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Fri, 24 May 2019
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Fireballs


Comet

'Oumuamua was a fragment from a disintegrated comet

Oumuamua
© ESO / M. Kornmesser
One artist's impression shows ʻ1I/'Oumuamua as a cigar-shaped object.
'Oumuamua's strange trajectory back out to interstellar space can be explained if the object was a comet fragment with the density of air.

'1/'Oumuamua, the interstellar mystery object that briefly visited the inner solar system in 2018, has proven a difficult nut to crack. Astronomers are still arguing about what it even is - asteroid, comet, or something else altogether? Now, in a pair of studies posted recently on the arXiv (paper 1, paper 2), Zdenek Sekanina (JPL-Caltech) suggests the object might be an ultra-low density fragment from a comet that disintegrated while passing near the Sun.

Info

New study confirms Libyan Desert Glass formed by airburst

Libyan Desert
© Associated Press
In the remote desert of western Egypt, near the Libyan border, lie clues to an ancient cosmic cataclysm.

Libyan desert glass is the name given to fragments of canary-yellow glass found scattered over hundreds of kilometres, between giant shifting sand dunes.

Interest in Libyan desert glass goes back more than 3,000 years. Among items recovered from King Tut's burial chamber is a gold and jewel-encrusted breastplate. In the centre sits a beautiful scarab beetle, carved from Libyan desert glass.

Libyan desert glass - raw and carved - is easily available today, but how the glass formed has long puzzled scientists.

Our research has found the answer.

Fireball 2

Meteor fireball lights up Northern New Zealand's sky

Meteor Over NZ
© ABC
Kiwis and Australians witnessed a short but stunning light show as a meteor burnt up in the atmosphere just after midnight.
Kiwis and Australians witnessed a short but stunning light show in our skies this morning as a meteor burnt up in the atmosphere just after midnight.

At around 12.25am Northlanders were woken to a flight of light, a deep rumbling and a flash of colour flying off the burning meteor.

Locals took to social media to describe what they saw and heard, with many revealing they thought it was a supersonic aircraft.

"It was a meteor. I saw it really close overhead at Oromahoe shortly after midnight. I could see green, yellow, orange flames coming off the rock as it burnt up," described one Northlander.

"It was very close and incredibly bright and afterwards there was a long rumbling sound. It was certainly bright enough to be seen at Paihia and Kaikohe."

Fireball 2

Meteor fireball detonates over Australia's Northern Territory, turns night into day

fireball
A meteor has lit up the Northern Territory night sky with a flash that created "daylight" in Alice Springs and a noise that shook windows.

NT Police Duty Superintendent James O'Brien said officers received a phone call from an Alice Springs resident just after midnight, and quickly started checking their own CCTV vision.

The footage shows the meteor also shooting over Tennant Creek, more than 500 kilometres north of Alice Springs.

"We were a bit dubious about it," he said.

"But then we started looking around our CCTV and the one in Tennant Creek sees this beautiful purple light coming down.

"And the ones in Alice Springs basically show Alice Springs showing up like daylight. It was quite magnificent."


Fireball 2

Meteor fireball sails over southern Wales, UK

Fireball over Wales
© YouTube/AMS/M. Statham
On May 20, 2019, the American Meteor Society received two reports of a meteor fireball over southern Wales. M. Statham uploaded video footage of the event:

Fireball

Spectacular light show as meteor fireball lights up south-eastern Australia

fireball light
Spectacular footage has emerged of a meteor soaring over south-eastern Australia overnight, engulfing the night sky in a brilliant explosion of light.

Dashcam and CCTV vision show a ball of light racing through the sky before exploding just before midnight, triggering reports from Adelaide to the Gippsland coast in Victoria's east.

Vice President of the Astronomical Society Perry Vlahos told 9News that it's relatively rare to see a "piece of space dust" that "bright in the sky."


Comment: The night before: Meteor fireball detonates over Australia's Northern Territory, turns night into day


Comet 2

New Comet C/2019 J1 (Lemmon)

CBET 4625 & MPEC 2019-J122, issued on 2019, May 12, announce the discovery of a comet (magnitude ~17.5) in the course of the "Mt. Lemmon Survey" (G96), in images taken on 2019, May 04 with a 1.5-m reflector + 10K CCD. This object was reported as a comet by R. A. Kowalskiand D. Rankin (G96, May 4). The new comet has been designated C/2019 J1 (Lemmon).

I performed follow-up measurements of this object while it was still on the PCCP webpage. Stacking of 12 unfiltered exposures, 120 seconds each, obtained remotely on 2019, May 06.4 from H06 (iTelescope network) through a 0.25-m f/3.4 reflector + CCD, shows that this object is a comet with a diffuse coma about 10 arcsec in diameter.

My confirmation image (click on it for a bigger version)

Comet C/2019 Lemmon
© Remanzacco Blogspot

Camcorder

Home surveillance camera captures exploding meteor as it lights up sky in Seattle, Washington

Fireball over Seattle, WA
© YouTube/AMS/D. Driftmier
On April 29, 2019, the American Meteor Society uploaded video from a home surveillance camera of an exploding meteor that lit up the sky in Seattle, Washington.


Fireball 3

Meteor fireball seen over north-central and east Texas

Fireball over Texas
© Kevin P.
On May 16, 2019, the American Meteor Society received reports of a fireball seen over Texas. Kevin P. uploaded video of the meteor as it flew over Hawley:


Meteor

Powerful, mysterious explosion heard in Grand'Anse, Haiti likely a meteorite

Mystery boom (stock)
Sunday between 3:00 and 4:00 pm a huge roar, similar to a huge explosion of undetermined origin was heard throughout the department of Grand'Anse sowing anxiety and some panic in the population, unable to locate the origin of this noise and explain the cause, leaving room for rumors of all kinds.

Monday, 24 hours after this phenomenon, some still evoked the awakening of a volcano, while there is no volcano in this department. The only two volcanoes existing in Haiti are at Thomazeau and at the Morne la Vigie. They have been asleep for nearly a million years and pose no danger to the population. Sunday and Monday, the local authorities were not able to explain this phenomenon.

The engineer-geologist Claude Prépetit, Director General of the Bureau of Mines and Energy says that it is not an earthquake or a volcanic activity and rather advanced the hypothesis of the explosion of a meteorite that would have disintegrated in the atmosphere before touching the ground, no point of impact having been reported for the moment, as it was the case in Cuba at the beginning of February 2019.