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Tue, 14 Aug 2018
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Fireball 5

Spectacular lightshow or harbinger of doom? 5 facts about tonight's Perseid meteor shower

Perseid showers
© Mario Anzuoni/Reuters
This year's Perseid meteor shower promises to be one of the best for stargazers as a new Moon bringing darker skies means night time conditions are optimum for this potentially catastrophic cosmic event.

The trail of shooting stars created by the Swift-Tuttle comet have been active in the night sky since mid-July, however, they have been peaking since August 11 and as many 70 shooting stars per hour are expected to be visible from Earth in the early hours of Monday morning.

Here's five more facts about the Perseid meteor shower:

One of the most consistent:

The Perseid meteor shower is one of the most reliable showers year-after-year with Comet Swift-Tuttle being in orbit for thousands of years. It takes 133 years to ellipse the Sun and this is the first year it has passed into the inner solar system since 1991. The next time will be in 2126.

Comment: See also: The annual Perseids: Astronomers prepare for Earth to 'plow' into fiery meteor shower


Pills

Chronic: For big pharma, the perfect patient is wealthy, permanently ill and a daily pill-popper

Chronic

Will medicine ever recover?
Just a few years ago, infection with the hepatitis C virus guaranteed a slow and certain death for many. Available treatments were effective in about half of all patients, and the side effects could be awful. Things changed in 2014, when a new medication called Harvoni was approved to treat the infection. With cure rates approaching 99 per cent and far fewer side effects, the medication became an instant blockbuster. Sales topped $13.8 billion in 2015.

But then an odd thing happened - sales began to drop precipitously. Harvoni, in conjunction with four other hepatitis C drugs, is projected to generate only $4 billion this year, a three-fold decline in as many years. Part of this decline is due to new competitors entering the market. But according to analysts at Goldman Sachs, another reason could be that the drug's cure-rate erodes its own market.

Fireball 2

Meteor fireball seen over Great Yarmouth, UK

The fireball was seen heading to Hemsby beach
© Mike Page
The fireball was seen heading to Hemsby beach
A mystery "fireball" has been spotted flying over a coastal village and over a neighbouring town with one witness saying it may have been meteorite.

The football-sized fireball like object was seen over Hemsby by a 73-year-old female resident of Beach Road from her home at about 11.25pm on Sunday.

She said: "It was not a firework. It was not an object, it was a ball of fire. It came from the right and the headed left. Something was coming out of the back, like a rocket does. It was quick. It headed towards the beach. It was not an object."

She added it was so quick she did not have time to think of taking a photograph.

Meteor

Mystery explosion that shook walls in Auckland, New Zealand blamed on school fireworks

Mystery boom in NZ
© HARRY SI/ SUPPLIED
A loud explosion was heard resonating through inner-city Auckland on Saturday.

Turns out it was fireworks being let off at a local school, a spokesperson for the New Zealand Fire Service said.

People streamed out onto the mean streets of Ponsonby on Saturday night to check out the boom. One bar emptied and the wall shook.

But residents and reveller are still unclear what caused it.

A Ponsonby resident say they heard a "massive explosion" between 7.30 and 7.40pm, causing neighbours to rush onto the street to see what happened.

Comment: See also: Meteor fireball streaks through the night sky above Sydney, Australia


Fireball 2

Meteor fireball streaks through the night sky above Sydney, Australia

The meteor (pictured) was seen in different parts of New South Wales at around 6.30pm last night, leaving locals mystified

The meteor (pictured) was seen in different parts of New South Wales at around 6.30pm last night, leaving locals mystified
Sydney locals were left mystified after witnessing a meteor dash through the sky last night.

The meteor was seen across the city at around 6.30pm, with some lucky witnesses managing to capture incredible footage of the rare phenomenon.

Footage circulating on social media showed the fireball slowly growing larger and more visible as it streaked through the night sky.

The moment only lasted for a few seconds before the flash of light was gone.


Fireball 2

February 2018 fireball activity higher than previous 5 years of same period combined over Benelux countries

A meteor fireball over Salvador, Bahia, Brazil on Tuesday 20th February 2018.
© A Tarde On Line
A meteor fireball over Salvador, Bahia, Brazil on Tuesday 20th February 2018.
A summary of the activity of the CAMS BeNeLux network during the month February 2018 is presented. This month offered many clear nights, 11 nights with more than 200 orbits, 3 nights had over 300 orbits. In total 23439 meteors were recorded, 12931 of which proved multiple station, or 55%. In total 4147 orbits were collected during this month, more than during all previous months of February together.

1 Introduction

After two disappointing months, December 2017 and January 2018 with the most unfavorable weather possible for meteor video work, the poor weather continued the first few nights of February 2018 until a major improvement changed the situation from 5-6 February onwards. The month of February is a winter month with long nights in the BeNeLux while meteor activity is still fairly high. The weather used to be favorable during the years 2014, 2015 and 2016 when the network counted much less cameras than today. February 2017 was characterized by very bad weather circumstances with as many as 12 nights without any single orbit. What did February 2018 bring?

Comment: There are other signs that confirm meteor activity is on the increase, and those are the effects produced by 'meteor smoke' left in the atmosphere: SOTT Exclusive: NASA blowing meteor smoke as noctilucent clouds intensify

See also: And check out SOTT's: SOTT Earth Changes Summary - May 2018: Extreme Weather, Planetary Upheaval, Meteor Fireballs




Fireball 5

Spectacular meteor fireball caught on camera as it blazes across Siberia

Screenshot from Youtube video
© Ruslan Sol / YouTube
Screenshot from Youtube video
A dazzling fireball has streaked over several towns in Western Siberia. Stunned locals managed to film the object as it sped by glowing yellow and green.

The event was recorded in the towns of Yugansk and Surgut on Saturday night. People gazing at the fireball and watching the videos have been guessing if that was a meteor or maybe a UFO.


Fireball

The annual Perseids: Astronomers prepare for Earth to 'plow' into fiery meteor shower

Meteor
© Dado Ruvic
A meteor streaks across the sky above medieval tombstones in Radmilje, Bosnia and Herzegovina, on 12 August, 2016.
A glowing shower of meteorites is set to light up the night skies this August as hundreds of burning space rocks wipe out in Earth's atmosphere, much to the delight of stargazers across the globe.

The Perseids is a prolific shower of fiery space particles that has streaked over our planet annually for generations as Earth encounters debris falling off the Swift-Tuttle comet, which was first discovered back in 1862.

The gleaming debris is generally first seen in mid-July in the northern hemisphere but enters a particularly sweet period of viewing for amateur stargazers between August 11-13, 2018. According to NASA, the peak period happens around a moonless night when the sky is darker than normal.

"Unlike most meteor showers, which have a short peak of high meteor rates, the Perseids have a very broad peak, as Earth takes more than three weeks to plow through the wide trail of cometary dust," said Jane Houston Jones, of the US space agency's Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

Fireball 5

Fireball above US base in Greenland puzzles NASA scientist - jokes about 'Russian strike'

Geminid meteor fireball over Mojave Desert
© Wally Pacholka
Geminid meteor fireball over Mojave Desert
A mysterious fireball exploding with the power of a small nuclear bomb which was detected not far from the US air base in Greenland has alerted a NASA space explorer. Another called for calm, saying it's not a Russian strike.

The curious tweet was released by Ron Baalke, a space explorer at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, in late July. "A fireball was detected over Greenland on July 25, 2018 by US government sensors at an altitude of 43.3 km," he wrote. The energy from the blast was estimated to be 2.1 kilotons.

Fireball 4

'Big green' meteor fireball lights up Queensland sky

Fireball over Queensland
© contributed
A big green fireball that fell through the Queensland sky last night has been spotted from as far as Cairns, to Mackay and Rockhampton.

Community social media pages lit up with posts about the meteor about 7pm.

Jason Jaques, of Mareeba in Cairns, was on his way to pick up a pizza when a flash of light caught his eye.

"It was a green fireball, it was very bright and it caught the corner of my eye," he said.

Mr Jaques' dashcam footage of him driving out of his coffee plantation is the only video footage of the meteor that has emerged so far.