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Tue, 17 Jul 2018
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Fire in the Sky


Green, blue flash seen on Mars

Green blue flash on Mars
Mars is approaching Earth for a 15-year close encounter on July 27th. The Red Planet now outshines every object in the sky except the sun, Moon, and Venus. Mars is doing things only very luminous objects can do--like produce a green flash. Watch this video taken by Peter Rosén of Stockholm, Sweden, on July 12th.

"Mars was shining brightly in the early morning sky," he says. "At an altitude of only 6.5° above the horizon, the turbulence was extreme, sometimes splitting the planet's disc in 2 or 3 slices and displaying a green and blue flash resembling those usually seen on the sun."

That's not all. Mars is also making its own glitter paths. Last night, Alan Dyer photographed this specimen from Driftwood Beach at Waterton Lakes National Park, Alberta:
Fireball over Alberta


Two asteroids whizzed past Earth undetected last weekend

Artist rendering of an asteroid
© Getty Images
An asteroid travels close to Earth in this artist’s impression. Two tiny asteroids sneaked safely past Earth last weekend only to be discovered hours after they’d buzzed our planet.
Two tiny asteroids sneaked safely past Earth last weekend, only to be discovered hours after they'd buzzed our planet. Asteroids 2018 NX and 2018 NW zipped past our blue-green orb at distances of just 72,000 miles and 76,000 miles, respectively. That's about one-third of the distance from the Earth to the moon.

Scientists think the asteroids both stretched between about 16 feet and 50 feet in diameter. That's relatively small for near-Earth asteroids.

Astronomers at an observatory on the Palomar Mountain range in California spotted both space rocks on Sunday, according to the International Astronomical Union's Minor Planet Center.

Fireball 2

Meteor fireball plunges into Mediterranean sea off the coast of Spain

Fireball over Spain
© YouTube/Meteors
On July 9th, a meteor fireball was recorded over Andalusia and the Mediterranean Sea by YouTube user 'Meteors'.
The event was produced by a fragment from an asteroid that hit the atmosphere at about 65,000 km/h.

The meteorite would have fallen into the sea, with a mass of just a few grams.

Fireball 4

Bright meteor fireball streaks over Rio Grande do Norte, Brazil

meteor fireball over Brazil 07.07.18
© L. Soares
A bright meteor fireball streaked across the night sky over the state of Rio Grande do Norte, Brazil on July 7, 2018, around 10:35 pm local time (01:35 UT).

According to EXOSS Citizen Science Project the meteor was seen by residents of Mossoró, Areia Branca, Assú, Baraúna, Severiano Melo and even cities in Ceará such as Icapui and Russas said they had observed the event.

Fireball 2

Meteor fireball seen across US Midwest evening skies

Many Iowans were lucky enough to have their eyes to the sky Sunday evening around 8:45. A fireball or bright meteor was seen streaking across the southern sky.

Fireballs are meteors that burn much brighter than average meteors seen entering the earth's atmosphere. This is typical because of their larger size, but there are other factors that may make them brighter or appear in different colors.


NASA may have recovered meteorite from the ocean

Underwater Meteorite
© Pixabay Composite
Just two days into their search for a giant meteorite that crashed off the coast of Washington State, Dr. Marc Fries and the crew of the Nautilus have accomplished their mission: they believe they have successfully recovered pieces of the two-ton meteorite that created a huge fireball the size of a minivan as it streaked into the Pacific. Further analysis is in the works but - if these fragments are genuine - they'll be the first-ever pieces of a meteorite recovered from the ocean.

Based on Fries' calculations of the meteorite's trajectory, the Nautilus narrowed its search to a 0.4 square-mile patch of the ocean. The area was first searched with sonar, then with two ROVs (remotely operated vehicles) named Argus and Hercules. The team then used "a suction hose sampler, magnetic plate, and sediment scoop" to pick up the most promising pieces of rock.

The two fragments found so far are thought to be the outer shell of the meteorite (called the fusion crust) which the Nautilus Live blog describes as "meteorite exterior that melted and flowed like glaze on pottery as it entered the atmosphere."

Fireball 5

Mysterious lights in the sky over New Zealand probably meteors, experts say

Meteor seen entering atmosphere seen from ISS
© Supplied
A group of early morning exercisers were perplexed by strange lights cutting across the Wellington sky on Wednesday morning.

Experts suspect the lights, which were also seen in other parts of the country, were probably meteors flaming out in the upper atmosphere.

Melissa Mebus of Houghton Bay was one of seven women exercising at a regular bootcamp on Houghton Valley School's playing fields around 6.30am when they spotted a strange object overhead.

Richard Hall of the Phoenix Astronomical Society suspects mysterious lights may have been part of a meteor shower.

"Someone said 'oh my good look at that' and we all were all sort of like 'what the heck is that?'"

"We had long enough to see it. It didn't just shoot past ... we had about five seconds which is quite a lot if you are looking at something," Mebus said.

Fireball 3

Meteor fireball blazes over Guangdong, southeastern China

meteor china july 2018
A super-bright meteor fireball event occurred over Guangdong, southeastern China on July 3, 2018, at around 00:50 local time.

According to EXOSS Citizen Science Project, the meteor had comparable brightness to the moon and lasted for a duration of 5 seconds. A camera from a sky-monitoring network registered the event, although the view of the middle part was covered by low cloud and the last part was blocked by a building.

The event comes just one month after another very bright fireball exploded over the Chinese city of Jinghong in Yunnan Province.


Two 'hot stones' fall from the sky in Uttar Pradesh, India

Representative Image
Two hot "stones" have fallen from the sky in Uttar Pradesh's village of Kasoli. The meteorite-like objects will be examined by a team and will identify the nature of the unearthly object. But is this the first time this has ever happened in India?

Time and again, humans have encountered tales about aliens, their world and a different universe that exist outside the proximity of Earth. And the unearthly objects have always fascinated the intrigue of a person. That intrigue was poked again on Friday when two hot "meteorite-looking" embers were found in the village of Kasoli in Uttar Pradesh by the locals.

According to Sub-divisional Magistrate Kumar Dharmendra, the hot stones fell down making a loud sound after a rainfall in the village. Dharmendra said, the stones have been taken into "safe custody" and will be investigated for experts to examine and identify whether they are meteorites.


Asteroid Vesta, with a 13-mile-high mountain now visible to the naked eye

Asteroid Vesta
Vesta, as captured by NASA's Dawn spacecraft in 2011, features a mountain that rises more than 65,000 feet above the asteroid's south pole.
Look up in nighttime sky anytime between now and July 16, and you just might spy our solar system's brightest asteroid.

Vesta, a 326-mile-wide object residing in the asteroid belt between Jupiter and Mars, is about to make its closest approach to Earth in nearly two decades. But don't worry, unlike other close calls with asteroids in recent history, Vesta is in a stable orbit around the sun that will only bring it within 106 million miles of Earth. Nonetheless, this convergence will make it visible to the naked eye, with a magnitude brightness approaching a maximum of 5.3 this week.

Unlike other asteroids, Vesta's internal geology mimics those of terrestrial planets, with a metallic iron-nickel core covered by a surface crust of basaltic rock. In fact, it's this "frozen lava" that gives Vesta its beautiful reflectivity, casting back 43 percent of all light that hits it. (For comparison, our moon only reflects about 12 percent of all light.)