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Fri, 15 Nov 2019
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Incoming! Five asteroids flew past Earth Friday - one twice as big as Empire State Building

asteroid
Five asteroids will skim past Earth today and one of them is bigger than the tallest building in the world.

Asteroid 1998 HL1 is so big that some astronomers think it will be possible to see from Earth.

The Virtual Telescope Project will be live streaming the colossal asteroid's flypast, which you'll be able to watch on YouTube from 6pm BST.

Astronomer Gian Masi wrote under the video: "The Potentially Hazardous Asteroid (162082) 1998 HL1 will have a close, but safe, encounter with us, coming at about 6.2 millions of km from the Earth.

"The Virtual Telescope Project will show it to you live, online: join from your home!"

Asteroid 1998 HL1 is estimated to have a diameter of up to 3248 feet, making it taller than the Burj Khalifa.

Comment: It's getting crowded up there!




Fireball 2

Meteor fireball caught on dash-cam as it flies over California

Fireball over California
© YouTube/AMS/Paul M.
The American Meteor Society (AMS) received 25 reports of a meteor over California on October 22, 2019. AMS member 'Paul M.' caught footage of the fireball on his dash-cam as it flew over Leona Valley.

Meteor

Loud booms heard in Genesee County, Michigan attributed to meteor

Stock meteor
Don't lie, we all thought it - is this it? Have aliens finally decided to take over? Are we being attacked?? Is it the rapture??!! WHAT IS HAPPENING OMG

Nothing more comforting than cruising social media after something weird happens and realizing that other people experienced the same thing, and that's exactly what happened last night.

Around 7:45 ET last night, a series of loud booms were heard throughout the area. We heard them in Burton and, according to Facebook, they were heard in Davison and Holly, too.

At first, some people speculated that it was a series of super loud fireworks being set off near Bristol and Maple. However, we Michiganders know what fireworks sound like and that theory was quickly debunked.

It was noted that nobody heard a police report or sirens afterwards, so was it...something else?

Another theory is that is was part of the Orionid meteor shower, which happens everywhere between October and November. It's visible in Michigan and, this year, we'll also be seeing remnants of Halley's Comet.

Question

Mysterious boom spurs fear, confusion in Mount Vernon, Ohio

Mystery boom Mt Vernon, OH
© Knox Pages/Grant Pepper
A dozen Mount Vernon residents called 911 on Sunday night saying they heard a loud bang, according to 911 calls obtained by Knox Pages. But 24 hours later, local authorities still have no idea where the noise came from.

Most of the calls came from the north end of town, near the five-point intersection off North Main Street. Some came from the neighborhood surrounding Pleasant Street Elementary, however, which is almost a mile away. Callers from all locations claimed the source of the noise must be nearby, given how loud it was.

Mount Vernon police officers were dispatched to the call areas at 8:15 p.m. Sunday, department spokesperson Matt Haver said. But they were unable to find the source of the bang, and the police department is not conducting an investigation into the matter.

Those who reported the loud boom on Sunday night seemed scared and confused. A woman calling from North Mulberry Street seemed to tremble as she described a "loud explosion." A man calling from West Curtis Street said it "shook the hell out of our house," and a woman calling from East Burgess Street said she had retreated indoors, in case it was a gunshot.

Telescope

NASA warns space rock twice the size of Eiffel Tower due to skim past Earth in November

Asteroid
© urikyo33 from Pixabay (illustration)
The seemingly never-ending stream of Earth-bound space rocks continues, as an Apollo-class asteroid measuring between 918ft and 2,034ft in diameter (280m-620m) is due to skim past our planet on November 21.

Affectionately dubbed '481394 (2006 SF6),' the asteroid is traveling at a speed of roughly 17,780mph (27,360kph) and will make what NASA dubs a 'close approach' shortly after midnight (GMT) in mid-November at a distance of 2.6 million miles (4.2 million kilometers) away, or approximately eleven times as far away as the Moon.

