the banks of these rivers.
age of the sediments in the Iraq region indicates a crater age
less than 6,000-years old. Mesopotamia was populated 7,000-years
ago and many of the ancient civilizations in the area died out
4,300-years ago. This makes whatever formed the crater a prime
suspect in disappearance of ancient cultures and the appearance
in ancient writings of stories of cataclysmic destruction.
Throughout the world,
there are a dozen impact craters that formed within the past 10,000
years. Two large ones formed in Argentina within
the past 5,000 years. Because of the extent of the oceans, it
is reasonable to believe that for every crater found on the ground
there are several under water.
the craters all formed around the same time, then ancient civilizations
world-wide suffered a fate that was once thought to be a problem
only for modern society: explosions with the force of hundreds
of nuclear bombs destroying settlements locally and affecting
climates globally. Analysis of sediments on land and ocean, as
well as tree ring data indicates abrupt climatic changes did happen
around the time of the crater impacts. And it may not have been
a one-time event.
large comet may have broken up and created a cloud of meteors
that the Earth repeatedly passed through every year for a decade.
The debris in our atmosphere would have made it hard for the Sun
to shine through and caused global cooling.
Lowers Estimate of Asteroid Impact Risk"
small asteroid -- 1-km in diameter -- could ruin the day for one-quarter
of the Earth's population if it hit our planet.
Bigger space rocks, like the 10-km-wide "mountain" suspected
of causing the extinction of the dinosaurs, 65-million years ago,
could end civilization altogether. So scientists are eager to
learn: What are the odds of a 1-km or larger object striking our
planet in any 100-year period? The answer to this question requires
knowledge of the size distribution of large asteroids in our area
of space and the historical record of collisions with Earth.
evidence let's researchers assume that 10-km "dino-killing"
events happen every 100-million-years. Discovering the distribution
of asteroid sizes is problematic. At distances of hundreds of
kilometers, even a "dino-killer" is dim and hard to
spot from Earth.
That's where the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS)
comes in handy. As a survey to chart the large, faint objects
outside our galaxy, it naturally discovers many dim asteroids
that float through the field of being imaged. Software automatically
detects these asteroids and determines their color signature and
distance. Color indicates composition, which determines how much
light the asteroid reflects from the Sun. These factors can be
used to derive a size estimate for the object.
categorization of 10,000 asteroids within our Solar System's asteroid
belt yields an estimated 700,000 rocks bigger than 1-km. This
population of "main belt" asteroids feeds a smaller
population of "near Earth" asteroids -- the kind that
are a threat to Earth.
indicate that there is a 1:5,000 chance that one of these will
strike the Earth in a 100-year period. This is actually good news
because prior estimates placed the odds of such a collision at
three times higher. The SDSS odds are also in agreement with a
study to be published by the Spacewatch Project at the University
of Arizona. That group studied actual near-earth asteroids to
reach their conclusion.
ALBERT - The skies were alive over Prince Albert Saturday afternoon.
Harding isn't sure what he saw; he thinks it might have been five
or six meteorites. He believes they were travelling too fast to
have been aircraft.
was at Birch Hills, about 40 kilometres southeast of Prince Albert,
when a loud noise overhead caught his attention.
I thought it was a plane", says Harding. "And then I
looked and there were five, and they were all just roaring when
they went over top."
took photographs of the objects as they streaked northwestward,
toward Prince Albert. One of the photographs actually shows six
trails of smoke or vapour in the sky.
taking the photos, Harding called his wife in Prince Albert, and
she looked out and watched as they passed over the city.
police in Prince Albert say they did not received any calls from
people wondering what was in the skies overhead.
Great Salt Lake is teeming with a life form that may turn out
to be inhabiting other planets.
inland sea is home to dozens of species of salt-loving micro-organisms
called halophiles that thrive in one of the most inhospitable
environments on Earth.
The Salt Lake discovery may have extra-terreristrial consequences.
Many scientists have argued for some time that if bacteria can
survive such conditions there, then it is quite possible on other
planets such as Mars.
NASA's Opportunity has proved bodies of open water did once exist,
the Red Planet may well be home to microbes a lot like the halophiles
of the Great Salt Lake.
space agency certainly thinks so. Suddenly, sample-return missions
are back on the agenda and Meridiani Planum is being spoken of
as a prime destination to go and fetch rocks for study back on
— A meteor cruising through the night skies over Montrose
on Friday morning couldn't take the atmospheric heat buildup and
blew up into pieces, an event that was caught by a digital camera
mounted on the roof of Montrose High School.
appears to be descending directly down upon the Montrose area,”
said Mike Nadiak, earth-and-space science teacher at MHS. Locals
might find blackened chunks of the meteorite lying in their backyards
or agricultural fields, he said.
hoping to get the word out to get people to keep their eyes open
for possible meteor fragments,” Nadiak said.
similar fireball exploded above the Black Canyon around Thanksgiving
of 2002, Nadiak said, but no fragments of that meteorite were
have been witnessing a rare cosmic event this month with two comets
appearing in the sky together.
what is believed to be the first on record in Australia, two comets
– Neat and Linear – are in the inner solar system
and visible to the naked eye.
