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Tue, 19 Nov 2019
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Comets

Fireball 2

17 meteorites hit Earth everyday

Meteor Over Minsk
© SERGEI GAPON/AFP/Getty Images
A meteor crosses the night sky over a statue of Jesus Christ in the village of Ivye some 125 kilometres west of Minsk, in 2016.
Every year, the Earth is hit by about 6100 meteors large enough to reach the ground, or about 17 every day, research has revealed.

The vast majority fall unnoticed, in uninhabited areas. But several times a year, a few land in places that catch more attention.

Three months ago, for example, a small asteroid probably about the size of a minivan, flashed across the midday sky and exploded over western Cuba, showering the town of Viñales with falling rocks, some of which reportedly landed on rooftops.

Nobody was hurt, but it was a reminder that just as it's not safe to turn your back on the ocean for fear of being washed out to sea by an unusually large wave, space hazards are also capable of catching us by surprise.

To calculate how often such meteor falls occur, Gonzalo Tancredi, an astronomer at the University of the Republic in Montevideo, Uruguay, examined a database of incident reports, discovering that in the last 95 years people have directly observed 95 such events - an average of about eight per year.

To figure out how many others occur unobserved, Tancredi noted that people only occupy a tiny fraction of the Earth's surface - about 0.44% of its land area, or 0.13% of its total surface area.

That means that for every impact that is actually seen by someone, another 770 splash into the sea or fall in a desert, forest, or other locations so remote that nobody sees it happen.

"Some places on the Earth are heavily populated," Tancredi says, "but most places are very lowly populated."

Book 2

A Book Review - Prehistory Decoded

Gobekli Tepe
© Wikipedia Commons
Any follower of Catastrophism the last few years has seen extraordinary confirmations of ancient cataclysm and novel contributions to our way of thinking. To the Tusk, three revelations have characterized the period: The discovery of an extraordinarily youthful late Pleistocene crater in Greenland; a series of popular, comprehensive and unrefuted major journal articles which exquisitely defined hard evidence for the Younger Dryas impact catastrophe; and the singular contribution of Dr. Martin Sweatman, as made in his fabulous book, Prehistory Decoded.

Dr. Sweatman has done our planet and history a tremendous favor by writing Prehistory Decoded. By employing the hard science of probability, he has managed to demystify the world's very earliest and most mysterious art.

Prehistory Decoded begins by documenting Sweatman's initial discovery, reported worldwide in 2015, of an empirical method for decoding the world's first art using pattern matching and statistics. Guess what? The code is a memorial and date stamp for our favorite subject here: the Younger Dryas Catastrophe, and its associated Taurid meteor traumas.

Sweatman has managed to produce a synthesis explanation for the previously indecipherable succession of artistic animal figures at Gobekeli Tepe in Turkey, Chauvet Cave in France, Lascaux Cave in France, and Çatalhöyük in Turkey, among others. Unsurprisingly to the open minded, the ancient artists are communicating using a universally handy and persistent reference set: Stars. Or, more precisely, the appearance of constellations as adjusted over time according earth's precession.

(Don't you love the internet? One hyperlink and no need to explain all that!)

It seems reasonable then to the Tusk that, if there were a code, someone, somewhere, would break the code soon given the global availability and intense interest in the information. In fact, if I waited much longer without someone cracking it, the Tusk may have become convinced the oldest art is simply stunning cave paintings, and heavy carved rocks, with no relevant common narrative (other than horses are pretty, and moving rocks is cool).

Fireball 2

International space agencies team up to practice for an asteroid striking Earth

Asteroid Strike
© Pixabay
You've gotta hand it to America's space scientists: they're resilient. Despite an admission that they may not be able to stop the asteroid Bennu from turning Earth into a smoldering crater filled with the ashen remains of its human inhabitants, NASA's Planetary Defense Coordination Office (PDCO) has teamed up with FEMA and other agencies for what amounts to a wargaming exercise to prepare themselves for a catastrophic asteroid strike.

