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Sat, 23 Jun 2018
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Fire in the Sky


Mysterious, Strange Sky sounds? Electromagnetic phenomena responsible?

Mysterious sounds have been heard booming from the sky all around the world - in some cases they were so loud they set off car alarms. The unsettling noises were heard recently from Europe to Canada, sounding like groans and powerful horns.

In Germany noises coming from the sky were recorded on a video camera and uploaded to YouTube, with car alarms clearly heard going off in the background.

Comment: The reader may want to check out the discussion about these strange sounds on Laura Knight-Jadczyk's FB page as well as the Forum discussion here, and this SOTT Focus by Joe Quinn: New Sott Report: Strange Noises in the Sky: Trumpets of the Apocalypse?


Sun Unleashes Powerful X-Class Solar Flare

The Sun has been quiet recently but early today (04:13 UTC on March 5, 2012) it unleashed a powerful X1-class solar flare and coronal mass ejection. The latest estimates indicate the CME will probably miss Earth, but hit Mercury and Venus. Even so, the science team from the Solar Dynamics Observatory says that high-latitude skywatchers should still be alert for auroras in the nights ahead. There was also an M2-class eruption from the same big and active sunspot, Active Region 1429, on March 4th which produced another, wider CME that might yet intersect Earth. The cloud is expected to deliver a glancing blow to our planet's magnetic field on March 6th at 04:30 UT (+/- 7 hrs).

Check the latest forecast of the CME's arrival from the NASA Goddard Space Weather Lab, which includes a great animation.

So, what's the difference in the classes of solar flares and how could they affect us on Earth?


Meteor Shower Dazzles Victorians Lucky Enough to See It

UPDATE: A fireball that streaked through the sky last night had many thinking a plane had crashed.

The meteor was seen across Victoria at about 10.45pm, including at Anglesea, Frankston, Berwick, Cairnlea, Tullamarine, Dandenong.

The fireball even caused a sensation in the UK with police inundated with emergency phone calls.

The control tower in Melbourne's Tullamarine Airport was also flooded with calls from locals fearing there had been a plane crash.

Astronomer David Reneke said it was unusual that the fireball was spotted across the globe and said it was probably the lead up to a meteor shower that was about to happen.

He said usually at the end February fireballs were often seen but not in March.

Comment: It's very unlikely that the one in Australia was the same as the one in the UK. Meteors only light up like that when entering the final stages of their descent. If it were seen from Melbourne to Scotland, half the planet would surely have sat up and taken notice!


Asteroid 2011 AG5 may hit earth in 2040

Washington, March 3: The 460 feet (140 meter) wide space rock, asteroid which is called 2011 AG5 could collide with Earth in 2040.
2011 ag5
The orbit of asteroid 2011 AG5 carries it beyond the orbit of Mars and as close to the sun as halfway between Earth and Venus.

Talk about the asteroid was on the agenda during the 49th session of the Scientific and Technical Subcommittee of the United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (COPUOS), held earlier in Vienna.

Due to its current location in the daytime sky, observations of 2011 AG5 cannot be made by Earth-based telescopes, so its orbit has not yet been determined to a level where scientists can confidently project its location decades into the future. But that day is coming.

"In September 2013, we have the opportunity to make additional observations of 2011 AG5 when it comes within 91 million miles (147 million kilometers) of Earth," said Don Yeomans, manager of NASA's Near-Earth Object Program Office at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California.


Newly-Discovered Asteorid 2012 DA14 could hit Earth in February 2013

© unknown
A dangerous asteroid heading to the Earth was spotted by stargazers three years after it had got onto its current orbit
To avert a new apocalypse - this time set for February 2013 - scientists suggest confronting asteroid 2012 DA14 with either paint, or big guns. The tough part of either scheme is that time has long run out to build a spaceship for any operation.

NASA confirms the 60-meter (197-feet) asteroid, spotted by Spanish stargazers in February, has a good chance of colliding with Earth in eleven months.

The rock's closest approach to the planet is scheduled for February 15, 2013, when the distance between the planet and space wanderer will be under 27,000 km (16,700 miles). This is lower than the geosynchronous orbit kept by the Google Maps satellite.

Comment: SOTT considers it highly unlikely that this asteroid will impact earth. We have had close misses in the past. 28000km is certainly a relatively short distance, it's about 7% of the Earth-Moon distance, but please remember we had had an even closer miss last year at 4% Lunar distance: Close Shave

For the moment it is not possible to predict exactly how this object will act when it gets close to Earth because of the various gravitational and non-gravitational perturbations. So wait and see as usual.

We should be more worried about those things we don't see...