"There are millions of comets out there but we don't see
them very regularly in the inner solar system," Ms Morgan
said from Charleville in western Queensland.
"But to actually get two at the same time is a really rare event.
through the records to date I have not found anything where there
has been two in the sky together.
to be that close together and observable is really quite amazing."
"Everyone is just talking about these two great comets
and how fabulous it is and aren't we lucky to be here on the planet
when it actually happens," she said.
announced Thursday the second known asteroid whose orbit is completely
inside that of Earth. It supplants Venus as the second rock from
asteroids orbit the Sun between Mars and Jupiter. But a handful
cross the path of Earth on elliptical trajectories. One had previously
been found to move completely inside the annual path of our planet.
newfound rock, named 2004 JG6, is currently between Earth and
Venus and orbits the Sun every six months. But its elliptical
path takes it well inside the circle of Venus and even inside
Mercury's path. On average, it is closer to the Sun than Venus.
Police are investigating a bizarre incident early Sunday that
sent a woman to hospital.
car was driving southbound across the Oak Street Bridge around
3 am when the front and back windshields were shattered by an
say a "small, hard object" hit the window but they aren't
sure exactly what it was.
bullet has been ruled out.
female passenger was taken to hospital with undetermined injuries.
bridge was closed to traffic for about half an hour.
in eastern India say five people were injured and two houses gutted
when a meteorite crashed to earth.
meteorite hit a remote village near the Bay of Bengal in the state
local media said five people were sent to hospital with injuries.
A local resident said the meteorite lit up the sky and caused windows
to rattle as it passed overhead, sending hundreds of people rushing
The chances of being hit by a chunk of space rock are measured
in the billions-to-one. Roy Fausset, 59, had the closest of escapes
last month when what scientists now say was a meteorite crashed
through his New Orleans home.
walked through my front door and it was like a mortar bomb had
fallen on my house.
of what could be a meteorite which narrowly missed a 10-year-old
boy when it smashed into his driveway would be scientifically
tested in Perth, the youngster's mother said today.
Elliss-Galati saw an odd-shaped object in the sky, heading towards
him on Thursday as he played outside his Safety Bay home, about
50km south of Perth. Anthony told his mother Jennifer Elliss he
hid behind her car and watched the bird-sized object smash a hole
in the driveway and shatter.
heard something hit the bitumen and then Anthony came inside and
said there were rocks coming out of the sky," Ms Elliss said.
"He then handed me a piece and it didn't look like a normal
rock - it was dull on the inside and silver on the outside and
looked as if it had melted."
you wait long enough, a piece of outer space itself will come right
to you. As Colby Navarro worked innocently
on the computer, a rock from space crashed through the roof, struck
the printer, banged off the wall, and came to rest near the filing
cabinet. This occurred around midnight on March
26 in Park Forest, Illinois, USA, near Chicago. The meteorite, measuring
about 10 cm across, was one of several that fell near Chicago that
day as part of a tremendous fireball.[...]
of extraterrestrial rock crash-landed near Chicago after a bolide
exploded in Midwestern skies early Thursday morning.
Around midnight on Thursday, March 27, residents of several southern
Chicago suburbs were woken up by explosions and crashes. Moments
earlier, others who happened to be outdoors in Illinois and neighboring
states witnessed a bright meteor exploding overhead, illuminating
early morning display of noise and light was produced by a small
asteroid that entered Earth's atmosphere and broke apart over
the Midwest, showering dozens of rock fragments upon homes and
other buildings approximately 30 miles south of downtown Chicago.
-- Live long and prosper -- and duck!
Road Commission for Oakland County may have had a close encounter
of t he shooting-star kind when what appears to be a meteorite
hit one of its maintenance facilities over the weekend. [...]
explosion heard over Hawke's Bay early yesterday morning was probably
caused by a fist-sized fragment of an asteroid entering the Earth's
atmosphere, says Carter Observatory astronomer Richard Hall.
Hall said reports that the light was an orange colour suggested
it came from a meteor of metallic material. That meant it was
probably a fragment of asteroid that had originated from somewhere
between Jupiter and Mars, Mr Hall said.
were "about a handful" of reports each year of meteors
of a similar size. Smaller meteors would cause light, but not
the sonic boom, he said.
now and then Earth will plough into the path of material left
behind by comets or asteroids. There have been a few reports of
similar events in the Northern Hemisphere over the last week or
so," Mr Hall said.
was no telling when an asteroid might hit the Earth. Last year,
astronomers in America and Europe observed an asteroid with a
10km diameter that narrowly missed Earth.
that had hit it would have had the force of a 100-tonne hydrogen
bomb," M r Hall said.
Michelle Baines and Michael Stonestreet were probably
the closest people to the meteor.
Baines, a flight nurse, and Mr Stonestreet, a pilot, were flying
to Wairoa to pick up a patient at about 3.40 am yesterday when
the sky lit up.
were above the ocean about 15km south east of Wairoa when it occurred.
thought there must have been a helicopter above us with its light
on. We looked up and there were two or three orange things moving
through the sky. It lasted just a couple of seconds," Ms
object was "high above us, and between us and the coast"
and was travelling in a northerly direction, Ms Baines said.