The best part of this? The ESA is tweeting out bits and pieces of the scenario - that an asteroid named 2019PDC has been spotted and calculated to have a 1 in 100 chance of striking Earth - as if it were happening in real time. The agency has wisely hashtagged the relevant tweets with #FICTIONALEVENT to avoid any War of the Worlds scenarios.


Fireball 2

SpaceX contracted by NASA to attempt to 'redirect' asteroid

Asteroids
© Pixabay

Despite an admission last year that it may be impossible to stop the 8.8 ton asteroid
Bennu from annihilating life on Earth, the perennial optimists at NASA have nevertheless granted SpaceX a $69 million contract to assist in the Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART), intended to save Earth from interstellar armageddon. The test, tentatively scheduled for June 2021, will have Elon's Musketeers crashing a kinetic impactor - in this case, a spacecraft equipped with cameras and solar panels - into a small moonlet accompanying Didymos, an 800-meter-long near-Earth asteroid. NASA notes that the moonlet, dubbed "Didymoon" by scientists, "is more typical of the size of asteroids that could pose a more common hazard to Earth" than its massive chaperone.

The goal, NASA says, is to launch the DART spacecraft atop a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket that will then make its way to Didymos and Didymoon to attempt to alter the latter's trajectory in a rehearsal for what could one day be a high-stakes game of cosmic bumper cars. "By using solar electric propulsion," NASA says, "DART will intercept the asteroid Didymos' small moon in October 2022, when the asteroid will be within 11 million kilometers of Earth." Meanwhile, Earthlings will watch with bated breath.

"The collision will change the speed of the moonlet in its orbit around the main body by a fraction of one percent," NASA promises, "enough to be measured using telescopes on Earth."

Info

'Morphospace' governs recovery after mass extinction

Mass Extinction Event
© MARK GARLICK/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY/Getty Images
The re-establishment of species diversity following an extinction event is consistently slower than evolutionary theory predicts.
Theory tells us that after a mass extinction, an event where the diversity of species is drastically reduced, nature should rebound with a flurry of creativity. Species should quickly proliferate to refill desolate ecosystems, something called adaptive radiation.

Yet, the paleontological record suggests that this doesn't happen at anywhere near the expected pace. Now, research published in the journal Nature Ecology and Evolution argues that understanding something called "morphospace" might help us find the cause.

Extinction events happen with alarming regularity: there's the "big five", but a host of slightly smaller, yet still devastating extinctions have peppered the planet's history.

Scientists now worry that we might be in the middle of one of our own making, so this makes it all the more important to understand how the natural world bounces back from such catastrophes.

Perhaps the most well-known of the earth's mass extinctions is the Cretaceous-Paleogene (K-Pg) extinction event. This took place 66 million years ago when an asteroid smacked into the earth next to what is now the Yucatán Peninsula, creating the nearly 200-kilometre-wide depression known as the Chicxulub crater. This impact drove the extinction of all the non-avian dinosaurs, and much else besides.

Fireball 5

Meteor outburst detected in the Southern hemisphere

Meteor Portal
© NASA
Peter Jenniskens and Jack Baggaley announced today in CBET telegram 4617 that Ian Crumpton and Peter Aldous of CAMS NewZealand detected a brief outburst of 5 meteors from comet C/1907 G1 (Grigg-Mellish) on March 31 in the nine minutes between 17:36 and 17:45 UTC (see the CAMS radiant map for March 31). According to Jenniskens, this is the first instrumental evidence that this comet is a meteor shower parent, after visual observers long reported an annual shower named the delta Pavonids (IAU 120, DPA) radiating from the theoretical radiant of this comet.

The poorly observed comet could be of long period type (orbital period > 200 years), in which case the outburst is dust ejected in the previous return and future outbursts can now be predicted. If the comet is of Halley-type (orbital period 112-200 years), then the outburst could be from a number of different returns and the activity could signal the return of the comet.

