Welcome to Sott.net
Wed, 16 Oct 2019
The World for People who Think

Comets

Fireball 4

Threat assessment: NASA's asteroid hunter charted scariest, Earth-bound objects

Outer space
© REUTERS/NASA/JPL-Caltech/Handout / Reuters
File NASA image shows an artist's concept of an asteroid breaking up as it travels in space.
Hundreds of cosmic objects swarming unnervingly close to Earth come to life in an intimidating new NASA visualization, based on the latest data from its asteroid-hunting mission.

NEOWISE has charted almost 30,000 objects since it resumed its work in 2013, including 788 near-Earth objects and 136 comets. Ten of the objects discovered by NEOWISE in the past year alone have been classified as potentially hazardous asteroids (PHAs).

NASA's latest animation is based on detections made by the telescope over its last four years of surveying the solar system. The green dots represent near-Earth asteroids while the yellow dots stand for comets.

Info

Scholz's star disturbed prehistory solar system comets

Scholz's Star
© José A. Peñas/SINC
At a time when modern humans were beginning to leave Africa and the Neanderthals were living on our planet, Scholz's star approached less than a light-year.
About 70,000 years ago, during human occupation of the planet, a small, reddish star approached our solar system and gravitationally disturbed comets and asteroids. Astronomers from the Complutense University of Madrid and the University of Cambridge have verified that the movement of some of these objects is still marked by that stellar encounter.

At a time when modern humans were beginning to leave Africa and the Neanderthals still thrived, Scholz's star-named after the German astronomer who discovered it-approached less than a light-year from the sun. Today, it is almost 20 light-years away, but 70,000 years ago, it entered the Oort cloud, a reservoir of trans-Neptunian objects located at the confines of the solar system.

This discovery was made public in 2015 by a team of astronomers led by Professor Eric Mamajek of the University of Rochester (USA). The details of that stellar flyby, the closest documented so far, were presented in The Astrophysical Journal Letters.

Now, two astronomers from the Complutense University of Madrid, the brothers Carlos and Raúl de la Fuente Marcos, together with the researcher Sverre J. Aarseth of the University of Cambridge (United Kingdom), have analyzed for the first time nearly 340 solar system objects with hyperbolic orbits (very open V-shaped, rather than elliptical) They have concluded that the trajectories of some of these were influenced by the passage of Scholz's star.

Comet 2

New Comet: C/2018 E1 (ATLAS)

CBET nr. 4494, issued on 2018, March 16, announces the discovery of an apparently asteroidal object (magnitude ~17) in the course of the "Asteroid Terrestrial-impact Last Alert System" (ATLAS) search program on CCD images obtained with a 0.5-m f/2 Schmidt reflector at Haleakala, Hawaii. Posted on the Minor Planet Center's PCCP webpage, it has been reported as showing cometary activity by CCD astrometrists elsewhere. The new comet has been designated C/2018 E1 (ATLAS).

I performed follow-up measurements of this object, while it was still on the PCCP webpage. Stacking of 5 unfiltered exposures, 60 seconds each, obtained remotely on 2018, March 12.4 from Q62 (iTelescope network) through a 0.70-m f/6.6 reflector + CCD, shows that this object is a comet with a diffuse coma about 5 arcsec in diameter. The FWHM of this object was measured about 20% wider than that of nearby field stars of similar brightness.

My confirmation image (click on it for a bigger version)
Comet C/2018 E1 Atlas
© Remanzacco Blogspot
"Pre-discovery" Panstarrs observations (2015 & 2016) were identified by R. Weryk. M.P.E.C. 2018-F10 assigns the following elliptical orbital elements to comet C/2018 E1: T 2018 Apr. 17.3; e= 0.95; Peri. = 299.47; q = 2.70; Incl.= 72.48

Fireball 2

Spectacular meteor fireball spotted over New Zealand

Meteor
© iStock
Dairy farmer Brent White says the meteor he saw on early Saturday morning was "spectacular".
A Manawatu farmer has discovered the importance of carrying a cellphone after he saw a spectacular fiery meteor display but couldn't get a photo.

Dairy farmer Brent White saw the "spectacular" meteorite fly right in front of him at around 4:30am on Saturday when he was bringing cows into the dairy shed.

"I'm hoping someone else saw it... I didn't have my phone on me unfortunately."

Mr White says he ran back to the shed to see if the milk tankers at the shed had seen the meteor, but they were busy working and missed it.

"It was spectacular. It was surreal. It was such a clear morning... and all of a sudden at about 4:35, out of my left eye I saw a bright light.

"It was definitely a meteor; it was a ball-like formation with a vortex."

Fireball 2

Fast moving meteor fireball captured on dashcam over Russian city

Meteor
© Sputnik News
A driver in the Russian city of Yekaterinburg in the Ural Mountains has managed to capture the fall of what researchers claimed was an extremely fast meteor, according to local media reports.

Vladilen Sanakoyev of the Ural Federal University's educational observatory in Yekaterinburg has given his thoughts on the video with what looked like a massive falling ball of fire, local media outlets have reported.