Baines and Mr Stonestreet were wearing headsets and did not hear
anything over the Piper Seneca's two engines.
we landed, the ambulance officer told us there was a huge noise.
At the hospital they thought something must have hit the top of
the building," Ms Baines said.
Jason Vercoe was driving from Taupo to Hastings and was about
4km north of the Mohaka river when the sky lit up
"The whole place lit up. It was kind of like the light a
city makes behind a ridge. It was incredible, really hard to describe.
It almost made my highbeams useless at 3.30am in the morning.
That's how bright it was."
Vercoe, 30, said he leaned over his steering wheel and looked
skyward, where he saw a "bright shooting star". His
car clock said it was 3.39am.
were no other vehicles near him when he saw the light, although
he had seen several trucks on the road earlier.
half thought to stop and pull over to see if they saw it too,"
Mr Vercoe said.
found out about the story of the meteor in yesterday's Hawke's
Bay Today, after telling his girlfriend of his experience.
I hadn't leaned over my steering wheel and seen the star I would
have thought there was something wrong with my eyes," Mr
man Robin McKee was having a "fitful night's sleep looking
after a child who was sick" when he saw the light.
was like a lightbulb had popped in front of my eyes," Mr
Trevor Cook, from Napier, heard a "boom
sound" and felt his house creak.
thoughts went through my mind. It might have been hooligans letting
off a homemade bomb, or as the Carter Observatory suggested, a
meteor entering the Earth's atmosphere, and creating a sonic boom,"
Mr Cook said.
senior sergeant Chris Flood said there had been few calls about
the event, but "no one's come in with a piece of rock yet".
intriguing rock found south of Fort MacLeod, Alta., has been identified
by a University of Calgary researcher as Canada's newest meteorite.
Gerald GoldenbeldMr. Gerald Goldenbeld found the rock in 1992
when he stopped his tractor while baling straw in a field on the
west bank of the Belly River opposite the Belly River Buttes.
Recently, he sent the heavy, black-and -rust-coloured stone to
the U of C, and tests confirmed it is a new discovery and not
part of a previously found meteorite. [...]
meteorite has crashed through the roof of a house in Auckland,
much to the surprise of the home' s owners.
Scientists were sceptical about the report but have
now confirmed the 1.3 kilogram rock has fallen from space.
is only the ninth meteor to land in New Zealand.
rarity makes it valuable to collectors as well as scientists.
Schiff, from Auckland University, says the circumstances of the
meteor's discovery also add to its value.
through a roof is really an exceptional event that rarely happens,
and this is a beautiful large specimen," he said.
plan to analyse the chemical composition of the meteorite to find
out more about where it came from.
(2.8lbs) meteorite crashed through an Auckland city home, hitting
the couch and ending up under a computer, the Sunday Star Times
reported today. The book-sized rock hit Phil and Brenda Archer's
suburban Ellerslie home on Saturday morning, leaving a large hole
in their roof.
was in the kitchen doing breakfast and there was this almighty
explosion," Brenda said. "It was like a bomb had gone
off. I couldn't see anything, there was just dust."
thought something had exploded in the ceiling, but her husband
saw a stone under the computer and it was hot to touch.
The rock hit a leather couch and bounced
back up to the ceiling before rolling under the computer.
Archer's one-year-old grandson Luca was playing nearby but was
must have a guardian angel," Brenda said.
University meteorite expert Joel Schiff said the rock was "a
national treasure", but international collectors would offer
big money for it.
said the chondrite type meteor - meaning it was chipped off an
asteroid - had probably hit the atmosphere the size of a basketball
at 15 kilometres per second before slowing to around 100-200 metres
a second at impact.
CHUNK of space deb ris claimed by a witness to be the size of
a house probably burnt up over the NSW south coast before it could
hit the ground, astronomers said today.
motorist on the Hume Highway told police he saw a burning object
"the size of a house" streaking towards an an escarpment
at Bulli about 9pm (AEST) yesterday, exploding in a bright flash.
National University astronomer Vince Ford today said it sounded
like a sizeable chunk of rock breaking up in the atmosphere.
something of that size had hit the earth, it would have made a
sonic boom and registered on seismological g raphs, said Dr Ford,
who is based at the Mt Stromlo Observatory in Canberra.
said the object was likely to have been less than a metre in diameter
and that no fragments nor a crater would be found.
really does sound like a fireball to me," Dr Ford said.
that view was Sydney Observatory astronomer and curator Nick Lomb.
fireball was "the glowing gas that surrounds a piece of rock
as it travels from space through the earth's atmosphere,"
Dr Lomb said.
The driver sa id the object was glowing
silver in colour and exploded with a bright flash on impact.
came down east of the Hume Highway, possibly on an escarpment
near the top of a hill at Bulli, police were told.
at the Sydney Airport Tower also said they saw a burning object
in the sky about 9pm (AEST), police said.
no other reports were received by police and extensive patrols
failed to find any space debris.
University astronomer Glen Moore said people who saw meteors often
had trouble determining their true size because of a lack of reference
points in space.
I'd say the likely thing is it was much further to the west than
they thought it was, beyond the escarpment," he said.
reportedly the size of a house fell on the NSW south coast overnight,
exploding in a bright flash, police said today.
