Welcome to Sott.net
Wed, 21 Aug 2019
The World for People who Think

Fire in the Sky

Fireball 5

Another asteroid impact on Jupiter as astronomers capture footage of flash

jupiter asteroid impact
A stargazer landed the shot of a lifetime on Wednesday after he captured extremely rare footage of a mysterious flash of light on Jupiter, which may have been an elusive meteor explosion.

Texas astrophotographer Ethan Chappel captured the incredible sight while he was filming the planet, and said the event on Jupiter's southern equatorial belt "looks awfully like an impact flash." A bright spot can be seen appearing out of nowhere before it quickly fades away.

"After I checked the video and saw the flash, my mind started racing! I urgently felt the need to share it with people who would find the results useful," Chappel told ScienceAlert.

Astronomer Jonti Horner said he had "never seen anything like that before," and described the flash as "just totally breathtaking."

"A lot of the time these things will go unnoticed and unobserved," he explained. "Half of them will happen on the far side of the planet. So there's a lot of things working against seeing these events."

Comment: It's not "extremely rare." It's not even "rare."

It USED to be, before 1994, when Comet Shoemaker-Levy broke up and impacted Jupiter.

Since then, comets/asteroids have been observed hitting Jupiter on a number of occasions... Notably, this most recent one occurred almost 25 years to the day that Shoemaker-Levy hit Jupiter in mid-1994.

Fireball 3

Bright nighttime flash seen over the Big Island, Hawaii last week was a meteor

Meteor over HI
A bright flash that illuminated the sky the night of July 24 was caused by a rock, estimated to be between the size of a softball and basketball, entering the Earth's atmosphere.

The University of Hawaii's Asteroid Terrestrial-impact Last Alert System program on Mauna Loa caught an image of the meteor that briefly lit the sky brighter than a full moon.

According to a UH news release, the ATLAS program, located at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration facility on Mauna Loa, searches for hazardous asteroids, and its all-sky weather-monitoring camera captured an image of the meteor during routine monitoring of the night sky.

"They are scientifically interesting and visually spectacular but pose no threat whatsoever," said ATLAS principal investigator Larry Denneau. "These occur over Hawaii Island maybe once every few months, and around the world there are dozens per night."

Comment: The statement that these meteors 'pose no threat whatsoever' isn't entirely true. See:

Fireball 4

'I thought it was Armageddon' - Perth residents stunned by early morning meteor fireball

Early risers around the Perth metropolitan area were stunned by a bright green light filling the night sky on Wednesday morning, but what looked like Armageddon was most likely a meteor, according to a Perth Observatory staffer.
Meteor Fireball
© Brisbane Times
Just before 6am 6PR News director Lisa Barnes was out for her morning run near Ellenbrook when she saw the phenomenon light up the sky.

"It was so amazing to see, it lit up the whole sky, a quick flash of light and then it drew my eyes to where I was heading (...) and then it was like a ball of light and I watched it fall."

Mrs Barnes said it was much bigger and brighter than a shooting star.

Comet 2

Spectacular Delta Aquariids meteor shower set to light up skies tonight

Meteor shower
© National Park Service
An annual meteor shower is set to peak tonight in a stunning night sky display that could see up to 20 flaming by per hour. Here's everything you need to know to catch the spectacular celestial show.


The Delta Aquariids meteor shower is a spectacular display of what is essentially space dust and bits of debris from a comet (or comets) in our orbital path that flew close to the Sun.

The comet sheds particles that then smash into our atmosphere - around 60 miles above Earth - and zoom across our skies at about 90,000mph (150,000kph), at times vaporizing into shooting stars and leaving a trail of blazing light behind.

Fireball 4

Meteor fireball may have dropped meteorites in Ontario

A lime-green meteor as bright as the full Moon streaked across Canadian skies on July 24th and may have delivered free samples from the asteroid belt.
Meteorite LIghts up Sky
© SOMN - Western University
An all-sky camera network captured this fisheye view of a full-moon-bright fireball searing the sky over southern Ontario early on the morning of July 24th. It may have dropped meteorites.
At 2:44 a.m. EDT on July 24th, a wolf near Eel Lake in southern Ontario jerked its head skyward in surprise as a 12-inch (30-cm) diameter meteoroid suddenly illuminated the forest like a transitory full moon.

The object, a stray from the asteroid belt, finally found a home after countless years of aimless orbiting — the heavily forested lake country some 200 kilometers north of Toronto not far from the town of Bancroft.

Assorted wolves and night predators weren't the only ones with their eyes on the surprise. Plenty of of people saw it, too. Nearly 50 eyewitness reports were submitted to the American Meteor Society's (AMS) fireball reporting page by observers from Michigan to Québec. Gary N. of Hamilton, Ont. described the color as bright "lime green." Jenny K. of Getzville, NY called it "the size of my fist."

Comment: Incredible video shows meteor fireball streaking across Canadian sky

Fireball 5

Suspected meteorite crashes into rice field in India

Suspected Meteorite
© STR/AFP/Getty Images
The object was spotted ‘coming down from the sky’ and then excavated from a 150cm-deep hole by residents of Mahadeva village.
Madhubani/Patna: Farmers working in a paddy field at a village in Madhubani district were left shaken when a meteorite-like object weighing around 15kg fell from the sky, leaving a crater at the spot where it crashed.

Madhubani DM Shirsat Kapil Ashok told TOI that the incident took place around 2.30pm on Monday. "Agriculture labourers working the paddy field where the meteorite struck claimed that they saw a fireball-like object coming down from the sky and made a deep crater where it hit the ground. The farmers also saw smoke coming out from the spot in the water-filled agriculture field," Shirsat said.

Displaying the 'meteorite' wrapped in a red cloth on Tuesday morning, the Madhubani DM said the stone-like object has magnetic properties. He added that the mysterious object was kept secure in the treasury office at the Madhubani collectorate.

"I have written a letter to the principal secretary of the science and technology department along with a copy to the principal secretary of state art, culture and youth affairs department," Shirsat said, adding the sample was sent to Patna on Tuesday evening.

"The science and technology department will take a decision regarding further action. The object might be sent to space research organisations like ISRO or any museum," Shirsat said.

Fireball 2

Meteor fireball widely reported over US east coast

East coast meteor

The bright light in the sky was visible in areas from Ontario to New Jersey.
Security cameras have captured a fireball caused by an apparent meteor over the east coast of the US.

In various pieces of footage shared on social media a bright ball of light can be seen in the night sky.

According to local news reports, sightings of the meteor were recorded in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, Vermont, New York and New Jersey, amongst other states.

The celestial display was also visible in the east of Canada in provinces including as Ontario.

Comment: The American Meteor Society (AMS) has received over 360 reports about a meteor fireball seen over Connecticut, CT, DE, Delaware, MA, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, MD, ME, NC, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, NH, NJ, NY, PA, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, RI, VA, Vermont and VT on Thursday, July 25th 2019 around 03:04 UT.

This video was uploaded to YouTube by the AMS (www.amsmeteors.org). Credit:Peter R.


Closer than the Moon: 3 giant asteroids whizz by Earth in One day This week

© AFP/European Southern Observatory Handout
The Earth has been spared from an apocalyptic scenario after three massive asteroids zipped by our planet on Wednesday - with one of the giant space rocks passing closer than the Moon.

With a diameter of up to 120 meters, asteroid 2019 OD soared past our planet moving at roughly 43,000 miles per hour at a distance of 222,160 miles from Earth, NASA's Center for Near-Earth Object Studies (CNEOS) said. The celestial object capable of inflicting massive damage was closer to Earth than our immediate satellite the Moon, which lies 238,900 miles away.

Fireball 2

Incredible video shows meteor fireball streaking across Canadian sky

The Western University All-Sky Camera Network in London, Canada, captured this image of a fireball over southern Ontario and Quebec on July 24, 2019, at 4:44 a.m. EDT (0844 GMT).
© Western University
The Western University All-Sky Camera Network in London, Canada, captured this image of a fireball over southern Ontario and Quebec on July 24, 2019, at 4:44 a.m. EDT (0844 GMT).
A fireball as bright as the full moon streaked across the Canadian province of Ontario early Wednesday (July 24), possibly throwing meteorites to Earth along the way.

The flash of light from a beachball-size space rock was recorded by 10 all-sky cameras deployed by Western University in London, Canada, and mounted across southern Ontario and Quebec. While meteorites could have fallen in the Bancroft area (about 3.5 hours northeast of Toronto), footage was captured as far away as Montreal — about 260 miles (420 kilometers) east of Bancroft.

The fireball was likely visible in the United States as well, as there are several pending reports on the American Meteor Society's website from that time, from observers in New York state and Pennsylvania.


Comet fragment or Indian rocket launch? Eerie light seen in the night sky from all over eastern Australia

australia comet rocket
© Gemma Howard / Facebook
The object as seen from Rubyvale, Queensland, 22 July 2019
An astronomer has explained a strange, bright light that appeared in skies over the Northern Territory and Queensland on Monday night, leaving hundreds of people mystified.

Shauna Royes spotted the light over the Julia Creek caravan park in remote north-west Queensland about 7.30pm on Monday night and put a call out to the ABC North West Facebook page to figure out what it was.

"We were actually at the caravan park having a bush dinner for not-for-profit organisations, so there was about 160 people, and one of the tourists looked up and said, 'look'," the McKinlay Shire Councillor said.

"It was quite a bright, unusual light with a tail on it. It was travelling north-east and we watched it for probably two or three minutes before it faded out.

"We had no idea what it was. It was really unusual."

Comment: Actually, that's the power of suggestion. It is not yet known that what they saw was the Indian rocket exiting the atmosphere...

Eyewitnesses captured footage of it with their phone cameras, some of which are posted in the comments here.