Fire in the Sky
Tue, 14 Feb 2012 00:00 UTC
Spartanburg - Officials in Spartanburg County said a large boom heard by many people in the Upstate Monday morning may be a meteor.
Law enforcement officials saw a large ball of fire that popped in the air around 1:45 a.m. Monday. Viewers from Greenville to Cherokee Counties called 7 On Your Side saying they heard the noise and their homes shook. No one was hurt.
Calls poured in to dispatchers across the Upstate soon after. Some said it sounded like a crash. Others said they thought someone was kicking in their door.
The National Weather Service tells 7 On Your Side it was most likely something speeding toward Earth from outer space. It could have been moving as fast as 10 times the speed of sound.
"Thank God for the atmosphere," says Doug Gegen.
Mon, 13 Feb 2012 07:36 UTC
The National Weather Service said it got a call from Greenville police around 2 a.m. Police said they had been getting calls about lights in the sky and a loud boom.
They said after they started getting calls they checked the security camera at the National Weather Service and saw a flash of light at 1:42 a.m. A National Weather Service representative said it could have been a meteorite.
The National Weather Service say they also got calls from Cherokee County. One of these callers said they saw an object breaking apart in the sky.
Some upstate South Carolina residents reported seeing a fireball and hearing a large boom around 1:45 a.m. today. But so far, the National Weather Service hasn't been able to confirm that it was a meteor.
"There's no evidence of anything actually striking the ground," said meterologist Harry Gerapetritis, of the National Weather Service office in Greer, S.C. "So it must have burned up in the sky, as best anybody can tell."
Thanks to the fine folks at Sonotaco.jp for their videos/images.
The Daily Mail, UK
Sat, 11 Feb 2012 02:01 UTC
Scientists say they have worked out a way to blast an asteroid into space dust using an atomic bomb.
The plan has potentially world-saving consequences should an asteroid emerge on a collision course with Earth.
And unlike the film Armageddon - where Bruce Willis and his crew of stars fly a space shuttle to an oncoming Asteroid to drill a warhead into its core - the nuclear payload could be delivered by rocket.
Using one of the world's most powerful supercomputers at Los Alamos National Laboratory, physicists have calculated the effect of a nuclear blast on an incoming space rock.
Although Nasa and other space agencies have mapped most nearby asteroids, the effect of one catching us by surprise would be catastrophic and, they believe, is worth preparing for.
Sun, 12 Feb 2012 19:45 UTC
We performed some follow-up measurements of this object, while it was still on the neocp. Co-adding of 5 unfiltered exposures, 30 seconds each, obtained remotely on 2012 Feb 12.8 through a 0.15-m f/7.3 refractor + CCD (Nerpio MPC Code - I89) confirms that this object is a comet: diffuse coma 1 arcminute and 30 arcseconds in diameter, with a sharp central condensation
Our confirmation image:
Sat, 11 Feb 2012 12:34 UTC
We performed some follow-up measurements of this object, while it was still on the neocp. Stacking of eight R-filtered exposures, 30-sec each, obtained remotely, from the Siding Spring-Faulkes Telescope South on 2012, Feb. 6.4, through a 2.0-m f/10.0 Ritchey-Chretien + CCD, shows that this object is a comet: coma about 5" in diameter, with a weak central condensation. The coma is slightly elongated toward the southwest.
Our confirmation image
With a weight that rivals a baby elephant, a meteorite that fell from space some 30,000 years ago is likely Britain's largest space rock. And after much sleuthing, researchers think they know where it came from and how it survived so long without weathering away.
The giant rock, spanning about 1.6 feet (0.5 meters) across and weighing 205 pounds (93 kilograms), was likely discovered by an archaeologist about 200 years ago at a burial site created by the Druids (an ancient Celtic priesthood) near Stonehenge, according to said Colin Pillinger, a professor of planetary sciences at the Open University.
Pillinger curated the exhibition "Objects in Space," which opens today (Feb. 9) and is the first time the public will get a chance to see the meteorite. The exhibition will explore not only the mystery that surrounds the origins of the giant meteorite, but also the history and our fascination with space rocks.
As for how the meteorite survived its long stint on Earth, researchers point to the ice age.
The Salt Lake Tribune
Tue, 07 Feb 2012 13:51 UTC
It's usually not a meteor, but rather a bolt or a paint chip that is part of the tons of debris floating in Earth's orbit, posing real dangers to space exploration.
A new film opening at Clark Planetarium on Friday called Space Junk 3D highlights some of those risks.
"What's the history of pioneers working through a new frontier? They leave behind stuff, it's what archaeologists find," said Seth Jarvis, director of the Clark Planetarium. "Space is the final frontier, and we're leaving behind stuff. The legacy of the space age includes footprints on moon, but it also includes orbiting clouds of litter that create a real challenge to orbiting activities."
Don Kessler, retired NASA senior scientist for Orbital Debris and star of the film, wrote a paper in 1978 predicting what will happen as more space junk filled Earth's orbit.
"I was trying to understand ... how long would it take before we had to worry about manmade objects colliding with one another," Kessler told The Tribune.
The answer: Right about now.
In 2007, China's military performed a test of an anti-satellite weapon. It worked, taking out a satellite and creating a massive debris cloud that will orbit for hundreds of years. Two years later, two satellites collided, again forming a huge debris cloud that puts other satellites, rockets and other space vehicles at risk.
Comment: Our immediate cosmic environment IS probably littered with junk left there by certain governments who live by the maxim that the means justify the ends. But it is the height of denial to buy into the notion that all these reports of fireballs we've been collecting are man-made objects. This 'space junk' theme is starting to smell strangely like 'anthropogenic global warming', which provides a plausible - but 'not even wrong' - cover story for Earth changes.
Forget About Global Warming: We're One Step From Extinction!
Sun, 05 Feb 2012 05:39 UTC
5 Feb 2012: 'Rhett' WA Kalgoorlie - 1:05:00 15 seconds. N-S, Green As the moon N/A I've never see anything like it, it had a huge tail.
5 Feb 2012: 'dan' perth, WA, Australia - 1:18 15 seconds. N-S, orange, blue, yellow brighter than moon, larger than moon none massive, bigger than moon.
5 Feb 2012: 'Tara Isaac' Perth, Western Australia - 01.10 hours approx 20 secs. E-W, Large, bright green fiery head, long white tail. Brighter than Venus. No photo, seen while driving freeway North