According to him, a blue flash in the footage indicates that the celestial body was flying at a high speed when a car's dashboard camera captured the moment of the alleged meteor falling from the skies in the Russian Urals city.


Fireball

Bus-sized asteroid to pass Earth on 2nd March

Asteroid
© NASA/JPL-Caltech
This coming Friday, March 2, an near-Earth asteroid will be sweeping within 70,000 miles (113,000 kilometers) of our planet's surface.

While there's no danger of any collision, asteroid 2018 DV1 will be coming closer to Earth than the Moon, which is nearly always enough to grab the attention of asteroid-hunters. And on top of that, 2018 DV1 is about 23 feet (7 meters) wide, which NASA's official Asteroid Watch declared was about the size of a bus.

And it should make for an impressive sight if you have the necessary tools to see it. Assuming that you don't have access to powerful telescopes, you can watch a live stream of the asteroid passing through the night sky from the Virtual Telescope Project and Tenegra Observatories in Arizona, who will be showing the video on their website.


Fireball

NASA - 2 new 'potentially hazardous' asteroids careening towards Earth

Asteroids
© YouTube/NASA
Two previously unknown "potentially hazardous" asteroids will pass close to Earth this week, and once again we're reminded that a) NASA's ability to spot potentially cataclysmic near-Earth asteroids is currently limited to a few days' warning, and b) the area around Earth is swarming with dozens of giant space rocks, which are apparently stealthy enough to remain undetected until it's too late. Not an encouraging combination, especially after the two near-misses last month (YD7 and 2018 AJ).


Comment: It is a sobering thought but There is NO WAY TO TELL what might hit, and when. The world's observatories were focused on 2012 DA14 when, 6 hours before its scheduled fly-by, another large rock - from another direction - arrived out of nowhere to explode over Chelyabinsk, Russia!


The new asteroids are named 2018 CC and 2018 CB, and are between 9 and 38 meters in size. For comparison, a standard X-Wing is about 12.5 meters long, while the Space Shuttle is about 56 meters.

NASA deems any asteroid that comes within closer than 4.6 million miles of Earth to be "potentially hazardous." This might not sound close in terrestrial terminology but in terms of space distance, it's close enough to worry.

Comment: The skies have been noticeably active recently with an alarming number of space rocks:


Comet 2

Early humans witnessed global cooling, warming, and massive fires from comet debris impacts says major study

global temperatures 20,000 years

Graph of temperature for the last 20,000 years, provided to illustrate this story, but was not part of the original press release.
New research suggests toward end of Ice Age, human beings witnessed fires larger than dinosaur killers

On a ho-hum day some 12,800 years ago, the Earth had emerged from another ice age. Things were warming up, and the glaciers had retreated.

Out of nowhere, the sky was lit with fireballs. This was followed by shock waves.

Fires rushed across the landscape, and dust clogged the sky, cutting off the sunlight. As the climate rapidly cooled, plants died, food sources were snuffed out, and the glaciers advanced again. Ocean currents shifted, setting the climate into a colder, almost "ice age" state that lasted an additional thousand years.

Comment: For more on the events surrounding the Younger Dryas Impact and the very real possibility of it occurring again, see:


Fireball

Fireball spotted over Peru (VIDEO)

Fireball
© YouTube
Here at Outer Places, we pride ourselves in being both believers and skeptics in equal proportion.

When Peruvian residents saw a giant fireball careening through the sky before crashing in southeastern Peru earlier this week, they were understandably shaken. And though the Peruvian air force has since explained the event as the remains of a satellite, they were understandably skeptical.

What makes this more than your standard, cut and dry gap between civilian and government knowledge? The fact that we've seen personal footage of the fireball, too. A gentleman sent us in a video of the fireball, captured on his cell phone, that shows the object moving in inexplicable ways, far different than any falling object moves as it plummets to the ground. It's easy to understand why some are already racing to claim this is genuine evidence of an alien spacecraft.


Comment: We've seen a few video angles of this event. There wasn't anything unusual about its trajectory or rate of falling.


Meteorologist Alejandro Fonesca, from the Universidade Federal do Acre, confirmed that there were no meteorites scheduled to fall in the area, and thinks that the fireball was either an old satellite or other human-made space litter.


Comment: Meteorites are never 'scheduled' to fall. Meteor showers happen like clockwork, though there's variability with those too. Meteorites are the result of large meteors exploding/disintegrating in the upper atmosphere, and they're not usually part of the 'scheduled' showers.


Fireball

'Meteor' car commercial at the right time!

Meteor Commercial
© YouTube Screen shot
This commercial, which came out about a week and a half ago, has plenty to laugh about.

The joke, of course, is that this sucker is so roomy you can fit more than what you'd first grab fleeing your home if, says, a meteor was about to strike.

The secondary joke is that Americans have become so materialistic that they'd go back for seconds and thirds if they felt they could.

What makes it funniest, though, is it must have turned a few heads given the way a giant fireball streaked across the Michigan sky last week.