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US: Bright Fireball Leads To Meteorite Search In Tennessee

Image
© NASA/MSFC/University of Tennessee Space Institute/Hands-On Science Center
False-color image of a bright fireball meteor over Tullahoma, Tenn., on the night of April 6, 2011.
Did you see a bright flash in the sky over Tullahoma, Tenn., last night? Have we got a scavenger hunt for you...

At approximately 08:21:57 p.m. CDT on April 6, 2011, NASA all-sky meteor cameras located at the University of Tennessee Space Institute, in conjunction with the Hands-On Science Center in Tullahoma, Tennessee, and at the Walker County Science Center in northwest Georgia detected a very bright fireball moving north across the state of Tennessee.

First detected 52 miles above the Arnold Air Force base near Tullahoma, the meteor was brighter than crescent moon and was approximately two feet in diameter, with a weight of 200 lbs. It was last recorded 30 miles above the town of Woodbury, Tenn., moving at a speed of approximately nine miles per second, or 32,400 mph.

Meteor

US: Tennessee Fireball Caught on Video

Space rocks have landed in Tennessee. That's the conclusion of researchers who recorded a brilliant fireball streaking over the Smoky Mountain state on Wednesday evening. Bill Cooke of NASA's Meteoroid Environment Office reports: "On April 6th at 8:21:57 CDT, NASA all-sky meteor cameras detected a very bright fireball moving north across the state of Tennessee. First detected 52 miles above the Arnold Air Force base near Tullahoma, the meteor was brighter than crescent Moon and was approximately 2 feet in diameter, with a weight of 200 lbs. It was last recorded 30 miles above the town of Woodbury, Tennessee, moving at a speed of approximately 9 miles per second (32,400 mph)."

Cooke continues: "The NASA Meteoroid Environment Office has reasonable confidence that some fraction of this meteor survived to the ground as one or more meteorites. Calculations are underway to determine the general impact location, which may lie close to the Kentucky border. Eyewitnesses to the fireball are encouraged to make a report to the American Meteor Society or to the Meteoroid Environment Office."

Meteor

US: "Ripping Fireball" over New Mexico

Image
© Unknown
"There was a rippingly fine fireball over north central New Mexico on April 5th at 01:50 am MDT," reports amateur radio astronomer Thomas Ashcraft. "Signals from distant radio stations bounced off the meteor's trail as it shredded the ionosphere. Here is a movie I made with the radio echo in stereo at two frequencies. The full radio reflection lasted more than two minutes."

Meteor

"Newly Discovered" Double Asteroid Flyby Today

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© Unknown
It's notable when an asteroid flies past Earth closer than the Moon. Today, April 6th, two asteroids will do this. Newly-discovered space rocks 2011 GW9 and 2011 GP28 will zip through the Earth-Moon system at Earth-distances of 77,000 km and 192,000 km, respectively.

Both are ten-meter class asteroids two to three times smaller than the Tunguska impactor of 1908. There is no danger of a collision.

Meteor

A history doomed to be repeated? Micro-meteorites rocked Earth's early climate

© iStockphoto / duuuna
A new research has claimed that bombardments of 'micro-meteorites' on Earth and Mars four billion years ago may have caused the planets' climates to cool dramatically, hampering their ability to support life. Scientists from Imperial College London studied the effects of the Late Heavy Bombardment (LHB), a period of time in the early Solar System when meteorite showers lasting around 100 million years barraged Earth and Mars.

This bombardment discharged sulphur dioxide into the upper atmospheres of both planets and the researchers'' analysis suggests that this may have had a catastrophic impact on their environments.

Micro-meteorites come from the rocky asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. These space rocks, which are the size of sugar grains, get dragged by gravity towards Earth and Mars.

