Welcome to Sott.net
Thu, 06 Aug 2020
The World for People who Think

Fire in the Sky
Map

Galaxy

Asteroid sneaks past satellites in one of the closest flybys on record


Asteroid illustration
© NASA/JPL
Illustration of asteroid in space.
No one saw it coming until it was right on top of us. More like above us, actually.

A previously unseen asteroid the size of a truck flew about 4,350 miles (7,000 kilometers) over the Pacific Ocean on Monday, making it one of the closest passes by our planet on record.

Astronomers had no notice of asteroid 2020 JJ's existence, as it was discovered using the Mt. Lemmon Survey in Arizona right around the time it reached its closest point to us.

NASA keeps an online database of close approaches by asteroids and other "near-Earth objects" going back to 1900, and 2020 JJ comes in as the sixth closest approach ever recorded. It should be noted that the top 10 close approaches have all come since 2004. This isn't because asteroids started attacking us in the 21st century. Rather, it says something about how astronomers and their technology are becoming better at spotting ever-smaller and closer asteroids.

Meteor

Early morning loud boom wakes residents in Hereford, UK

Mystery boom (stock)
© myjournalcourier.com
People across Hereford were awoken by a loud bang in the early hours of this morning.

Described as 'a huge boom', and 'like a cannon', the sudden noise was heard all over the city, from Kings Acre Road to Hampton Dene, at around 2.45am.

Many have taken to social media to question what they heard, with suggestions ranging from fireworks to thunder.

Natalie in Belmont said: "It wasn't a gun shot, it was a deep bang, so much so that the first thing I did was look at the news."

Catherine Street resident Robin Hart said: "This is at least the second time we have been woken by this bang.

Fireball 2

Meteor fireball streaks over Florida's Panhandle

Fireball over Florida's Panhandle
© WJHG/WECP
A viewer of WJHG's shared a video from his security camera of a meteor shooting over the sky of Panama City Beach Thursday night.

The meteor may have been a precursor to the upcoming Eta Aquariid Meteor Showers which peaks during the early morning hours of May 4, 5, and 6. You can read more about that meteor shower at the link to the right.

Fireball 2

Dashcam captures meteor fireball over Metro Vancouver in broad daylight

Metro Vancouver meteor fireball
© YouTube/Glass it by dGol Polish it (screen capture)
If you happened to be looking skyward over Metro Vancouver on Thursday afternoon, you may have been lucky enough to catch a shooting star so bright it was visible in broad daylight.

Motorist Al Dinis caught the bright flash on his dashcam as he was eastbound on Marine Way at North Fraser Way in Burnaby, around 1:30 p.m.

"This is the first time I've seen this, maybe I should play the 6/49 [lottery]," Dinis told Global News.

Dinis most likely saw a meteor — a lump of space rock that's been captured by earth's gravitational force, says Rachel Wang, an astronomer at Vancouver's HR MacMillan Space Centre.

"When they enter Earth's atmosphere and then they start burning up and if they become really bright they're fireballs, or normally we call them shooting stars," she said.


Fireball 3

Falling meteor fireball creates bright flash over Arizona

Fireball over AZ
© Mount Lemmon Sky Center/ American Meteor Society
A fireball event caused by a meteor illuminated the skies of Arizona recently. According to a couple of eyewitness reports, the falling meteor may have broken apart in the sky and produced visible signs of fragmentation.

The fireball incident was confirmed by the American Meteor Society (AMS). A total of 11 eyewitness reports were filed through its website.

Based on the data compiled by the AMS, the fireball event happened on April 25 at around 11:00 p.m. UT or around 7:00 p.m. EDT. The event was mainly spotted from various cities in Arizona.

Based on the eyewitness reports, the fireball produced by the falling meteor had a brightness or magnitude that ranged from -5 to -19, making it brighter than the planet Venus when viewed from Earth. As noted by the eyewitnesses, the fireball appeared for about 1.5 to 3.5 seconds long.

Fireball 5

Meteor fireball spotted across several Washington State counties

Fireball map WA state
© American Meteor Society
Many people have reported spotting a fireball in the sky above parts of Washington on Thursday.

According to the American Meteor Society, reports came in of a fireball came in from Twisp, Moses Lake, Omak and Richland.

The Okanogan County Sheriff's Office also received several reports of a loud explosion or sonic boom-type noise being heard or felt across the county.

Several people in the Methow Valley reported seeing a green ball with a fire tale, possibly a meteor, flying over Twisp, according to the Sheriff's Office.

Fireball 4

Burning object recorded in New Zealand sky likely a meteor

Meteor over the Remarkables
© Matthew Willcox
Queenstown resident Matt Wilcox was lucky enough to witness what was probably a meteor on Wednesday evening.
A Queenstown man has captured some mysterious footage above the Remarkables mountain range.

Matt Wilcox was out for a walk when he spotted something odd.

"[It] was probably only visible for around a minute or so. Then it went behind the Remarkables and out of sight."

Southland Astronomical Society astronomer Mike Bailey had examined the footage and said he believed it was not a plane as it was moving too fast.

"It also looks dirty, aircraft contrails would normally be white," he added.

Fireball 2

Bright meteor fireball turns night into day sky over eastern Caribbean Islands

Meteor fireball over Caribbean
© YouTube/American Meteor Society (screen capture)
At approximately 8:40 PM on Sunday 26th April 2020, a bright meteor streaked across the night sky, lighting up between Martinique to as north as Anguilla and as west as Puerto Rico.

A brief and bright flash of light was reported from Martinique, Guadeloupe, Saint Martin, Saint Barthelemy, Gustavia, and Puerto Rico.

Flash of the meteor seen at Gustavia:


Fireball 5

Huge meteor fireball observed over Brazil

Meteor over Brazil
© Screen Capture
A large meteorite crossed the Brazilian night sky and became extinct at an altitude of 67 kilometers, just one kilometer above the cities of Nova Petrópolis, Canela and Gramado, in the south of the neighboring country.


Comment: 'Became extinct'?! What a strange turn of phrase, given what meteors will likely do to us some day...


This was reported this Saturday by the Heller and Jung Space Observatory, which recorded last Thursday how the bolide (a type of meteorite with a very intense brightness) fell in the Hortensias region, in a sect of the mountain ranges of the state of Rio Grande do Sul.

Fireball 2

Meteor smoke captured on video over Slovakia

Meteor smoke over Slovakia
© YouTube/Robert Barsa (screen capture)
The best meteor during this month's Lyrid meteor shower might not have been a Lyrid at all. On April 21st, Robert Barsa was outside the city of Košice, Slovakia, watching meteors fly out of the constellation Lyra when a flash lit up the sky from a completely different direction.

"I saw it in my peripheral vision," says Barsa. "As I looked reflexively above my head, I was speechless staring at a meteor much brighter than Venus."

"The fireball was moving very slowly with at least two outbursts," he says. "It reminded me of a decaying spaceship or satellite entering the atmosphere."