Fireball 5

Streaking meteor fireball caught on dash-cam over Wisconsin

Meteor over Kenosha
© Screen Capture Youtube
A meteor entering the earth's atmosphere lit up the sky early Wednesday around 2 a.m.

For one motorist driving west of Kenosha, it appeared that the streaking fireball had crashed near the Strawberry Creek club house and housing development. His 911 call triggered a response from both the Kenosha and Bristol fire departments.

Pleasant Prairie Police. dashcam video is below

Fireball 4

Green meteor fireball captured by amateur photographer over Tasmania

Meteor over Tasmania
© Leoni williams
Residents in Tasmania's south captured the fast flash of light on camera.
They were waiting for the Aurora Australis, but amateur photographers were left guessing after seeing a bright green flash light up the Tasmanian sky.

Amateur photographer Leoni Williams captured a shot of the green streak about 9:30pm on Thursday by "accident".

Overlooking Pipe Clay Lagoon, toward Clifton Beach in southern Tasmania, Ms Williams had her camera facing south in anticipation of an Aurora.

"I was very lucky to capture this bright green object before it disappeared over the horizon," Ms Williams said.

"I'm still not sure what it was. I didn't actually see it with the naked eye as I wasn't watching. I had just set the camera on 30 seconds and pushed the shutter and turned back to my phone.
"I would imagine it was pretty quick. I nearly missed it because it was at the end of the exposure."
Photo sparked social media debate

Ms Williams took to social media to try and find out what she'd captured on camera.

Opinions varied, with some thinking it was a shooting star, a fallen satellite or even a UFO.

Spotted from the Huon Valley to Dodges Ferry, other photos began popping up on social media.

Eventually, it was shared on social media page Australian Meteor Reports.

"It's definitely a meteor," page administrator David Finlay said.
"That flash that's been captured is a very, very bright meteor - it's what we'd call a 'fireball'. It probably lit up the countryside."
Mr Finlay - a former industrial chemist who has been studying astronomy from an very early age - said the flash was created by a "small rock from space, blazing through the atmosphere, creating friction with the atmosphere".

"It glows and ionises gas - that's what you see as this fireball blazing through the sky.

"If it actually survives atmospheric entry and lands as a rock on land, that's what we call a meteorite - only if it makes it to the ground."

Fireball 4

Meteor fireball falls in Russia's territory

Meteor over Krasnoyarsk Territory
© REUTERS/Ilya Naymushin
A truck drives along the M54 federal highway on the bank of the Us river in the Western Sayan mountains in Krasnoyarsk region, Russia, November 4, 2016.
An eyewitness filmed a glowing falling object on his car DVR in the night sky, near the village of Tura in the north of Russia's Krasnoyarsk Territory.

Earlier, the Yenisei TV channel published a dashcam video, which showed a falling luminous body. It is reported that the incident occurred on Friday evening near the village of Tura.

Info

YDB team publishes evidence from Chile for global climate cataclysm

YDB World Map
© Cosmic Tusk
The main objective of this study was to test the YDB impact hypothesis by analyzing a wide range of data from the Pilauco site in southern Chile. The following conclusions show that our data and interpretations are consistent with the YDB impact hypothesis and we found no evidence that refutes the hypothesis.

(1) At Pilauco, ~12,800-year-old peaks in high-temperature Pt-rich and native-Fe spherules are comparable to similar impact-related evidence found at more than 50 YDB sites in North America, Europe, and western Asia. It appears that the YDB layer at Pilauco is coeval with similar layers found at these sites on several continents and is also possibly related to the proposed YDB impact event.

(2) Identification of the YDB layer at Pilauco greatly expands the proposed YDB proxy feld ~6,000 km farther south of the closest well-studied YDB site in Venezuela, and ~12,000 km south of the northernmost YDB site in Canada, a distance equaling ~30% of Earth's circumference.

(3) Cr-rich spherules are found in the YDB layer at Pilauco, but not found at the ~50 other sites on four continents, suggesting that one or more local impacts/airbursts occurred in the Cr-rich basaltic terrain
circa Pilauco.