Thousands Witness Spectacular Fireball Streak Over UK (Video)

© Sky News
The enormous fireball was seen from Scotland to the south coast of England.
Police forces and astronomy websites have been inundated with sightings after a suspected meteor shot across darkened British skies.

Reports of a "bright light" and an "orange glow" were received by police across Scotland and the north of England at around 9.40pm on Saturday.

The Met Office tweeted: "Hi All, for anyone seeing something in the night sky, we believe it was a meteorite."

A spokesman for Strathclyde Police said the force had been "inundated" with calls about a bright object in the sky across the west of Scotland.

Minutes later, Durham Police received calls from concerned members of public who had seen a "bright light or a fire in the sky" and believed it may have been an incident involving an aircraft.

The American Meteor Society website was inundated with dozens of Britons logging sightings.

Michelle Thornton, from Birmingham, stated it was "the most amazing thing I have seen in the night sky in ages - outstanding :)"

Comment: Here it is from another angle:

Amazing footage of huge meteor passing over UK 3rd march 2012


Meteor Lights up the Sky Across England

Thousands of stargazers witnessed a spectacular meteor shower last night.

It lit up the skies across the north of England and was spotted as far south as Peterborough.

The meteor exploded after streaking across the night sky for more than 30 seconds.

England Fireball_1
© The Daily Mail, UK
Starstruck: The meteor, visible in the top right hand corner of this image as an elongated white streak, was seen in the skies across the north of England and was spotted as far south as Peterborough.
The shower was seen at various locations across England, including Manchester, Derbyshire and the Lake District.

Hundreds of people posted messages on Twitter after witnessing the event unfold. Scores even put their own video footage of the shower on the internet.

The meteor was first spotted at 9.38pm but other sightings were reported until 9.45pm - which backed up speculation on Twitter that there had been more than one meteor.

Some reports suggested there was a large meteor followed by a series of smaller ones.

One Twitter user wrote: 'The Amazing #Meteor looked like a plane from Man Airport but then seems to rise and burn up in front of me near #JodrellBank.'


Fireball seen from southern Norway and Sweden

© Steinar Midtskogen
It is thought many people witnessed the event, as it the fireball was extremely bright and it was followed by a loud bang.

Astronomer Knut Jørgen Røed Ødegaard, who is behind website Bangirommet.no, is asking for any information that people can provide about it.

He would also like information on any meteorites that may have fallen to the ground, advising people to look on frozen lakes where smaller rocks will not have had the power to go through the ice.

The rocks are likely to be almost or completely black and will stand out easily on road surfaces.

Mr Røed Ødegaard tells The Foreigner, "I've received 800 answers with reports of sightings so far, from southern Norway and Sweden.

"We are now better able to pinpoint the probably location of where the many fragments, known as meteorites, landed. These were in Norefjell, southwestern Norway."

Comment: Here is an all-sky camera shot of the fireball:


How Likely Am I To Be Hit By an Asteroid?

© Science Photo Library
A report suggests that there should be 91 deaths every year from asteroid strikes, but what are the chances of that actually happening?

Buy insurance. Tick. Health check. Tick. Drive sensibly. Tick. As a general rule, we humans like to control our lives. But let's face it, all of this caution is a complete waste of time if a huge rock from space has your name on it.

Take the recent 'near-miss' by the poetically-named asteroid 2012 BX34, which was only discovered two days before it sailed past within 40,000 miles (60,000km) of Earth. What if it had been heading straight for us?

A wonderful report from the US National Research Council (NRC) says that on average there should be 91 deaths per year from asteroid strikes - a remarkably precise figure and one that deserves some digging.

Try to think of when you last heard about an asteroid striking the earth. There really aren't that many of them, or at least that many that are noticed or reported in newspapers.

Comment: For more information on impact events, see these exclusive Sott articles:

Impact Hazards on a Populated Earth

Meteorites, Asteroids and Comets: Damages, Disasters, Injuries, Deaths and Very Close Calls


Green Fireball Seen All Over Southeastern Canada

Similar reports were made throughout the northeastern U.S. Wednesday

A video of the meteor taken at 22:12 EST on 28 February 2012 in Dunrobin, Ontario, Canada:

Facebook and Twitter social media sites on the northeast Avalon were busy with reports of an unidentified, green object falling in the sky over Conception Bay South Wednesday night.

"It was turquoise in colour and was rounded on the bottom and tapered to a point on top. It looked big, but it was hard to tell how far away it was. It was moving extremely fast toward the ground," said a Facebook status update from the St. John's area.

"I've read about a couple of natural phenomena now that could explain it ... something called a green fireball and a meteor - which can apparently be blue, white or green," said another one.