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Sun, 22 Oct 2017
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Comets


Fireball

Meteor explosion brightens southern Sri Lanka's skies

© Daily Mirror, Sri Lanka
Colombo University Physical Science Department Prof. Chandana Jayaratne confirmed that the bright light and sound which was heard from the Southern Province (SP) this evening was because of an explosion caused by a meteor.

Speaking to the Daily Mirror he said the explosion was known as a 'fireball explosion' and occurs after an asteroid enters the earth's atmosphere.

"The asteroid could be a size of 50 centimetres. Every asteroid enters the earth's photosphere at a speed of 65 kilometers per second. With that speed one side of the asteroid gets heated up due to friction and the other side does not, therefore causing an explosion," Prof Jayaratne said.

Comet 2

Comet 01-ASAS-SN brightens unexpectedly

© ASAS-SN/Twitter
There are countless chunks of icy debris swirling around the Oort cloud on the outskirts of the Solar System. But it's always exciting when one of those comes in our direction for a rare flyby.

In July, astronomers discovered a brand new comet zooming through the inner regions of our space bubble. Since that time it's been steadily getting brighter, and now is about the best time to finally catch a glimpse of it in the night sky.

The comet C/2017 O1 ASAS-SN was first detected on 19 July by the All-Sky Automated Survey for Supernovae, the same system that brought us new discoveries about the mysterious Tabby's star, massive space explosions, and stars shredded by black holes.

Now, for the first time, the survey has discovered a comet which Northern Hemisphere stargazers can readily spot in the sky with the help of a backyard telescope or even just binoculars.

Comet O1 ASAS-SN is a long-period comet, and it probably takes at least several thousand years to cruise around the Sun and come back - so being able to spot it right now is a wonderful treat.

Fireball

South Carolina home hit by meteorite

© Melanie Casselman
Clemson astrophysicists have visually confirmed that an unusual rock that hit a Pawley Island home and ended up in a yard is meteorite from outer space.

"I looked at my house and my windows, and everything looked fine, so I just walked right on by," Casselman said. "I didn't even pick it up."

The next day, Casselman's partner, Dennis Suszko, found a strange piece of rock in the front yard, and she remembered seeing a similar rock in the side yard.

"These were odd-looking rocks," Casselman said. "It wasn't like anything around it, and I jokingly said, 'We must've had a meteor shower last night.'"

As they looked for more pieces of rock, they noticed a chunk of shingles missing from the eaves of their roof.

"We're not positive, but we believe that's where the meteorite first struck before landing in the yard," Casselman said.

Comet

Comet K2 - farthest active inbound comet ever seen

© NASA
Compass Image for Comet C/2017 K2.
NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has photographed the farthest active inbound comet ever seen, at a whopping distance of 1.5 billion miles from the Sun (beyond Saturn's orbit). Slightly warmed by the remote Sun, it has already begun to develop an 80,000-mile-wide fuzzy cloud of dust, called a coma, enveloping a tiny, solid nucleus of frozen gas and dust. These observations represent the earliest signs of activity ever seen from a comet entering the solar system's planetary zone for the first time.

The comet, called C/2017 K2 (PANSTARRS) or "K2", has been travelling for millions of years from its home in the frigid outer reaches of the solar system, where the temperature is about minus 440 degrees Fahrenheit. The comet's orbit indicates that it came from the Oort Cloud, a spherical region almost a light-year in diameter and thought to contain hundreds of billions of comets. Comets are the icy leftovers from the formation of the solar system 4.6 billion years ago and therefore pristine in icy composition.

"K2 is so far from the Sun and so cold, we know for sure that the activity-all the fuzzy stuff making it look like a comet-is not produced, as in other comets, by the evaporation of water ice," said lead researcher David Jewitt of the University of California, Los Angeles. "Instead, we think the activity is due to the sublimation [a solid changing directly into a gas] of super-volatiles as K2 makes its maiden entry into the solar system's planetary zone. That's why it's special. This comet is so far away and so incredibly cold that water ice there is frozen like a rock."


Based on the Hubble observations of K2's coma, Jewitt suggests that sunlight is heating frozen volatile gases - such as oxygen, nitrogen, carbon dioxide, and carbon monoxide - that coat the comet's frigid surface. These icy volatiles lift off from the comet and release dust, forming the coma. Past studies of the composition of comets near the Sun have revealed the same mixture of volatile ices.

Comment: See also: Study: Our sun probably has an evil twin called Nemesis

For more information on comets, Oort cloud, Electric Universe model, Nemesis - Sol's dark companion - and much more, see Pierre Lescaudron and Laura Knight-Jadczyk's book, Earth Changes and the Human-Cosmic Connection.

Perhaps 'something wicked this way comes?'




Comet 2

Death from the clouds - Toxic Comets

© Flickr/Kevin Dooley
Although molecular Nitrogen represents 78.09% of the air we breath this doesn't mean all substances containing Nitrogen are nice and nurturing.

In reality Nitrogen is a very curious substance that can also be very nasty.

The combination of Nitrogen and Carbon in the form of Cyanogen is very toxic.
Cyanogen is the chemical compound with the formula (CN)2.

