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Thu, 29 Oct 2020
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Fire in the Sky

Fireball 2

Meteor fireball over Seville, Spain

This meteor overflew the south of Spain on 2020 July 3 at about 3:49 local time (equivalent to 1:49 universal time). It was generated by a rock from a comet that hit the atmosphere at around 69,000 km/h. It began at an altitude of about 87 km over the province of Seville, and ended at a height of around 52 km. The total length travelled by the meteoroid in the atmosphere was of about 67 km.

The event was recorded in the framework of the SMART project, which is being conducted by the Southwestern Europe Meteor Network (SWEMN). The event was spotted from the meteor-observing stations located at Sevilla, Calar Alto (Almería), La Sagra (Granada) and Sierra Nevada (Granada).


Source of early-morning boom that echoed in Aspen, Colorado remains mystery

Mystery boom in Aspen, CO
© The Aspen Times
The source of a loud bang or explosion that was heard around the Aspen area early Friday morning remains a mystery as officials from different agencies have not been able to track down where it originated.

Fire and police officials checked around looking for a source of the sound early in the morning and could not locate anything that might be the source, an Aspen Police and Fire Department official said Friday morning. They thought it might have been a transformer of some kind because it was louder than a gunshot.

A Holy Cross Energy spokesperson said they were not aware of any transformer damage or a disruption of service Friday morning in the Aspen area.

Many people reported hearing the loud sound echoing in the upper valley. Police and fire officials said it was not the Smuggler Mine cannon that is shot off on Fourth of July at 6 a.m. each year by the owners.

Fireball 2

Bright meteor fireball lights up skies above Tokyo as witnesses report explosion

A huge fireball crosses the sky above the Kanto region at around 2:32 a.m. on July 2. (Captured from a video taken by Kagaya)

A huge fireball crosses the sky above the Kanto region at around 2:32 a.m. on July 2. (Captured from a video taken by Kagaya)
A bright meteor crossed the sky above Tokyo early Thursday, with many people saying they heard it explode.

Social media came alive after the 2:30 a.m. sightings, with many people saying they heard a large bang. Some said they mistook the sound for noise made by neighbors.

"I thought a person living (in the condo) above knocked down a shelf," wrote one Twitter user, while another said, "I thought my child sleeping on the second floor fell out of bed."

Others witnessed the sky suddenly light up.


A trifecta of astronomical shows coming in July

© Getty Images
Meteorite streaking over Trona Pinnacles near Death Valley, CA, Perseid Meteor Showers 2019
As if Mercury moving backward isn't enough, July is going to get even wilder for sky watchers.

Three more big astronomical happenings are coming up next month — dueling meteor showers and a lunar eclipse, CBS station WUSA9 reported.

The lunar eclipse starts at roughly 11 p.m. July 4. And more moon magic takes place July 5 when the orb passes extremely close to Jupiter and Saturn. The trio will be packed together so tightly that they may even appear as one to those looking through telescopes or binoculars.

A week later, Jupiter and Saturn will blaze in the sky as they will "reach opposition, or the point in their orbits when they are closest to the Earth," the TV station noted.

Perhaps the most spectacular starry display will take place July 28 and 29 when both the Alpha Capricornids and the southern Delta Aquarids showers peak on the same nights, adding a double dose of natural fireworks.


NASA warns of FIVE more asteroids set to blaze past Earth, as scientists devise method of planetary defense

Asteroid illustration
© Rolando Marin/Pixabay
NASA has raised the alarm over yet another five space rocks headed our way. Fortunately, researchers have also revealed a potentially ingenious new strategy for dealing with such threats should they come too close to Earth.

Another week, another warning of impending asteroid activity in Earth's vicinity, as at least five asteroids ranging in size from a small passenger jet to roughly the size of an apartment building are set to shoot past the Earth, three of which were only spotted in the last two months.

Mercifully, the closest any of them will come to us is 1.2 million miles (1.9 million km) away. That's five times the distance between the Earth and Moon — so those concerned can breathe a sigh of relief.

