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Tue, 02 Jun 2020
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Airliner Almost Hit: It was a meteorite, not a satellite, says Russia

A Chilean jetliner approaching New Zealand came within 20 seconds of being hit by blazing objects hurtling down to Earth, New Zealand aviation officials say.

US space officials said today it was most likely a close encounter with a disintegrating meteor, denying assertions from New Zealand officials that the LAN Chile plane narrowly missed being blasted by Russian space debris that was returning to Earth ahead of schedule.

Meteor

They weren't able to hide it! Chile: Experts question threat of Russian Space Junk

The world's press was quick to spread the news that pieces of space junk from a falling Russian satellite narrowly missed hitting a LAN Chile jetliner over the Pacific Ocean on Tuesday night. But several experts are now questioning the likelihood of the claims.

According to media reports, the LAN Airbus A340 was traveling between Santiago and Auckland, New Zealand. The pilot notified air traffic controllers at the Auckland Flight Center after seeing flaming, incandescent fragments of the satellite flying through the sky eight kilometers in front of the aircraft. He described seeing pieces of debris lighting up as they re-entered the earth's atmosphere.

According to a plane spotter, who was tuning into a high frequency radio broadcast at the time, the pilot "reported that the rumbling noise from the space debris could be heard over the noise of the aircraft." The plane spotter also heard air traffic control in Auckland warning the pilot of an Aerolineas Argentinas flight, traveling in the opposite direction ten degrees further south. The pilot chose to carry on rather than turn back to New Zealand.

Arrow Down

NASA Update: Flaming objects may have been meteors, not space junk

NASA says the flaming objects which came close to hitting an airliner heading to New Zealand could be meteors, and not Russian space junk.


The objects fell ahead of and behind a Chilean airliner flying over the Pacific between Santiago and Auckland on Tuesday night.


A chief NASA scientist checked with the Russians, who say they fired rockets on their space junk after the airline reported the near-miss.

Comment: Can we call 'em or what?


Meteor

SHOCK! They Admit! NASA rubbishes space junk theory

NASA has discounted claims Russian space junk was responsible for a near-miss over the Pacific.

The pilot of a Chilean jet bound for Auckland reported seeing fiery debris falling near his plane on Tuesday night.

There is speculation it was an unmanned Russian cargo craft returning to Earth after resupplying the International Space Station.

Evil Rays

Space junk spooks pilot

A jetliner flying across the Pacific has had a close encounter with space junk from a Russian satellite.

The captain of a LAN Chile Airbus A340 flying to Auckland was shocked to see the flaming debris less than 10km from his craft.

New Zealand air traffic control authorities said the space junk posed a major safety risk and would be investigated.

Comment: So, it seems that this is not an ordinary situation because of the way the guy was shocked and then the reaction of the ATC people who said "it would be investigated."

Telescope

Giant meteor over Germany triggers "UFO" alarm

(shortened Babelfish translation)

Mannheim - a large meteor on Monday evening in the clear sky between South Germany and Lower Saxony triggered "UFO" alarm in some observers

©Volksfreund
A similar meteor recorded over Munich in 2006

Meteor

Goodness gracious! A ball of fire

It's not every day you see a meteor streaking across the sky. For some Torontonians, the sight of a green fireball on Sunday night was a surprisingly big event. Some were scared. Some were enchanted. Some braced for impact and some called the cops. However, as Constable Laurie Perks of the York Regional Police curtly puts it, space debris "is not a police matter. It's an outer-space matter."

The meteor, of a particularly bright type known as a bolide or fireball, prompted many locals to flights of fancy. "I wasn't sure if I was seeing stuff," admits Mike Mazeika, who saw the meteor from a ninth-floor apartment in North York. "It was so big and it lasted so long." He describes the green- and orange-tinged fireball as being "bigger than a plane," maybe "the size of a building" and adds that the sight of it literally froze him in his tracks.

Comment: The Globe and Mail is considered to be 'Canada's newspaper of record', so when it is forced to acknowledge a meteor display, you know things are getting exciting up there in the heavens. Of course, that the meteor went over Toronto helps. The sighting wasn't limited to the boondocks where it doesn't count as national news.


Magic Wand

Fireball in sky prompts flurry of calls to police in Ontario

KITCHENER, Ontario - Was it a planet? A plane? A meteorite? Little green men?

Whatever it was, residents across Waterloo Region saw something unusual in the night's sky yesterday. Around 8 p.m., the calls started coming into police stations, describing a fiery display streaking across the horizon.

Some, worried they were witnessing a falling airplane, phoned authorities, who set off on a search and rescue that turned up nothing. Local airports reported no downed planes last night.

Question

UFO or Zodiacal Light?

Strange lights in the night sky have prompted readers of the Somerset County Gazette to question the existence of UFOs.

At about 10pm on Monday night, sightings of a strange glow in the sky was reported by Fay Boyd of Kingston St Mary, Richard Fowle of Cheddon Road in Taunton, and his son Edward.

©Richard Fowle
A Gazette reader comments: "This fascinating occurrence could be the rare phenomenon known as the Zodiacal Light, a ghostly cone of illumination caused by the reflection of the Sun's light from millions of tiny particles in the plane of the Earth's, and Venus' orbits. It's visible just after twilight, a vast faint triangular glow rising from Venus upward into the constellation of Aries. If it is the Zodiacal Light it'll be visible until about March 20 towards the west."

Star

Family sees meteorite hit ground

What Richard Yip-Chuck saw fall into a farmer's field Sunday evening looked like a long, white ball with orange sparks shooting off the back.
The Holland Landing resident was driving along Hwy. 7 with his wife, Ele, and sons Kyle, 12, and 10-year-old Dylan, when they saw what looked like a fireball plummet to earth.

"There were sparks coming out of the back," Mr. Yip-Chuck said. "It was wild."