A driver on the Hume Highway shortly after 9pm (AEST) near Menangle
reported an object the size of a house falling from the sky.
object fell east of the Hume Highway, possibly in an escarpment
near the top of a hill at Bulli, police were told.
meteorite was described as glowing silver in colour and similar
to an artillery shell when it exploded with a bright flash on
at the Sydney Airport Tower said they saw a meteorite about 9pm,
other reports were received by police and extensive police patrols
of the area did not turn up the space debris.
are investigating reports of a meteorite falling between Menangle
and Bulli, north of Wollongong in southern New South Wales, overnight.
say a motorist travelling south on the Hume Highway near Menangle
saw an object fall from the sky shortly after 9:00pm AEST.
say the object fell to the east of the highway and possibly on
an escarpment near the top of a hill at Bulli.
object has been described as glowing silver in colour and similar
to an artillery shell exploding with a bright flash on impact.
Sydney Airport tower also confirmed the meteorite.
patrols of the area could not locate the object.
enthusiasts will likely be out in force in the coming nights,
hoping to catch a glimpse of an on-again, off-again meteor display.
Special emphasis will be placed on two specific nights: June 22-23
and June 26-27.
the month of June is usually not noteworthy for any major meteor
six years ago, during the final weekend of June 1998, sky watchers
worldwide were caught off guard by an unexpected shower of bright
meteors an d fireballs.
Japan, for instance, came reports of meteors that were visible
even through heavily overcast skies. Reports from visual observers
in other regions suggested that this surprise meteor display produced
meteor rates of anywhere from 50 to 100 per hour and lasted more
than half a day.
bursts of June meteor activity were noted many decades ago, in
1916, 1921 and again in 1927. Because the meteors seemed to fan-out
from a region of the sky near the northern border of the constellation
of Bootes, the Herdsman, they became popularly known as the "June
It was also in 1916
that the legendary British meteor observer, William Denning, first
suggested that these meteors were bits and pieces shed by the
Comet Pons-Winnecke, a rather small, dim object and a member of
the Jupiter family of comets. Such comets are so-named because
they have their aphelia the point in their elongated orbits that
place them farthest from the Sun at roughly the same distance
of the planet Jupiter.
orbits of the Earth and the comet were relatively close to each
other during the early 20th Century.
fact, Pons-Winnecke's closest point to the Sun its perihelion
slowly shifted from just inside the Earth's orbit in 1916 to just
outside it during 1921 and 1927. Astronomers assumed that it was
this close proximity between the two orbits that accounted for
the enhanced meteor activity seen in those three years.
since then, due to a series of relatively close encounters with
Jupiter's powerful gravitational field, the orbit of the comet
has significantly changed.
1921, the gap between the orbits of the Earth and the comet has
been gradually increasing, becoming more than 22 million miles
(35 million kilometers) by 1998. Because of this large gulf between
the two orbits, it seemed logical to believe that any future enhanced
meteor activity from Comet Pons-Winnecke would be all but impossible.
That argument certainly held up until June 1998. How then, could
that meteor shower have taken place with the two orbits so widely
answer came from astronomers David Asher of Armagh Observatory
in Ireland and Vacheslav Emel'yanenko, of South Ural University,
Chelyabinsk, Russia. Their studies showed that the 1998 meteors
were the result of meteoroids released from Comet Pons-Winnecke
back in the year 1825.
and Emel'yanenko pointed out that the planet Jupiter completes
one orbit around the Sun in the same time that it takes the meteoroids
shed from Comet Pons-Winnecke to complete two. In other word s,
while Jupiter takes 12 years to go around the Sun, the meteoroids
from Pons-Winnecke take 6 years; a 2 to 1 ratio. So instead of
spreading around the whole orbit, the meteoroids were kept clustered
closely together by Jupiter's gravitation.
simulations by Asher and Emel'yanenko also demonstrated that the
comet and its ejected particles from 1825 were apparently disturbed
by Jupiter in different ways, so that in the ensuing years the
comet and the particles that it shed became widely separated from
however, in June 1998, the meteoroids ended up cutting right through
the Earth's orbit, producing the unexpected bevy of bright meteors.
Another good shower?
if the meteoroids that produced the bright 1998 display are still
basically moving around the Sun in a 6-year orbit, does that mean
that we'll be in for a repeat performance in 2004? Viewpoints
Rendtel, president of the International Meteor Organization, believes
that 2004 could be another good year to look for the June Bootids.
points out that on Sunday, June 27 at 01h GMT (which corresponds
to Saturday, June 26 at 9:00 p.m. EDT) the Earth should be passing
through essentially the very same region of the meteoroid stream
as in 1998.
time would be the middle of the peak activity seen in 1998, but
since that display lasted for many hours, observers worldwide
should stay alert through Saturday night on into Sunday morning
for any unusual or enhanced meteor activity.
the other hand, David Asher's belief is that little or nothing
will be observed, based primarily on the simple argument that
unusual numbers of bright meteors should also have been seen in
1992 and 1986, but nothing apparently occurred.
recent days, a different forecast for the June B ootids has been
issued by Jerimie Vaubaillon of the Ins titut de Mcanique Cleste
et de Calcul des phmrides, in Paris, France and Russians Sergey
Dubrovsky and Sergey Shanov.
calculations suggest that the Earth will interact with a swarm
of meteoroids that were ejected by Comet Pons-Winnecke at not
just one, but several of its past visits to the Sun, most notably
in 1819, 1825, 1830, 1836 and perhaps 1875. In addition, the predicted
peak for this activity comes several days earlier than Rendtel's
suggestion: Wednesday, June 23 at 11h GMT (7 a.m. EDT).
