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Sun, 25 Sep 2022
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Comet 2

'Lost' comet of 1915 may have been rediscovered

C/2016 R3 Borisov
© YouTube/Planetary Astronomy
C/2016 R3 Borisov.
Scientists working with the Slooh observatories were able to take an image of Comet C/2016 R3, which was discovered by Russian astronomer Gennady Borisov on September 11, 2016. Since then, the comet has been too close to the sun to observe well, but Borisov and his peers think the celestial body might be one that was misplaced a century ago.

Comet C/2016 R3 was discovered by Gennady Borisov, an employee at Sternberg Astronomical Institute in Moscow, on September 11 this year. Earlier, Borisov spotted and catalogued four comets and one asteroid. He is working with observers using the Slooh global robotic observatory network.

Borisov together with Slooh member Bernd Luetkenhoener and Slooh astronomer Paul Cox have demonstrated that Comet C/2016 R3 is moving towards the sun and will reach its perihelion on October 12.

Fireball 3

Meteor fireball streaks across Scotland skies

Invergowrie fireball
© Evening Telegraph
People across Tayside were speculating last night after a streak of light appeared in the sky.

Rachel Malcolm sent a picture of the bright line in the darkening night sky to the Telegraph.

She said: "Just saw this in Invergowrie. "It's like something burning up in the atmosphere."
Invergowrie fireball
© Rachel Malcolm

Dr Robert Massey, deputy executive director at the Royal Astronomical Society, said: "At first sight the trail in the image looks like a sunlit aircraft contrail — a vapour trail — set against a darkening sky. When the sun is low in the sky these stand out, and appear much more prominent than in the middle of the day.

"A meteor trail can be bright and linger, but will typically break up with the movement of air in the upper atmosphere.

"There is an outside chance this shows a trail of that kind, but to be sure, I would need to know how long the exposure was, whether there was a fast moving streak — a shooting star — before the photo was taken, and how long the trail stayed in place."

Comment: The same day, 500 miles south of Scotland, another meteor fireball was captured at dawn in south east London:

Slow-moving fireball photographed over London?

Fireball 2

Mysterious 'fire in the sky' captured on video over Louisiana: Plasma phenomenon?

A light in the late night sky north of Dale Noel's home stopped him in his tracks last Sunday night.

"When I seen the light, it was like flying and the light was pulsing like it was getting brighter and brighter and brighter the further it was getting," he said.

He ran to tell his fiance he thought a plane's wing was on fire, but returned outside to an empty sky.

Then, "We both looked up in the sky and we saw the same thing. It made the same pass, so we started recording it," he said, "It was lighting up, lighting up, lighting up and then it blew up in the same spot the other one did. And then a third one came by."

Noel said, "We were just kind of freaking out, like what is this, what is this?"

Comment: And, as usual... the experts are wrong. Just because it is 'too slow' doesn't mean it cannot have been a meteor. They can and do spiral, change directions and even appear to 'halt'!

Fireball 2

'Huge meteor' explodes off coast of Queensland, Australia - Shockwave comes onshore, rattling residents and homes

The 'meteorite' caused tremors and flashes
© Ellie Thompson
The 'meteorite' caused tremors and flashes
Hundreds of local reported seeing a "burning light" at Turkey Beach and Emerald in Queensland, Australia, followed by tremors

A 'meteor' crashed into earth causing tremors and a huge "flash of light" in the sky, it has been reported.

The fireball was spotted at Turkey Beach and Emerald in Queensland, Australia, as hundreds of locals took the social media to report their houses shaking and a "burning light" in the sky.

Police received a number of calls from concerned residents in the Gladstone area, reporting tremors in what was initially believed to be an earthquake.

Geoscience Australia has since officially ruled out an earthquake and Higgins Storm Chasing crew said a "meteorite impacted somewhere offshore".

Fireball 2

Huge meteor fireball filmed over Kent, UK

The fireball was spotted as far away as Holland.

The fireball was spotted as far away as Holland.
A huge fireball shot across the sky late last night, shocking residents in Kent and being spotted as far east as Holland.

The flash of light, believed to be a meteor, was caught on camera at 11.34pm in Ash Vale, Surrey, by the UK Meteor Observation Network.

In the five second clip posted to YouTube, the fireball grows in size, burning brighter by the second before rapidly fizzling out.

An eyewitness said: "I saw it in Oxfordshire! I was fishing and it lit up the whole lake. Incredible.

"It's been seen as far west as South Wales and as far east as Holland!"

UK Meteor Network added: "As reported by the public, we recorded this stunning large fireball from our Ash Vale camera."

Comment: The American Meteor Society (AMS) has received 100 reports about a meteor fireball seen over Great Britain, France, Luxembourg, Belgium, Netherlands and Germany on 23rd September 2016.

AMS map Sept. 23 2016
© Google Maps/AMS
NASA space data supports citizens' observations that - meteor fireball activity is increasing dramatically!


Slow-moving fireball photographed over London?

Ali Osman caught this strange burning orb over London on camera
© Ali Osman
Ali Osman caught this strange burning orb over London on camera
Ali Osman was going through a daily routine with his one year old girl when he encountered the bizarre object outside his window.

