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Mon, 13 Jul 2020
The World for People who Think



Prof. Wickramasinghe and team share potential origin and predict progression of COVID-19

Map of Coronavirus spread
© EIN PressWire
Map of Coronavirus spread.
Scientific researchers released their findings about the source and predicted direction of the coronavirus and proposed critical measures for the pandemic.

London, UK, — Professor Chandra Wickramasinghe and his team of researchers believe that the novel coronavirus arrived on meteorites in Oct 2019 and instantaneously infected hundreds of thousands of people through the atmosphere, as meteorites were reported in China, Northern Italy, Michigan in October 2019. This is somewhat at odds with the mainstream assertion that it originated in bats in WUHAN, China. Given this disparity, they went to great lengths to produce a timely research paper to back up their argument.

In the research paper released on COVID-19, Professor Wickramasinghe puts forward several thought-provoking arguments. Notably that: "our informed view is that many people were almost simultaneously infected and naturally inoculated with the same COVID-19 virus strain."

Comet 2

New Comet C/2020 H2 (Pruyne)

CBET 4761 & MPEC 2020-H220, issued on 2020, April 28, announce the discovery of a comet (magnitude ~16.5) by Theodore A. Pruyne on four 30-s CCD exposures taken with the Catalina Sky Survey's 0.68-m Schmidt telescope. The new comet has been designated C/2020 H2 (PRUYNE).

We performed follow-up measurements of this object while it was still on the PCCP webpage.

Stacking of 55 unfiltered exposures, 10 seconds each, obtained remotely on 2020, April 27.4 from X02 (Telescope Live, Chile) through a 0.6-m f/6.5 astrograph + CCD, shows that this object is a comet with a diffuse coma about 1' arcmin in diameter.

Our confirmation image (click on it for a bigger version)
C/2020 H2 PRUYNE
© Remanzacco Blogspot

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.


19 'Centaurs' beyond Jupiter may be from another star system

Centaur Chariklo
© Illustration: ESO/L. Calçada/Nick Risinger/SkySurvey Org
Artist’s impression of the Centaur Chariklo.
Astronomers think they've found an entire population of asteroids originating from outside our solar system, according to a new paper.

The objects at the centre of this investigation aren't new discoveries. Called the Centaurs, they're mysterious asteroids that orbit in the neighbourhood of Jupiter and beyond. These objects take highly inclined orbits relative to the plane of the rest of the planets, and in at least one case, orbit the "wrong" way relative to the rest of the solar system's objects. By playing the laws of physics in reverse, scientists Fathi Namouni at the Université Côte d'Azur in France and Helena Morais at UNESP in Brazil found that 19 of these objects likely originated around another star.

Astronomers first spotted the object (514107) 2015 BZ509, now called Ka'epaoka'awela, in the Pan-STARRS survey in 2015. Analysis of this asteroid revealed something shocking: It was orbiting the wrong way around the solar system in a stable yet eccentric orbit near Jupiter, on a tilt relative to the rest of the planets.

Morais and Namouni studied that object's orbit, built a simulation, and played in reverse the behaviour of a million imaginary objects that fit Ka'epaoka'awela's orbital parameters, each with slightly different properties within the margin of error of the original observations. Most of the simulated objects either crashed into the Sun or other planets or were ejected from the solar system, but both of these cases failed to produce sensical origin stories for the asteroids once they turned the arrow of time back forward, Namouni explained. The ones that did obey the laws of physics were stable since the founding of the solar system 4.5 billion years ago. The researchers interpreted their observations as the objects having been captured from elsewhere.


'First ever' evidence of death by meteorite recorded in Iraq in 1888, archive digitization reveals

© NASA/Robert P. Moreno Jr
An exploding meteor.
Researchers have finally found credible records of someone being killed by a falling meteorite.

On 22 August 1888, according to multiple documents found in the General Directorate of State Archives of the Presidency of the Republic of Turkey, a falling meteorite hit and killed one man and paralysed another in what is now Sulaymaniyah in Iraq.

This constitutes, according to researchers, the first-ever known proof of death by meteorite strike. And it hints there could be more such records out there, hiding in archives, waiting to be discovered.

Comment: As will become clear in the following article, far from the above story being the 'first ever' incident report, there is actually a wealth of historical data and records, dating back thousands of years, that document Meteorites, Asteroids, and Comets: Damages, Disasters, Injuries, Deaths, and Very Close Calls. The data also suggests that there are periods where there is a heightened risk and, judging by current reports, our own era has entered one of those periods.

See also: For a discussion on the above topics, check out SOTT radio's: Behind the Headlines: Earth changes in an electric universe: Is climate change really man-made?

And for documentation of fireballs and much, much more occurring in our own time, watch SOTT's monthly documentary SOTT Earth Changes Summary - March 2020: Extreme Weather, Planetary Upheaval, Meteor Fireballs:

Comet 2

New Comet P/2020 G1 (Pimentel)

CBET 4754 & MPEC 2020-H06, issued on 2020, April 17, announce the discovery of a comet (magnitude ~15) by Eduardo Pimentel on CCD images taken by Jacques, Pimentel, and J. Barros with a 0.28-m f/2.2 astrograph of the "Southern Observatory for Near Earth Research" (SONEAR) at Oliveira, Brazil. The new comet has been designated P/2020 G1 (Pimentel).

We performed follow-up measurements of this object while it was still on the PCCP webpage.