North America and the Pacific Ocean will still be in darkness
at that time, and are favored with the best possible views. But
should the activity last for many hours, then it could be worthwhile
to carefully watch the sky from Tuesday night, the 22nd, on until
the first light of dawn on Wednesday, the 23rd.
you plan to look for the June Bootids on the night of June 22-23
or again on the night of June 26-27, keep in mind that the constellation
of Bootes will be excellently positioned as darkness falls. It
will appear nearly overhead and high up in the northern sky and
will remain in view through the night as it descends toward the
the Moon will be a rather wide crescent and will set just before
midnight (local daylight time) on the night of June 22-23. It
will, however, be more of a hindrance on the night of June 26-27
when it will have increased in brightness to a bright gibbous
phase and not setting until after 1:30 a.m.
Close-up photographs of a comet
have shattered the belief that these traditional portents of doom
are so-called "dirty snowballs" composed of dust and
taken by a spacecraft that flew within 150 miles of the comet
Wild 2 reveal that the subject is a solid chunk of rock with a
spectacularly sculpted landscape.
images taken by the Stardust spacecraft as the comet made its
nearest approach last February clearly show that the comet's 20
square miles is covered in broad mesas, craters, pinnacles and
canyons with flat floors and sheer walls.
Scientists led by Professor Donald
Brownlee, the Stardust's principal investigator at the University
of Washington, were prepared for featureless images of an icy
surface coated in dust. "It's
completely unexpected. We were expecting the surface
to look more like it was covered with pulverised charcoal,"
Professor Brownlee said.
the Stardust photographs - published in the journal Science -
depict a mini world scarred by a series of collisions with other
space objects over many millions of years. The scientists involved
in the mission have identified two kinds of crater on the comet,
one with a central rounded pit and a surrounding rough terrain,
the other with a flat floor and steep sides.
craters look like footprints, and have been named Right Foot and
Left Foot. Unlike craters seen on Earth or the Moon, the craters
on Wild 2 are virtually devoid of the powdery debris seen scattered
around typical impact craters. Professor Brownlee said that was
because there is hardly any gravity on the surface of Wild 2.
suspects meteor in Webster County's big boom.
Kesterson was getting ready for work Friday morning when two thunderous
explosions a split second apart rocked the sky above his home.
was loud enough to shake the house and rattle the windows,"
said Kesterson, owner of Marshfield TV and Electronics. "The
dog's probably still hiding."
The rural Webster County man rushed outside,
not sure what he'd find.
was a smoke trail in the sky, but it wasn't straight," he
said. "It kind of came down at an angle, like a jet contrail
that the wind had distorted."
Webster County Sheriff's Department fielded nearly 20 phone calls
from area residents around 9:20 a.m., concerned something had
checked with area quarries, which reported no blasting activity.
no supersonic aircraft were in the skies above Webster County,
according to Springfield airport and Fort Leonard Wood officials.
scientist Mike Mumma said the likely culprit was a "sizable"
meteor ripping apart as it blasted through the atmosphere at 100,000
the description of buildings and windows shaking, that's a fairly
significant sonic boom," said Mumma, chief scientist of planetary
research at Goddard Research Center in Greenbelt, Md. "It
would have been much larger than fist-sized to make that loud
of a noise and generate that much energy. I couldn't speculate
how big, though."
Yeomans, man ager of NASA's Near Earth Object monitoring program
in Pasadena, Calif., said a meteor that shakes homes and windows
could have been the size of a small car.
we can expect something that size twice a year, on average,"
he said. "Of course, most of the Earth's surface is ocean
so we don't see them that often. Yours is a very unusual event."
County Sheriff's Capt. Robert Brown said the explosion shook the
upper floors of the courthouse.
county's Emergency Management director was contacted, and the
courthouse was checked to make sure it was secure, he said.
"We were on standby ready to go if anything
really had happened," Brown said.
the Marshfield Chevrolet Olds dealership, receptionist Lynn Bays
said she heard a "big, loud explosion" while sitting
at her desk.
first I thought it was a big bolt of lightning, but a lot louder,"
she said. "It was pretty wild."
Tucker, owner of Marshfield Beauty Shop, said the blast sounded
"just like a big sonic boom."
talked to my mother, and she said it really rattled her garage
door," Tucker said.
said those kinds of reports — without the presence of supersonic
aircraft — are consistent with a meteor hitting the atmosphere.
explosion like that usually occurs when a pressure wave builds
up on the front face of the meteor,' he said. "Eventually
it blows up into millions of pieces which burn up before they
hit the ground."
description of hearing two sonic booms wasn't unusual, he said.
could have been a binary object coming in; two meteors traveling
together in space," Mumma said. "Each one would have
generated a sonic boom as it entered the atmosphere."
June 4, Seattle residents got a spectacular view of a meteor breaking
meteor lit up the sky at 2:40 a.m., and its brilliant glow was
captured on dozens of security cameras across the city.
exploded about 27 miles above Snohomish, Wash., its thunderous
blast registering on many area earthquake detectors.
on eyewitness accounts and data from the earthquake monitors,
officials estimated the W ashington meteor's size to be about
the size of a computer video monitor.
Manuel, professor emeritus of chemistry at the University of Missouri-Rolla,
said it would be a fluke if anyone in Webster County found a piece
of Friday's meteor.
area is rocky and covered by forests, both of which would make
finding a meteor fragment difficult.
there will be some meteorite fragments found," he said. "A
common misconception is that they're too hot to pick up. But meteors
ablate when they come in — their surface melts off faster
than it can he at the object. If you find one, you can pick it
killer asteroids may sound like the plot of a cheap science fiction
movie, but as astronomer Ken Chambers knows it is a very real
possibility in the near future.
Alamos native Chambers and his colleague, Nicholas Kaiser, presented
abstracts on their project, the Pan-STARR Optical Survey Telescope
Project, at the American Astronomical Society 204th meeting, which
met May 30 through June 3 in Denver.
is an associate professor at the University of Hawaii Institute
for Astronomy and the chief scientist of the Pan-STARRS Telescope
#1, which is the prototype telescope for the project.
prototype will be the first of four planned telescopes that have
a very lar ge field of view through which to survey the visible
sky every four days. By surveying it over and over, the researchers
will be able to detect any potentially dangerous asteroids movement,
according to the abstract. The purpose is to identify any asteroids
that are on a collision course with Earth, in order to be able
to do something to change the orbit of the asteroid before it
project incorporates the telescope and its data, a camera and
said the difference about this project is that they are trying
to predict the future.
explained that telescopes are time machines because they all look
back in time. "You are looking into the past because of the
speed of light," Chambers said. "When you see the sun,
you see it as it was eight minutes ago; Jupiter, as it was 40
minutes ago; Alpha Centauri as it was four years ago."
colliding of asteroids with Earth can have catastrophic results.
million years ago, an asteroid that was only a few kilometers
in size hit the earth and wiped out the dinosaurs, which opened
the door to evolution and let humans in," Chambers said.
65 million years, an impact will happen that is big. If it hits
tomorrow, there is nothing we can do. But, if we can find one
that will hit 100 years from now, you have more warning and you
only have to make it change orbit a tiny bit in order to not hit
are still discussing different ways to change the orbit. [...]
man's odd find has experts perplexed
Oliver said he's sure he doesn't have rocks in his head.
does, however, have a big one in his living room. It's brown,
weighs some 40 pounds and is hollow in a few places. Oliver said
he thinks it's worth big bu cks.
is no ordinary rock,'' he said.
a glance, local geology buffs haven't been able to identify the
rock Oliver came across while clearing underbrush on property
in north Abilene.
about to drive me crazy,'' Oliver said. ''I want to find out what
ago, ''I picked this thing on up and I thought, 'What the ...
''' Oliver said.
the rock looked so odd, Oliver said, he took it home and hosed
it off. It's smooth but not perfectly round and about a foot and
a half in diameter.
said he took it to the geology departments at Hardin-Simmons University
and McMurry University.
Richard Schofield said that in his 22 years with McMurry's geology
department, he's never seen anything like it.
looking at the rock, he couldn't determine its composition, age
or origin. Its partial hollowness could be from weathering, Schofield
for its value, Schofield said, ''It could be nothing, but I can't
say with any certainty.''
suggested Oliver send the rock to Texas A&M University, where
staff could cut a sample to study.
Lightfoot, a longtime member of the Central Texas Gem and Mineral
Society, said the most common rocks in the Abilene area are fossils
and agate, a striped gemstone.
hard to say what he found,'' Lightfoot said without having seen
detailed analysis of the comet Wild 2 (pronounced "Vilt 2")
has left ast ronomers astounded at an object that has noknown
peers in the solar system.
comet, examined in a close flyby in January by NASA's Stardust
spacecraft, has towering protrusions
and steep-walled craters that seem to defy gravity.
More than a dozen jets of material
shoot out from its insides. Dust swirls around the comet in unexpectedly
the bizarre features are two depressions
with flat floors and nearly vertical walls that resemble giant
footprints. They aren't structured like typical
impact craters. The features have been named Left Foot and Right
Foot in a new map of the comet, which is roughly 3 miles (5 kilometers)
two other comets have been seen up close, but both appeared fairly
smooth and were nowhere near so heavily cratered. Nor do the pockmarked
surfaces common to asteroids and moons bear much stylistic resemblance
to the shapes seen on Wild 2.
far, as far as we know Wild 2 is a unique object," said Donald
Brownlee, an astronomy professor at the University of Washington
and Stardust's principal investigator.
told SPACE.com that Wild 2 could represent a unique class of comet.