It also won't be an opportunity for scientists to try an ingenious method that might help defend humanity from going the way of the dinosaurs.

Comment: See also: Forget About Global Warming: We're One Step From Extinction!

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Bolide explodes over Kansas illuminating the night sky

Bolide over Kansas
© YouTube/Paul M Smith (screen capture)
The American Meteor Society (AMS) has received 22 reports (event 2967-2020) about a meteor fireball seen over AR, KS, MO, OK and TX on Friday, June 19th 2020 around 05:36 UT.

Paul M Smith was recording storms over Kansas when he captured the likely bolide (meteor brighter than the planet Venus) illuminating the night sky.

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Another meteorite-like object falls from sky in Rajasthan, India

The meteorite-like subject which fell from the sky in Rajasthan.

The meteorite-like subject which fell from the sky in Rajasthan.
A meteorite-like object fell from the sky in Rajasthan's Sanchore town on Friday morning. The object resulted in a one-foot-deep crater and created an explosive sound that was heard up to two kilometers away. The unidentified object is currently with the police and under investigation.

According to locals, an explosive sound was heard when the object fell from the sky. The fall and the sound resulted in panic in the area.

The object was emitting heat even three hours after it crashed leading many to believe it may explode. As a result, the administration advised locals to stay away. After it cooled down, it was put in a jar. According to the police, the object will be investigated by experts.

"There was a massive sound in the morning when the object fell from the sky -- it was as if an airplane had crashed. However, no one could spot what had fallen. It was only after sometime that the object was noticed in a one-foot-deep pit in the ground. It had fallen about 100 metres from my house. We immediately informed local authorities," says Ajmal Devasi, a local.

Mangal Singh, Information Bureau Inspector, Jalore district, said, "After we received information about the unidentified object, department officials reached the spot. The unidentified object was found to be three kilometers heavy and was very hot. Investigation is underway."

Comment: In February this year a meteorite hit a factory compound in Alwar, Rajasthan, India reportedly causing a 20-feet deep crater.

Other reported meteor impacts so far this year include:

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Three bright meteor fireballs recorded within 90 minutes over Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico meteor fireballs
© YouTube/Frankie Lucena (screen capture)
Three bright meteor fireballs were recorded within 90 minutes over Cabo Rojo, Puerto Rico on June 16th 2020, facing slightly NW between the hours of 04:40 UTC and 06:08 UTC (12:40 and 2:08 am).


Reports of 'explosion' like noise heard across Waterford, Ireland

Waterford, Ireland
Air Traffic Control at Waterford Airport say they haven't received reports of unusual activity in the skies of Waterford City.

They were responding to claims that a very loud noise, described as being like an explosion was heard at around half past ten last night.

Mystery surrounds the noise, heard by people in the city centre, Ferrybank and in the Dunmore Road and Tramore Road areas.

It has been described by some who heard it as a 'sonic boom'.

People took to social media to describe the incident, however Waterford Gardai say they didn't receive any reports from the public.

One Facebook user in Ursuline Court caught the sound on video.


NASA warns of another FIVE asteroids headed our way, after MISSING one that passed closer than the moon

Illustration of asteroids
© Pixabay/Thomas Breher
NASA is reporting a rather rocky start to the week, as the Earth is set for at least five asteroid flybys. It comes hot on the heels of another asteroid unexpectedly whizzing between Earth and the Moon without anyone noticing.

Four of the five space rocks due to buzz the Earth this week were only spotted in May, raising concerns about just how prepared our planetary defenses are; While we caught them, we cut it very close if we needed to shoot them out of the sky or at least deflect them, our only two options to stave off an asteroid apocalypse at present.

Thankfully, the asteroids, ranging in size from 46 feet to 180 feet in diameter, will miss us by a safe margin of error of between 869,000 miles and 4.1 million miles, so there is no immediate concern about an impending fiery death raining down from the sky to top off the wildfires, pandemic, economic crises, and social and civil unrest which have plagued the Earth so far in 2020.