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Ice Cube

5 rescued after huge ice jam causes floods near Louisville, Nebraska

@OPDABLE1

Known victims have been rescued, @OPDABLE1 is heading back for fuel & returning to recon for more victims.

8:20 AM - 27 Jan 2015
A one-mile long ice jam is moving down the Platte River in Nebraska has caused flooding near Two Rivers State Park, about 30 miles west of Omaha.

Authorities have rescued five people and pets from the floods and ice. Three of the victims are thought to have been in their vehicle when it became trapped in flood waters. Around 20 residents have evacuated the area.

The National Weather Service in Omaha said:
Ice jam flooding along the Platte River in southwestern Douglas, western Sarpy county, and eastern Saunders counties. Warning in effect.
They predict that jam will move towards the South Bend area, just west of Louisville.
Question

Loud explosion heard in Rankin and Hinds counties, Mississippi

© WLBT
Lowe Street in Richland, where one resident said the explosion type noise was heard.
Saturday night many residents in Rankin and Hinds counties heard what they're describing as "an explosion".

We contacted officials and were told by the Richland Police Department that they received a lot of calls Saturday night inquiring about the loud explosion type noise. We were told officers searched several areas of the city and did not find what caused the loud sound.

A resident on Lowe Circle in Richland said she heard the noise between 9-9:30 p.m. Saturday night. The resident said the noise sounded like thunder.

We received several Facebook messages asking if we knew what the 'explosion' was. Some viewers said it shook their homes and from comments the noise, whatever it was, was heard from Richland, Brandon, Pearl, Florence, Jackson, and Star.

A viewer, who called into our newsroom, said her sister heard the sound and she lives in the Crossgates area of Brandon. The caller said her sister told her the noise sounded as loud as five or six transformers blowing.

Our news crew searched several locations in the city of Richland, but was unable to locate evidence of an explosion.
Fireball

Slow fireball filmed over Argentina

argentina fireball
A bystander has caught video of a mysterious floating fireball that appears to hang over the sky in Argentina. With no explanation available many are claiming it to be a UFO.

The video was actually taken at the beginning of January but has only just been uploaded onto the internet. According to UFO Sightings Daily, local residents in Frías spotted the fireball and at first believed it was nothing more than a meteor.

Of course meteors move at very high speeds when entering the Earth's atmosphere and so tend to appear and disappear in seconds.


Comment: Not necessarily. Some fireballs move uncharacteristically slowly. Apparently thousands of people observed this fireball ('genuine' UFOs are rarely observed by so many people simultaneously). See also:

Question

Overhead meteor? Mysterious explosion in Wellington, New Zealand

© Thinkstock
What happened in the Wellington suburb of Strathmore is unclear, according to police.
Was it a meteor? A gas cylinder? Or perhaps a bomb?

Nobody seems to know. But the one thing that is certain about the loud bang that shook the Wellington suburb of Strathmore last night is that it was not Superman.

What is widely being treated as an explosion in the eastern suburb about 9.30pm, is being put down by police as an unexplained mystery.

Ahuriri St resident Kevin Cree said a lot of police cars cordoned off the end of his road last night.

Armed Offenders Squad members and police dogs were also called but, by this morning, there was no clue about what caused the blast.
Fireball

Asteroid flying past Earth today has mini-moon!

2004 BL86
© NASA/JPL-Caltech
This animation, created from 20 individual radar images, clearly show the rough outline of 2004 BL86 and its newly-discovered moon. Click for larger animation.
Wonderful news! Asteroid 2004 BL86, which passed closest to Earth today at a distance of 750,000 miles (1.2 million km), has a companion moon. Scientists working with NASA's 230-foot-wide (70-meter) Deep Space Network antenna at Goldstone, California, have released the first radar images of the asteroid which show the tiny object in orbit about the main body.

While these are the first images of it, the "signature" of the satellite was seen in light curve data reported earlier by Joseph Pollock (Appalachian State University, North Carolina) and Petr Prave (Ondrejov Observatory, Czech Republic) according to Lance Bennerwho works with the radar team at Goldstone.

2004 BL86 measures about 1,100 feet (325 meters) across while its moon is approximately 230 feet (70 meters) across. The asteroid made its closest approach today (Jan. 26th) at 10:19 a.m. (CST), however it will peak in brightness this evening around 10 p.m. (4:00 UT) at magnitude +9.0. Unlike some flybys, 2004 BL86 will remain within a few tenths of a magnitude of peak brightness from 6 p.m. tonight (CST) through early tomorrow morning, so don't miss the chance to see it in your telescope.
Fireball 3

'Expert' explains fireball spotted near Houston, Texas


Webster - A strange fireball spotted flying slowly over the Houston area raised a lot of questions after images and videos started popping up on social media. They were posted by a Webster man named Jordan Sterling. Sterling is used to the view from his balcony but he rarely see's anything but signs and wires. "I'm always looking in the sky to try to catch something out of the ordinary," Sterling explained. Early Sunday evening that changed. "I look up in the sky and just right there in the sky," Sterling says pointing to the horizon, "is a huge fireball with a giant fire tail on it just streaking across the sky!" He grabbed his camera then rolled for three minutes as the object crawled across the horizon. "At first I thought it was a meteor but it was moving way too slow. Meteors usually go a lot faster."