He and his colleague s had expected it to be relatively featureless
with a dusty, charcoal-like coating. Instead they found a place
riddled with apparently ancient impact craters. Broad
mesas and steep canyons stand out clearly. [...]
suggested the consistency of the comet is something like freeze-dried
astronaut ice cream. [...]
do blow up unexpectedly," Brownlee pointed out, adding that
built-up internal pressure and "steam explosions" might
be responsible for some of the surface features. [...]
Wild 2 probably gathered itself together 4.5 billion years ago,
just after the Sun was born, in a region beyond Neptune known
as the Kuiper Belt. [...]
1974 it had a close encounter with Jupiter and was thrown onto
a new orbit that brings it closer to the Sun. A comet loses material
when it approaches the Sun, as solar radiation causes ice from
its surface to "sublimate" into space, carring dust
and larger particles with it. The process creates a cloud of material
that reflects sunlight and creates the familiar head of a comet
(scientists call it a coma) and sometimes a tail.
the new findings: Wild 2 has lost about 3 feet (1 meter) of its
surface since 1974.
Alexander, a program scientist for Rosetta from NASA's Jet Propulsion
Laboratory, has modeled comets for years. She did not expect the
number of jets or their ability to lift the large chunks thought
to then break up and create the particle swarms. And she's surprised
that the comet is apparently not a loosely cemented rubble pile.
would have told you it wasn't going to be like that," Alexander
said. "We are astonished and intrigued."
Spirit rover is looking at a Martian rock unlike anything seen
on Earth, with a pitted surface and strange nuggets on the end
"I have never seen anything
that combines all those characteristics together in the way this
does," said Steve Squyres of Cornell University, principal
investigator for the NASA rovers. "Now, I won't tell you
that somewhere on Earth, there isn't a rock that looks like this,
but we may be dealing with something uniquely Martian here."
rock is called Pot of Gold, and it could prove a treasure for
Spirit, which is exploring the Columbia Hills in Gusev Crater.
A spectrometer reading showed the rock holds hematite, which can
form in water.
South Island radio station is being swamped with reports of a
meteor strike in the Mackenzie Country.
from Christchurch to Timaru say they saw a bright light streaking
across the sky around 9.30 last night.
Port FM announcer James Valentine says he has taken dozens
of calls describing the dramatic end of the meteor's journey.
says it exploded before it hit the ground, and flames and debris
were seen in the sky.
Valentine says a consensus is building around the idea the meteor
crashed to earth somewhere near Twizel.
a strange orange streak moving across the early morning sky recently?
Think you've seen a meteor? Well, you're not alone.
Shore residents have been reporting suspected meteor sightings
for the past four weeks, according to the Stardome Observatory
at One Tree Hill.
Anderson spotted "a big orange streak" in the sky about
7.30am yesterday while walking to work in Takapuna with a friend.
was thicker at one end and then tapered," she said. "We
watched it for about four minutes then it disappeared."
Warren Hurley of the Stardome said what people had actually seen
was a high-flying aircraft moving from southeast to northeast.
plane and its vapour trail were illuminated by the morning sun,
creating the orange effect.
looks quite bright. It does look orangey - the same as clouds
at sunset. And the fact that it moves across the sky so slowly
would eliminate a meteor," Mr Hurley said.
aircraft are flying north from Christchurch without stopping in
Auckland these days so it's a relatively normal sight."
response to my recent article Why
I Fear Toutatis, I have received numerous emails from people
who claim to have seen unusal fireballs and/or meteor activity
in the United States over the past few weeks.
In addition to these email communications, I have found evidence
of censorship in the news of fireballs, meteors, and unexplained
These recent developments are leading me to an inexorable conclusion:
who control the news are vary wary of current cosmic activity,
and are deeply concerned about the effect this will have on public
After discovering [numerous] instance of possible CENSORSHIP of
cosmic impacts, I did a word search on Google news for "meteor"...and
I found this story, from June 19th, of a CAR-SIZED meteor reported
in the state of Missouri. A meteor the size of a car is a MAJOR
story...particularly when one considers that a meteor (or bolide)
as small as the one in ashington three weeks ago made national
headlines. What is going on? [...]
Kesterson was getting ready for work Friday morning when two thunderous
explosions a split second apart rocked the sky above his home.
"It was loud enough to shake the house and rattle the windows,"
said Kester son, owner of Marshfield TV and Electronics. "The
do g's probably still hiding."
The rural Webster County man rushed outside, not sure what he'd
"There was a smoke trail in the sky, but it wasn't straight,"
he said. "It kind of came down at an angle, like a jet contrail
that the wind had distorted."
The Webster County Sheriff's Department fielded nearly 20 phone
calls from area residents around 9:20 a.m., concerned something
had blown up.
Dispatchers checked with area quarries, which reported no blasting
And no supersonic aircraft were in the skies above Webster County,
according to Springfield airport and Fort Leonard Wood officials.
NASA scientist Mike Mumma said the
likely culprit was a "sizable" meteor ripping apart
as it blasted through the atmosphere at 100,000 mph.
"From the description of buildings and windows shaking, that's
a fairly significant sonic boom," said Mumma, chief scientist
of planetary research at Goddard Research Center in Greenbelt,
Md. "It would have been much larger than fist-sized to make
that loud of a noise and generate that much energy. I couldn't
speculate how big, though."