The Apollo-class space rock is estimated to measure up to twice the size of the Eiffel Tower (or half the size of Ben Nevis for Brexiteers).


Comment: See also: NASA chief: Risk of asteroid impact not being taken seriously, international cooperation needed to meet cosmic threat


Fireball 3

Meteor fireball in Missouri seen hundreds of miles away in Northwest Arkansas

Fireball over MO
© Daniel B.
A fireball streaking across the night sky near Kansas City, Missouri spotted hundreds of miles away in Northwest Arkansas.

Residents of Northwest Arkansas self-reported seeing a fireball in the northern evening sky Thursday evening.

According to AMSMeteors.org, 20 reports about a fireball seen over Arkansas, Illinois, Missouri, and Oklahoma on Thursday, October 17th, 2019 around 8:21 p.m. CT.

Steve Arnold of Eureka Springs is a professional meteorite hunter who hosted 'Meteorite Men' a TV series for 3 seasons on Science and Discovery channel. Arnold has been fireball chasing for 27 years. He travels, often on very short notice, to chase fireballs all over the country.

Fireball 4

Meteor fireball soars over Belgium, France, Germany, the Netherlands and Switzerland

Fireball
© Roger Spinner - www.ogvt.org
The American Meteor Society (AMS) received 238 reports of a fireball over Belgium, France, Germany, the Netherlands and Switzerland on October 13, 2019. Several AMS members captured photos and videos of the event.

Video footage from AMS members 'Marco H' and 'Christophe F':


Comment: Just a few days before, a fireball was widely reported over France.


Fireball 5

Meteor fireball seen flying over Washington state, southern British Columbia

Fireball over WA, BC
© Greg K.
On October 6, 2019, the American Meteor Society (AMS) received 35 reports of a meteor over Washington state and southern British Columbia, Canada. AMS member 'Erik K.' from Seattle captured footage of the fireball on his doorbell camera:


Fireball

NASA footage shows huge explosion of meteor fireball in skies above Arizona

Meteor shock: NASA footage shows huge explosion in skies above Arizona

Meteor shock: NASA footage shows huge explosion in skies above Arizona
The video showed a fireball travelling at more than 200,000 kilometres per hour light up the night sky over Arizona yesterday. The space rock was part of the relatively newly-discovered meteor shower, the October Ursae Majorids, which was only deemed separate from the usual October Orionid and Taurid meteors in 2007. NASA said the small object was travelling at a staggering 57.2 kilometres per second - or 205,920 km per hour - when it crashed into and exploded in Earth's upper atmosphere.

The NASA video showed the object streaking across the night's sky before producing a flash which outshone the Moon.

NASA has traced the meteor back to the Big Dipper constellation, which allowed the space agency to confidently state it is part of the October Ursae Majorids shower.

The meteor shower peaks during mid-October, and on clear nights one fireball can be seen per hour on average.

No debris from the meteor has yet been discovered on the ground.


Fireball 5

Slow-moving bright meteor fireball over Trinidad and Tobago

Meteor fireball over Trinidad
SOME lucky citizens were on Tuesday night treated to what appeared to be a meteor blazing its way into Earth's atmosphere, looking much like a comet as it streaked across the sky.

The fireball appeared to have been visible mostly to those living in Central and Northern Trinidad and a number of people yesterday posted video clips of the celestial activity, accompanied by exclamations of wonder.

According to the Trinidad and Tobago Weather Centre, most people said the event took place between 9 p.m. and 10 p.m.

One video, recorded from a vehicle, also showed two smaller, round lights that at first appeared to be following the meteor, but many surmised that these were generated by the lens of the camera.

While "shooting stars" are commonly spotted, they are usually much smaller and burn up quickly.

The much larger object making its way across the local sky elicited a variety of comments.

Some were extremely pleased at the opportunity, while others joked that the object may have been the reviled "soucouyant" of local lore, an alleged vampire fabled to be an older woman who sheds her skin at night to stalk her victims.