Comment: Apparently this "expert" is unaware of the dramatic increase in fireballs.

Fireball Tally


Fireball 2

Fireball photographed over Dublin skies

Fireball over Dalkey
© Graham Harkness
This amazing photo was captured by Graham Harkness yesterday evening.
Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it's actually a fireball tearing across the night sky yesterday evening. This amazing photo was captured by Graham Harkness (You can view his great portfolio here) last night at about 10.30pm. Taking photos of the night sky in Dalkey, Harkness managed to capture this rare sight.

So what exactly is it?

Astronomy Ireland told TheJournal.ie, that Harkness managed to capture a rare photograph of a meteor burning up in the earth's atmosphere.

"It's definitely a fireball, it's difficult to catch a photo of it, he was very fortuitous," said David Moore of Astronomy Ireland.

By looking at sky maps, Moore estimated that the fireball in the photo is about 100 kilometres off the ground.

"It's towards the north east, unfortunately it wouldn't have made land fall in Ireland. Most likely, the drop zone could have been on the west coast of Britain, close to the border with Scotland. I would be surprised if there weren't reports on the west coast of Britain about it as it is rather bright," said Moore.
Fireball 3

Two meteor fireballs in one day caught on camera over Mississippi

Mississippi Fireball
© Julie Ann Griffin
Knoxville - We had several calls to the WATE 6 On Your Side newsroom about a fireball spotted. Dr. Bill Cook with the Meteroid Environments Office said a meteor entered Earth's atmosphere Saturday night over Mississippi.

At 8:57 PM, an object about six inches in diameter and weighting fifteen pounds entered Earth's atmosphere southwest of Tupelo, Mississippi.

At its brightest, the fireball was as bright as the first quarter Moon. It was detected by three NASA meteor cameras at an altitude of 45 miles.

The meteor moved northeast at 54,000 miles per hour, finally burning up at an altitude of 15 miles.

Comment: WATE news outlet also published this NASA All-Sky video footage of a fireball over Alabama on January 18th:


Thing is, it can't be the same event because one was photographed during the day, the other filmed at night...

Fireball 5

Asteroid 2004 BL86 to sweep close on January 26

It'll be closer than any known asteroid this large until 2027. At its closest, telescopes and binoculars will show it moving rapidly in front of the stars.
Asteroid 2004 BL86
© NASA/JPL-Caltech
NASA caption: This graphic depicts the passage of asteroid 2004 BL86, which will come no closer than about three times the distance from Earth to the moon on Jan. 26, 2015. Due to its orbit around the sun, the asteroid is currently only visible by astronomers with large telescopes who are located in the southern hemisphere. But by Jan. 26, the space rock’s changing position will make it visible to those in the northern hemisphere.
An asteroid, called 2004 BL86 by astronomers, will sweep safely past Earth on January 26, 2015. The flyby is notable because 2004 BL86 will be the closest of any known space rock this large until asteroid 1999 AN10 flies past Earth in 2027. This asteroid is estimated from its reflected brightness to be about 500 meters in diameter (about a third of a mile, or 0.5 km). At the time of its closest approach - January 26, 2015 at 16:20 UTC, or 10:20 a.m. CST - the asteroid will be approximately 745,000 miles (1.2 million kilometers) from Earth, or about three times the moon's distance.

Don Yeomans, who on January 9 retired as manager of NASA's Near Earth Object Program Office after 16 years in the position, said:
Monday, January 26 will be the closest asteroid 2004 BL86 will get to Earth for at least the next 200 years. And while it poses no threat to Earth for the foreseeable future, it's a relatively close approach by a relatively large asteroid, so it provides us a unique opportunity to observe and learn more.
The asteroid is expected to be observable to amateur astronomers with small telescopes and strong binoculars beginning in the evening of January 26 and into the morning of January 27. Its peak brightness will be about magnitude 8.8, meaning it will not be bright enough to view with the unaided eye. The asteroid will be at its most visible over Europe, Africa, and North and South America. Australians and east Asians will have to look a few hours earlier, when the asteroid isn't as bright. The asteroid will be moving about four degrees every hour through the course of the night. That's fast, faster than the moon moves (about half a degree per hour). The asteroid will be whizzing past in front of the constellations Hydra, Cancer, and Leo.

Comment:

Potentially dangerous asteroid to fly by Earth on January 26

Fireball

Incoming! Mars pockmarked by over 400 recent meteor impact craters

Impact crater on Mars
© NASA/JPL/UA
Impact crater on Mars.
The surface of Mars is a well worn place in the Solar System, heavily pounded by countless meteor impacts. And some of these craters are hundreds of millions of years old. So it's unusual for there to be a completely fresh impact on the surface of Mars: but that's just what NASA scientists discovered looking through a recent batch of images returned from NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter.

You're looking at an image taken by the Mars Context Camera, an instrument on board the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. In an older photograph taken of the region in February 2012, there was just a bunch of old craters. And then, in the newer image, taken June 2014, this fresh scar on the surface of Mars is clearly visible.

Comment: The only reason we haven't seen over 400 recent impact craters on Earth too is because our planet's dense atmosphere, which Mars doesn't have, is decimating the space rocks currently pelting our planet. At least, it is for now:

A Puzzling Collapse of Earth's Cooling Upper Atmosphere

Earth's magnetic field is weakening 10 times faster now

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