Don Yeomans, manager of NASA's Near
Earth Object monitoring program in Pasadena, Calif., said a meteor
that shakes homes and windows could have been the size of a small
Perth Observatory says it has had reports a meteor has crashed
near Walpole in Western Australia's south.
say they saw a large, fiery object zigzagging through the sky
at about 5:30pm yesterday.
witnesses say the object left a trail of thick smoke and then
they heard a bang.
observatory says it appears the object was travelling somewhere
between Perth and Albany in a south-south easterly direction.
resident Heather Burton was in her backyard when she saw the object.
says it was unlike a normal shooting star.
shooting star usually just goes straight across or straight down
- this one had these gradual zigzags just coming down," she
Bevan from the WA Museum says the reports indicate the sightings
were the result of a fireball generated by a meteorite.
certainly picking up reports of a bright fireball and sonic phenomena
associated - I'm absolutely sure - with the fall of a meteorite,"
Dr Bevan said.
Bevan says it will be difficult to find where the meteorite landed.
there doesn't seem to be as many observations, so actually pinning
down where the object landed might be a bit difficult
and in that area, the vegetation might mean searching for it would
be difficult," he said.
would not have a chance on planets nearest the Earth’s solar
system because of a blizzard of comets and meteors, astrono mers
have concluded after taking a close look at the star Tau Ceti.
Ceti, 12 light years away, probably
has more than 10 times as many objects flying around as our own
solar system does, scientists at the Royal Astronomical Society
don’t yet know whether there are any planets orbiting Tau
Ceti, but if there are, it is likely
that they will experience constant bombardment from asteroids
of the kind that is believed to have wiped out the dinosaurs,"said
Jane Greaves, lead scientist on the project.
"It is likely that with so many large impacts, life would not have the
opportunity to evolve."
team of astronomers have found a colossal black hole so ancient,
they're not sure how it had enough time to grow to its current
size, about 10 billion times the mass of the Sun.
at the heart of a distant galaxy, the black hole appears to be
about 12.7 billion years old, which means it formed just one billion
years after the universe began and is one of the oldest supermassive
black holes ever known.
The black hole, researchers said, is big enough to hold 1,000
of our own Solar Systems and weighs about as much as all the stars
in the Milky Way.
universe was awfully young at the time this was formed,"
said astronomer Roger Romani, a Stanford University associate
professor whose team found the object. "It's a bit of a challenge
to understand how this black hole got enough mass to reach its
told SPACE.com that the black hole is unique because it dates
back to just after a period researchers call the 'Dark Ages,'
a time when the universe cooled down after the initial Big Bang
13.7 billion years ago. That cooling period lasted about one billion
years, whe n the first black holes, stars and galaxies began to
appear, he added. The research appeared June 10 on the online
version of Astrophysical Journal Letters.
to the naked eye, black holes can only be detected by the radiation
they spew and their gravitational influence on their stellar neighbors.
Astronomers generally agree that black holes come in at least
two types, stellar and supermassive. Stellar black holes form
from collapsed, massive stars a few times the mass of the Sun,
while their supermassive counterparts can reach billions of solar
supermassive black hole a few million times the mass of the Sun
is thought to sit at the center of our own Milky Way galaxy, and
some of the largest supermassives seen date have reached up to
two billion solar masses, researchers said. [...]
PASADENA, California -- NASA's
Cassini space probe has already aided scientists to make a second
discovery about Saturn, even though the craft is still a day away
from beginning its main mission.
detected by the probe show that Saturn's natural radio emissions
are more like the sun's than the Earth's, and that a Saturnian
day is not as short as once thought. [...]
announced the radio discovery on Monday, saying that it was based
on data returned from the probe over the past year. The data showed
that Saturn's radio rotational period -- a measurement often used
to determine the length of a day on a planet -- was nearly six
minutes longer than when measu red by the Voyager 1 and Voyager
2 spacecraft in 1980 and 1981, respectively.
say this means it's highly likely that Saturn's radio emissions
change depending on when and where they are measured, like those
of the sun. By contrast, the period of Earth's radio emissions
are fixed. They have ruled out other options, like malfunctioning
equipment on the Voyager probes, or the possibility that Saturn's
physical rotation has slowed over the years, they said.
Saturn's radio period has clearly shifted substantially since
the Voyager measurements, I don't think any of us could conceive
of any process that would cause the rotation of the ent ire planet
to actually slow down," said University of Iowa space physicist
Don Gurnett, principal investigator for the Cassini Radio and
Plasma Wave Science instrument. [...]
hopes it can come up with a different solution to the problem,
and uncover the mystery of what is causing the radio emissions
to change, sometime during the next four years as Cassini continues
to spy on Saturn and its moons. "We will be able to unravel
the puzzle, but it's going to take some time," said Gurnett.
has been hurtling through space on its way toward Saturn for the
past six and a half years. On Wednesday evening, mission controllers
at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory will fire one of Cassini's engi
nes, allowing the spacecraft to slip through the space between
two of Saturn's rings. The maneuver will put Cassini in orbit
around Saturn, where it will remain for the next four years, studying
the planet, its rings and its moons. [...]
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