It is a colorless, toxic gas with a pungent odor.
© Malaga Bay
Like other cyanides, cyanogen is very toxic, as it readily undergoes reduction to cyanide, which poisons the cytochrome c oxidase complex, thus interrupting the mitochondrial electron transfer chain.
...
Inhalation of 900 ppm over a period of 10 minutes is considered lethal.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cyanogen
© Wikipedia
Comets are very toxic because they produce cyanogen.

Info

Meteorite impacts may have created Earth's tectonic plates

© Mark Stevenson/UIG
An artist’s impression of meteorites hitting the early Earth.
Meteorite impacts might have kick-started the Earth's tectonic plates and boosted the planet's magnetic field, according to a study from Australia's Macquarie University.

The research, led by Craig O'Neil from the university's Planetary Research Centre, and published in the journal Nature Geoscience, offers a scenario to illuminate what happened during the first 500 million years of the Earth's existence - a period known as the Hadean, or, more poetically, the geologic dark ages.

To date, the question of whether the young planet featured moving tectonic plates has been moot, primarily because almost nothing of its early crust remains.

Some scientists have proposed that grains of zircon, dating to before 4.1 billion years ago, are evidence of early, active tectonics. Others, however, are more convinced by geochemical data indicating that in its formative years the Earth was encased in a motionless "lid", with moving tectonic plates emerging later.

Tectonic plates were until recently thought to be unique to Earth, at least within the solar system. However, research by scientists at the University of California, Los Angeles, in 2012, using satellite imagery, established that Mars also experiences plate movement, although on a smaller scale.

Comet 2

Unique 'ring comet' discovered by Hubble telescope

© ESA/Hubble
With the help of the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, a German-led group of astronomers have observed the intriguing characteristics of an unusual type of object in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter: two asteroids orbiting each other and exhibiting comet-like features, including a bright coma and a long tail. This is the first known binary asteroid also classified as a comet. The research is presented in a paper published in the journal Nature today.

In September 2016, just before the asteroid 288P made its closest approach to the Sun, it was close enough to Earth to allow astronomers a detailed look at it using the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope [1].

The images of 288P, which is located in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, revealed that it was actually not a single object, but two asteroids of almost the same mass and size, orbiting each other at a distance of about 100 kilometres. That discovery was in itself an important find; because they orbit each other, the masses of the objects in such systems can be measured.

But the observations also revealed ongoing activity in the binary system. "We detected strong indications of the sublimation of water ice due to the increased solar heating - similar to how the tail of a comet is created," explains Jessica Agarwal (Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research, Germany), the team leader and main author of the research paper. This makes 288P the first known binary asteroid that is also classified as a main-belt comet.

Fireball 4

Green meteor fireball spotted over Montgomery, Alabama

© Andrew Yawn/Montgomery Advertiser
A home security system catches a glimpse of a piece of a comet that burned bright across the South Monday night.
Was it a dragon? A sign of the apocalypse? A warning shot from North Korea?

No, that bright, green fireball seen streaking over Montgomery early Tuesday morning was just your average piece of celestial space rock burning up in the atmosphere, according to Bill Cooke with the NASA Meteor Environment Office.

Cooke said the fireball was a fragment of a comet measuring about 5 to 6 inches in diameter. Igniting as it hurtled into the atmosphere about 54 miles above Highway 84 in Conecuh County, the fireball flew well over the speed limit at approximately 83,000 mph.

It was spotted by three NASA cameras located in Georgia and North Carolina at approximately 3 a.m., but perhaps the best footage was captured by one Montgomery resident's doorbell camera. Posted on Facebook Tuesday morning and shared with the Montgomery Advertiser, the video shows the comet briefly and brilliantly blazing by Alabama's capital, obviously late for something.

Comet 2

Evidence suggest a collision and several close encounters with comets in the last 2000 years

© NASA
If you have long suspected the mainstream is being less than honest [or simply delusional] when they describe Comets as "dirty snowballs" or [more recently] "icy dirtballs" then you might be interested to discover Close Cometary Encounters are associated with sudden spikes in the level of Thorium 232.
Cometary nuclei are composed of an amalgamation of rock, dust, water ice, and frozen gases such as carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, methane, and ammonia.

As such, they are popularly described as "dirty snowballs" after Fred Whipple's model.

However, some comets may have a higher dust content, leading them to be called "icy dirtballs".

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comet
Dangerous Close Cometary Encounters occur when:

a) Comets collide with the Earth.
b) Comets pass directly between the Earth and the Sun.

In the second case the alignment exposes the Earth to a potential Cometary Double-Tap whereby:

1) The "gas tail" of the Comet is delivered directly into the Earth's upper atmosphere.
2) The "dust tail" of the Comet side-swipes the Earth with a debris train.

Fireball

Meteor shower stuns residents of Townsville, Australia

© Townsville Bulletin
A meteor shower was seen in Townsville.
Dozens of people have reported seeing an impressive meteor shower over Townsville tonight.

The celestial event occurs when a number of meteors are seen to radiate from one point in the night sky.

Joe Martin saw the event from Bushland Beach at 7.06pm.

"I saw four or five lights that looked just like shooting stars or fireworks heading towards the ground,'' he said.

"Three of them got very bright, then I saw a flash. Then they were gone.