Sun

Spectacular Coronal Mass Ejection From Sunspot 1176 April 3, 2011

NASA twin STEREO spacecraft observed a spectacular coronal mass ejection launched from the vicinity of decaying sunspot 1176 on April 3rd around 0500 UT. The blast was not Earth directed. Nevertheless, there is a chance that the expanding cloud will deliver a glancing blow to Earth's magnetic field on or about April 6th. CME movies: STEREO-A, STEREO-B.


Meteor

Micrometeoroid? Small cracks found in three Southwest Airlines jets

© BBC News
Tests on Southwest's 79 other 737-300s are expected to be completed by Tuesday evening

Small, sub-surface cracks have been found in three more Southwest Airlines planes like those thought to have caused another to develop a hole in its cabin roof mid-flight, officials say.

The National Transportation Safety Board said it had been informed there were additional crack indications in the lap joints on the Boeing 737-300s.

Nineteen other 737-300s showed no problems and will return to service.

The plane with the ruptured fuselage landed safely in Arizona on Friday.

Some of the 118 people on board the flight, which had just taken off from Phoenix, reported hearing a loud bang as a 1.5m-long gash appeared.

The hole caused a sudden drop in cabin pressure, forcing pilots to make a controlled descent from 10,485m (34,400ft) to a military base. No-one was seriously injured, though a flight attendant was slightly hurt.

Meteor

Sugar-grain sized meteorites rocked the climates of early Earth and Mars

Bombardments of 'micro-meteorites' on Earth and Mars four billion years ago may have caused the planets' climates to cool dramatically, hampering their ability to support life, according to research published today in the journal Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta.

Scientists from Imperial College London studied the effects of the Late Heavy Bombardment (LHB), a period of time in the early Solar System when meteorite showers lasting around 100 million years barraged Earth and Mars. This bombardment discharged sulphur dioxide into the upper atmospheres of both planets and the researchers' analysis suggests that this may have had a catastrophic impact on their environments.

Micro-meteorites come from the rocky asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. These space rocks, which are the size of sugar grains, get dragged by gravity towards Earth and Mars. As they enter the planets' upper atmospheres, they heat up to temperatures of approximately 1000 degrees Celsius, releasing gases including sulphur dioxide. Sulphur dioxide in the atmosphere forms aerosols, consisting of solid and liquid particles, which deflect sunlight away from the surface, making planets cooler.

Meteor

Bullet or Micrometeoroid? FBI probes possible bullet hole in US Air plane

The FBI is investigating what might be a bullet hole, discovered in the side of a US Airways Group Inc (LCC.N) plane this week, the airline said on Wednesday.

The small hole in the Boeing (BA.N) 737-400 was found by a pilot on Monday at the Charlotte/Douglas International Airport in North Carolina.

"The pilot was doing his standard, pre-flight walk-around and noticed a small hole in the rear, left fuselage," said US Airways spokeswoman Michelle Mohr.

Camera

Suspected meteorite impact? Arizona, US: Plane makes emergency landing; hole reported

Passengers say blast heard on Southwest flight before safe emergency landing

Image
© via NBC news
This picture was taken by a passenger aboard the Southwest flight as it prepared to make an emergency landing.
Yuma, Ariz. - A Southwest Airlines passenger jet flying from Phoenix to Sacramento, Calif., made an emergency landing in Yuma, Ariz., Friday after a hole opened up in the roof, officials said.

Flight 812, carrying 118 passengers, landed safely at Yuma Marine Corps Air Station/International Airport at 4:07 p.m. after experiencing "rapid decompression," the FAA said.

"Upon safely landing in Yuma, the flight crew discovered a hole in the top of the aircraft," Southwest said in a statement. "There are no reported customer injuries. One of the flight attendants, however, received a minor injury upon descent."

The cause of the decompression was not known, FAA spokesman Ian Gregor said. An FAA inspector from Phoenix was en route to Yuma.

Terrorism was not suspected because an FBI spokesman in Sacramento, Steve Dupre, said "it appears to be a mechanical issue."

Comment: In a separate report on this incident: