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Fri, 14 Aug 2020
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Fireball 2

Doorbell camera captures meteor fireball streaking over Saskatoon, Canada

Saskatoon meteor fireball
© YouTube/Saskatoon StarPhoenix (screen capture)
A Saskatoon man got quite the sight this weekend.

Adam Frank spotted a meteor blazing across the night sky late Saturday night.

His doorbell camera also caught the spectacle from the front of his Hampton Village home.

Sky-watchers will want to keep their eyes peeled for the next few nights, as we are in the midst of the Quadrantids meteor shower, which typically runs from the end of December to about mid-January.

Fireball 3

Spectacular meteor breaks up over Pacific island of Guam

guam meteor fireball
A fireball which blazed through the night sky, falling apart in a fireworks display and dazzling the residents of Guam, was captured in multiple astounding videos, triggering disputes over its origins.

Hundreds of people witnessed the mysterious ball which was seen darting across the sky in the US territory, Guam in the western Pacific on Friday night, some capturing spectacular pictures and videos of the spectacle.

The unusual event triggered heated debates over the origins of the bright object that apparently fell apart and burned up in the atmosphere.

Fireball 5

Meteor fireball flying through sky caught on doorbell camera in Hamden, Connecticut

A possible meteor streaking across the sky was caught on a doorbell camera in Hamden.

Annette says her Ring doorbell camera caught a video around 5:30 a.m. Sunday of a meteor.
Fireball over Hamden, CT
NASA posted about the Geminid meteor shower Saturday night, encouraging everyone to look up at "a bright & brilliant cosmic show...now playing in a sky near you!"


Dashcam captures meteor fireball over Greenville County, South Carolina

Fireball over S. Carolina
It's not every day you see a meteor flash through the sky.

It's even more rare to capture the event on video.

A WYFF News 4 viewer likely did just that recently. uLocal Carolinas member Jeff Bott captured his video Thursday morning.

uLocal Carolinas is WYFF News 4's Facebook group where members post pictures and videos of cool and beautiful images.

Bott said he was driving on Emily Lane, south of the Southern Connector (County Rd. 316,) in Greenville County at 4:40 a.m. when his dashcam captured a light streaking through the dark sky. Footage of the meteor can be seen here.


Loud boom shakes houses, damages window in San Juan Islands, Washington

Tuesday night, December 3 at 11:33 p.m. there was a very loud boom that shook houses in the Yacht Haven, Roche Harbor area of San Juan Island. People reported hearing the sound in Friday Harbor and in the Pear Point area.

A resident living in the center of the island near the Beaverton Valley Rock posted this photo on Facebook showing damage he says was caused by the boom.

Damaged window in San Juan Island, WA
© Via Facebook
After receiving a call about the sound, San Juan Island Sheriff's Dispatch sent a patrol car out to look around. Nothing was found.

There were other reports of a loud boom last month.


NASA announces two asteroids will pass by Earth on Christmas and the day after

Asteroid Flyby
NASA announced that two asteroids will be passing by Earth on Christmas Day and the day after. Thankfully, the chances of either asteroid colliding with the planet are extremely low.

The first asteroid, named 2019 YB1, will pass by earth on Christmas Day at around 11:41 GMT, Mirror reported. The space object is estimated to have a diameter of between 13 and 28 meters or around three times bigger than a London bus.

At its nearest point, the asteroid will be 993,000 miles from Earth. However, NASA still considers it a "close approach." The space rock will be traveling at a blazingly fast speed of 12,303 during its flyby but it won't be visible to the naked eye.

Meanwhile, the second asteroid is more massive than the first. It has an estimated diameter of between 919 and 2,034 feet (280 to 620 meters), according to FoxNews. To put it into perspective its diameter will be around the height of New York City's One World Trade Center.

The massive space object, dubbed as 310442 (2000 CH59), will be closest to Earth on December 26 at 2:54 a.m. EST, NASA confirmed. This asteroid will travel even faster than the previous one as it will likely reach a velocity of 27,500 miles per hour as it passes by the planet.

Thankfully, its path is very far from the planet that it isn't considered a threat. On the morning of December 26, the asteroid will be 4.5 million miles away.

Comment: Two more to the ever-growing list of asteroid fly-bys. One of these days, Earth will experience something more than a polite passing by of one of these space rocks. We have in the past and we will again in the future:

Fireball 2

2017 meteor over Australia was a rare 'grazing fireball'

Australia 2017 grazing fireball
© arXiv:1912.01895 [astro-ph.EP]
Long exposure images of event DN170707_01. The event lasted over 90 seconds and spanned four 30 second exposures (A, B, C, D). The fireball was first observed at 85 km altitude, reached as low as 58 km, and then was visible until 86 km before escaping the Earth’s atmosphere. The initial velocity was 16.1 km s−1 , and the exit velocity after passing through the atmosphere was about 14.6 km s−1 . The images are all oriented so that the fireball travels from left to right (west to east).
A team of researchers at Curtin University in Australia reports that a meteor that streaked across the Australian sky back in 2017 was a rare "grazing fireball." The group has written a paper describing their observations and findings and have posted it on the arXiv preprint server.

Back in 2017, a meteor tore through the atmosphere over Australia. It was notable for its duration — it lasted for approximately a minute and a half. In this new effort, the researchers have found that the object was a meteor for just a short period of time — it never struck the Earth. Instead, the object headed back out into space. Such meteors are known as grazing fireballs because they only graze the Earth's atmosphere rather than plunge through it. This is possible due to the angle at which it approaches. Like a rock that skips off the surface of a lake rather than plunging in, a meteoroid can skip off the atmosphere if its angle is very small.

The researchers with this new effort used data from Australia's Desert Fireball Network — a group of space enthusiasts who capture video of space objects that appear overhead. The network is the largest in the world and, as its name implies, is focused on learning more about space objects that make their way to Earth.

Comment: See also: Astronomers suspect 2016 meteor fireball event in Australia was caused by asteroid that had been 'captured' by Earth's gravity

Fireball 5

Asteroid to fly past Earth on Friday the 13th

Asteroid Flyby
NASA has been monitoring an asteroid which maintains an orbit around various bodies in the solar system and consistently passes through Earth's orbit with the sun. 13 near-Earth objects in total are expected to fly past Earth in December of this year.

Earth is set to have a close encounter with an enormous asteroid which is set to fly nearby Earth on Friday at a speed of almost 18,000 miles an hour (more than 28,000 km/h), according to NASA.

The upcoming pass-by is estimated to happen on 8:25 am on 13 December, the unlucky Friday the 13th. The asteroid's orbit diagram indicates that the near-Earth approach will follow the rock's intersection with Earth's orbit.

According to the space agency's Center for Near-Earth Object Studies (CNEOS), the asteroid has an Earth-crossing orbit with the sun and will not approach from a diagonal or perpendicular direction and instead will flyby perpendicular to earth.

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Near-Earth asteroid numbers grow

It looks like being a busy end to 2019 for asteroid watchers.
People using telescopes to stare at the night sky on December 20 or 26 might see a distant light traversing the heavens, but proclaiming it as a harbinger of a New Testament rerun would be unwise.

The European Space Agency's Near-Earth Object Coordination Centre advises that on neither night will the Star of Bethlehem be visible, but an asteroid very likely will be.

On December 20 a 300-metre-wide rock known as (216258) 2006 WH1 will whizz by. Six days later, (310442) 2000 CH59 - a bit bigger, at 400 metres - will do the same.

There is, however, no cause for alarm, given that both will remain at least 15 times the distance from the Earth to the Moon away. (Any relationship between either and newborn messiahs will thus be coincidental rather than causal.)

This is a rather more comforting route than those taken recently by five 10-metre-wide objects, and a single two-metre object, all of which, the ESA reports, came within half a lunar distance of Earth in the first 10 days of November.

Fireball 4

Bright meteor fireball reported over Phoenix, Arizona

Arizona meteor fireball
© Twitter/Lucille Le Corre (screen capture)
By now, we all know, it didn't really happen unless it's confirmed via social media.

And that's what was happening Friday night, as numerous Twitter posts surfaced from people who said they saw a bright light streak across the nighttime sky over Phoenix sometime around 9:30 p.m.

The posts described the sight as a green streak or light, possibly a large meteor or "shooting star," but definitely more than a quick flash that such a phenomenon usually produces.

The Arizona Republic could not immediately confirm the source of the bright light, but several other Twitter posts reported seeing it from vantage points such as 32nd Street and Thomas Road, near the Phoenix Art Museum, or in north Phoenix.

Comment: The American Meteor Society has received 17 reports about a meteor fireball seen over Arizona on Saturday, December 7th 2019 around 04:26 UT.