Civil engineer Ali, from Erith, south east London, snapped these pictures of the orb, which resembles a massive fireball or flaming meteorite.

The married dad-of-one said: "I woke up with my daughter around 6am.

"I always have a look out the window in the mornings to show my daughter the birds and noticed this strange object in the sky.

"At first I thought it was a plane that leaves a trial behind it but realised quickly it wasn't because it was just hovering.

"There were other planes flying high near the object but the object was above the planes and was stationary.

Fireball 2

Meteor fireball shoots across Eastern Canada and US night sky

Meteor by AMS
© Facebook/Mont-Mégantic provincial park
This meteor was seen as far west as Toronto and as far east as Edmundston, N.B., according to the American Meteor Society.
Skywatchers across Eastern Canada and the U.S. spotted an unexpected treat last night, as a meteor streaked across the sky.

The phenomenon was captured by a camera atop Quebec's Mont-Mégantic provincial park, about 80 kilometres east of Sherbrooke, Que., around 9:40 p.m. Wednesday.

Sébastien Giguère, scientific co-ordinator at the Mont-Mégantic Astrolab, confirmed Thursday morning that the fireball was indeed a meteor.

A meteor, also called a shooting star, is the light emitted from a meteoroid or an asteroid as it enters the atmosphere.

Meteors like ones seen during Perseid meteor showers are caused by particles that are the same size as a grain of sand or rice, Giguère explained. The bigger the particle, the bigger the meteor.

Last night's meteor was probably caused by something the size of a big rock, Giguère said.

"Hundreds of tonnes of meteorites fall through the sky every day," he said on Radio-Canada's C'est pas trop tôt. "But yesterday, it was nice out and [the meteor] was centred on southern Quebec. That happens once every one or two years, so it's not totally rare, but it doesn't happen every day."

Vicky Boldo, a resident of Sainte-Catherine-de-Hatley Que., said she saw the "spectacular sight" while sitting in her hot tub last night.

"It passed directly over us and lit the yard up like a football field — it seemed to be just up over our heads beyond the trees," she said in an email.


5 new 'Neptune trojans' discovered

 Neptune Trojans
© Lin et al., 2016
The spatial distribution of all PS1 detected Trojans. The solid triangles are the newly discovered Neptune Trojans, and open triangles are the known ones detected by PS1. The positions of Neptune Trojans correspond to their first detections of PS1. The blue circles show the locations of Neptune from 2010 to 2013, and the crosses show the corresponding Lagrange points. Notice that the Galactic Center (GC) overlapped with L5 during 2010 to 2012.
An international team of astronomers led by Hsing-Wen Lin of the National Central University in Taiwan has detected five new so-called "Neptune trojans" - minor bodies sharing the same orbit as the planet Neptune. The discovery was made by the Pan-STARRS 1 (PS1) survey and is described in a paper published Sept. 15 on arXiv.org.

The PS1 survey, which utilizes the first Pan-STARRS (Panoramic Survey Telescope and Rapid Response System) telescope in Hawaii, designated PS1, is one of the best tools to search for Neptune trojans. The survey, lasting from May 2010 to May 2014, has made a strong contribution to knowledge of the solar system's minor bodies due to its very wide survey area and its optimized cadence for searching moving objects.

"PS1 survey has a very wide survey area that is deep enough to cover a large part of the Neptune trojan cloud. PS1 currently is the only one with the capability to detect several Neptune trojans in a single survey," Lin told Phys.org.

The researchers found four new L4 trojans, meaning that they orbit Neptune's L4 Lagrangian point 60 degrees ahead of Neptune; they also found one L5 trojan - orbiting the L5 region 60 degrees behind the planet. The newly detected objects have sizes ranging from 100 to 200 kilometers in diameter.

What drew the attention of the astronomers is the fact that the new L5 trojan is dynamically more unstable than the other four, indicating that it could be temporarily captured into the Neptune trojan cloud.

Fireball 2

Bright meteor fireball observed over Hampshire, UK

Hampshire meteor
© YouTube/Hampshire Astronomical Group (screen capture)
M20160913 193941 Clanfield NW.
Reported by Neil Morrison and subsequently identified on the Observatory video cameras.

Fireball 2

30 tonne meteorite discovered in Argentina

30 Tonne Meteorite
© Compacto Nea
Scientists have discovered a meteorite weighing over 30 tonnes in northern Argentina. The meteorite was found in the town of Gancedo, 1,085 km north of capital Buenos Aires, Mario Vesconi, president of the Astronomy Association of Chaco, said on Monday.

"While we hoped for weights above what had been registered, we did not expect it to exceed 30 tons," Vesconi said, adding that "the size and weight surprised us", Xinhua news agency reported.

"It was in Campo del Cielo, where a shower of metallic meteorites fell around 4,000 years ago," Vesconi added.

The meteorite will be weighed again to ensure an accurate measurement.

The largest meteorite ever found is called Hoba, weighing 66 tonnes in Namibia, Africa.