Stacking of 7 unfiltered exposures, 24 seconds each, obtained remotely on 2020, April 15.4 from Q62 (iTelescope network) through a 0.50-m f/6.8 astrograph + CCD + focal reducer, shows that this object is a comet with a compact coma about 15" in diameter and a tail 20" long in PA 90.

Our confirmation image (click on it for a bigger version)
Comet P/2020 G1 Pimentel
© Remanzacco Blogspot

Comet 2

Trio of comets grace our skies

New Comet SWAN brightens, while Comet ATLAS continues to fragment and Comet PanSTARRS holds steady.

There's a lot happening in the northern sky these days, namely lots of comets! Comet ATLAS is still worth watching, but look for the new Comet SWAN (C/2020 F8). And you can still catch a glimpse of our old friend, Comet PanSTARRS (C/2017 T2).


Comet ATLAS (C/2019 Y4) continues to shed fragments while slowly fading and becoming more diffuse. But it ain't dead yet!

Comet ATLAS Fragmenting
© Gianluca Masi and Nick Haigh
The evolution of Comet ATLAS's fragmenting pseudo-nucleus is clearly visible in these images taken between April 6th and 14th. The brightest fragment situated off-axis from the other pieces may be the original nucleus. In the final frame note that it has developed a tiny tail of its own.
Observers are still spotting the crumbling object in 100-mm binoculars and (dimly) in 6-inch telescopes under dark skies. On April 14th at 3h UT the comet's overall magnitude had faded to 9.4, but striking changes have occurred within the inner coma. The nuclear region is now clearly elongated east-to-west with hints of fuzzy condensations visible along its length, using magnifications upward of 300× and averted vision.


New formation theory explains the mysterious interstellar object 'Oumuamua

'Oumuamua-like objects
© NAOC/Y. Zhang
This illustration shows the tidal disruption process that can give rise to 'Oumuamua-like objects.
Since its discovery in 2017, an air of mystery has surrounded the first known interstellar object to visit our solar system, an elongated, cigar-shaped body named 'Oumuamua (Hawaiian for "a messenger from afar arriving first").

How was it formed, and where did it come from? A new study published April 13 in Nature Astronomy offers a first comprehensive answer to these questions.

First author Yun Zhang at the National Astronomical Observatories of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and coauthor Douglas N. C. Lin at UC Santa Cruz, used computer simulations to show how objects like 'Oumuamua can form under the influence of tidal forces like those felt by Earth's oceans. Their formation theory explains all of 'Oumuamua's unusual characteristics.

"We showed that 'Oumuamua-like interstellar objects can be produced through extensive tidal fragmentation during close encounters of their parent bodies with their host stars, and then ejected into interstellar space," said Lin, professor emeritus of astronomy and astrophysics at UC Santa Cruz.

Comet 2

New Comet C/2020 F8 (SWAN)

CBET 4750 & 4752 & MPEC 2020-G94, issued on 2020, April 13, announce the discovery of a comet (total magnitude ~8.5) by M. Mattiazzo in the low-resolution public website hydrogen Lyman-alpha images obtained with the Solar Wind Anisotropies (SWAN) camera on the Solar and Heliospheric Observer (SOHO) spacecraft. The new comet has been designated C/2020 F8 (SWAN).

We performed follow-up measurements of this object while it was still on the PCCP webpage through the Telescope Live network.

Stacking of 3 unfiltered exposures, 30 seconds each, obtained remotely on 2020, April 11.4 from X02 (Telescope Live, Chile) through a 0.6-m f/6.5 astrograph + CCD, shows that this object is a comet with a compact coma about 5' in diameter and a tail 6' long in PA 220. Total magnitude 8.4.
Stacking of 3 unfiltered exposures, 120 seconds each, obtained remotely on 2020, April 11.7 from Q56 (Telescope Live, Australia) through a 0.1-m f/3.6 astrograph + CCD, shows that this object is a comet with a compact coma about 8' in diameter and a tail 25' long in PA 220.

Our confirmation images (click on it for a bigger version):

Comet C/2020 F8 Swan
© Remanzacco Blogspot

Comet 2

The Younger Dryas Impact - Armageddon at 10,000 BCE

Fragments of a comet likely hit Earth 12,800 years ago, and a little Paleolithic village in Syria might have suffered the impact.
The Paleolithic settlement of Abu Hureyra
© Jennifer Rice, CometResearchGroup Org
The Paleolithic settlement of Abu Hureyra, in what is now Syria, may have been destroyed by the airburst of an impacting comet about 12,800 years ago.
Abu Hureyra is an important archaeological site in Syria, known for artifacts documenting early adoption of agriculture in the region. It may also be recognized as the only known human settlement to have been hit by a fragment of a comet.

The site, now under the waters of Lake Assad, was quickly excavated between 1972 and 1973 before construction of the Tabqa Dam flooded the area. During the excavation, archaeologists realized that there were really two sites, one on top of the other. The first was a Paleolithic settlement of hunter-gatherers, and the second was a farming town, with new buildings of a different style.

A new analysis of samples of soil and artifacts salvaged from the original excavation has revealed a surprising finding: The Paleolithic village at Abu Hureyra was indirectly hit and destroyed by fragments of a comet that slammed into Earth about 12,800 years ago.

The researchers think that upon entering Earth's atmosphere, the already-fractured comet likely broke up into several more pieces, many of which didn't reach the ground. Instead, they produced a string of explosions in the atmosphere known as airbursts. Each airburst was as powerful as a nuclear blast, instantaneously vaporizing the soil and vegetation underneath and producing powerful shock waves that destroyed everything for tens of kilometers around. The village at Abu Hureyra was hit by one of these shock waves.