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Sun, 16 Dec 2018
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Space capsule returns comet dust to earth

DUGWAY PROVING GROUNDS, UT (AP) - After a seven-year journey, a NASA space capsule returned safely to Earth in January 2006 with the first dust ever fetched from a comet, a cosmic bounty that scientists hope will yield clues to how the solar system formed.

The capsule's blazing plunge through the atmosphere lit up parts of the western sky as it capped a mission in which the Stardust spacecraft swooped past a comet known as Wild 2.

"This is not the finish line. This is just the intermediate pit stop," said project manager Tom Duxbury of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, CA, which managed the $212 million mission.

Cloud Lightning

Woman Hit By Lightning While Praying

Worried about the safety of her family during a stormy Memorial Day trip to the beach, Clara Jean Brown stood in her kitchen and prayed for their safe return as a strong thunderstorm rumbled through Baldwin County, Alabama.

But while she prayed, lightning suddenly exploded, blowing through the linoleum and leaving a blackened area on the concrete. Brown wound up on the floor, dazed and disoriented by the blast but otherwise uninjured.

She said 'Amen' and the room was engulfed in a huge ball of fire. The 65-year-old Brown said she is blessed to be alive.

Question

Red rain caused by disintegration of comet: study

The "red rains" in Kerala five years ago was the result of the atmospheric disintegration of a comet, according to a study.

The study conducted at the School of Pure and Applied Physics of the MG University here by Dr Godfrey Louis and his student Santosh Kumar shows that red rain cells were devoid of DNA which suggests their extra-terrestrial origin.

Star

New meteor sheds new light on the universe

Conventional wisdom around space rocks and asteroids may now be challenged with the discovery of a massive meteorite fragment the size of a beach ball. The meteorite was found in one of the world's largest impact craters, the Morokweng crater in the North West province.

Target

Mystery surrounds green 'comet'

An unidentified green object streaked across the Queensland sky last night, before landing on a property between Toowoomba and Warwick near the Great Dividing Range.

Farmer Don Vernon lives on the property next to where the object hit the ground, and watched it come in to land.

"I was finished on the farm and driving home, and as I came in the gate I faced this enormous green ball of light with a white centre.

Star

Meteor shower sparks alarm

SOUTH-east Queensland residents have been startled by a bright, green ball of streaking light that initially sparked fears of a plane crash.

A police spokeswoman said the suspected meteor was seen travelling east to west in the region from Bribie Island, across the Sunshine and Gold Coasts as far inland as Warwick.


Star

Man Witnesses Meteor Shower

May 5, 2006 -- If you saw a bright light in the sky Thursday night, you're not alone.

Astronomers said a large meteor shower crossed straight over El Paso just before 9:45 p.m. Thursday.

One meteor was so large that it cast an orange glow against the mountain.

Meteor

NASA Employs Hubble To Reassure About Comet 73P

Pasadena CA - NASA said Thursday there is no danger that Comet 73P/Schwassmann-Wachmann 3 - or any of its many fragments - will strike Earth during its closest approach next month. To provide further reassurances, the agency has employed the Hubble Space Telescope to take high-resolution images of the approaching object, and will soon follow suit with Spitzer to observe the fragments in infrared light.

"We are very well acquainted with the trajectory of Comet 73P Schwassmann-Wachmann 3," said Don Yeomans, manager of the agency's Near-Earth Object Program, at Jet Propulsion Laboratory. "There is absolutely no danger to people on the ground or the inhabitants of the International Space Station, as the main body of the object and any pieces from the breakup will pass many millions of miles beyond the Earth."

Comment: None of this hoopla has happened before when a comet when sailing by the planet. NASA just stated it wasn't a threat, and that was that. If they are so confident that none of the 73P fragments will hit, why are they scrambling all their resources this time "to provide further reassurances"??


Meteor

Clandestine comets found in main asteroid belt

You do not have to look to the outer edges of the solar system, or even out beyond Neptune to observe a reservoir of comets. A bevy of the ice-containing bodies lies disguised as main-belt asteroids between Mars and Jupiter, claim astronomers from the University of Hawaii, US.

David Jewitt and Henry Hsieh have dubbed the new population "main belt comets". They describe three objects with near circular, flat orbits in the asteroid belt that stream volatile materials, producing an observable tail for weeks and months at a time.

The finding backs a theory that ice-bearing asteroids - or "comets" - from this much closer region may have played an important role in forming the Earth's oceans.

Magic Wand

Fireball reported in skies over Kanto Japan

Astronomical observatories have received a number of reports of a fireball, described as flashing orange or blue, seen in the skies over the Kanto region around 8:30 p.m. Wednesday.