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Fireballs

Fireball 3

Meteor fireball whizzes past Cyprus and explodes, lighting up night sky

METEOR

File photo
A suspected meteorite did a close fly-by over Cyprus early on Friday, sending people into consternation over a blitz of bright lights which appeared in the night sky coupled with large bangs.

"It had a 45 degree tilt and a bang was heard as it passed over Cyprus," said Ioannis Fakas, the honorary chairman of the Cyprus astronomical society.

People living in the mountainous Troodos range reported green-white glows in the sky at around one in the morning, then large blasts, police said. Some reported the ground shook.

Parts of the meteorite were thought to have fallen into the sea north of Cyprus, Fakas told state TV.


Comment: ‌This is the meteor's reported trajectory over Cyprus. In the capital Nicosia, an explosion was heard 2.5 minutes after the fireball was seen:
cyprus meteor
© sigmalive.com



Fireball 4

Meteor sighting reported across Virginia

météore
Richmond — Numerous viewers reached out to WTVR CBS 6 after reporting seeing something strange in the sky Thursday evening.

David Livingston said he was stopped at an intersection in the West End around 6 p.m. when he saw a bright light in the southwest sky.

"It was very bright and green and possibly made it all the way to the ground," Livingston said.

Rhonda Sams from Cartersville also saw something she believed was a meteor or possibly space debris.

"My husband, son, and I were looking south toward Cumberland County and Route 60. It could have actually fell in Amelia County," Sams wrote. "Don't know what it was but it was bright and burning."

K. Learning said she was driving on I-95 south near the Doswell exit around 6 p.m. when she saw something bright in the sky.

"There was what looked like a ball of fire seen going at a rapid speed," Learning said. "The direction it was seen going was southwest."

Christy Dalton was driving on Route 288 when she reported seeing something "fall out of the sky."

‎Brian Hobbs‎ also reported seeing the bright light.

"There was a long smoke trail left behind that dissipated very slowly," Hobbs‎ wrote. "Really a neat thing to see."

Fireball 5

Asteroid 2016 RB1 to flyby Earth at 0.1 Lunar Distance on September 7

The asteroid 2016 RB1 was discovered (at ~ magnitude +19) on 2016, September 05 by Mt. Lemmon Survey (MPC code G96) with a 1.5-m reflector + 10K CCD.

Asteroid 2016 RB1 has an estimated size of 7.3 m - 16 m (based on the object's absolute magnitude H=27.8) and it will have a close approach with Earth at about 0.1 LD (Lunar Distances = ~384,000 kilometers) or 0.0003 AU (1 AU = ~150 million kilometers) on 2016, September 7 at 17:20UT and it will reach a peak magnitude of about +12.3. Radio astronomers will try to observe it as 2016 RB1 could be a really strong radar target during its close approach.

I performed some follow-up measurements of this object on 2016, September 07.6, remotely from the Q62 iTelescope network (Siding Spring, Australia) through a 0.4-m f/3.5 reflector + CCD. Below you can see our image taken with the asteroid at about magnitude +13 and moving at ~ 503 "/min. At the moment of its close approach on Sep 07, around 17UT, 2016 RB1 will move at ~ 2716 "/min (or about 45.2 deg/hour). The asteroid is trailed in the image due to its fast speed. Click on the image below to see a bigger version. (North is up, East is to the left).
Asteroid 2016 RB1
© Remanzacco Blogspot

Fireball 2

Man says meteorite hit lone pear on tree in Massachusetts

Meteorite in Pear
© Metrowest Daily News
Framingham - First a late hard freeze robbed Steven Lovewell's Asian pear tree of most of its blossoms. Then the summer drought wiped out all but one lonely pear ripening on his tree. The final blow came swiftly and loudly - from a meteorite.

Lovewell, who lives on Grant Street, said he was awakened by a loud whooshing noise about 3 a.m. Tuesday. Later that morning he found his one Asian pear fruit on the ground with what he believes is a meteorite embedded in its flesh. The dark rocky object, about the size of a peach pit, protruded about halfway from the fruit.

Lovewell said he has been interested in astronomy and rocket science since he was a kid. He plans to reach out to the McAuliffe Center at Framingham State University to try and confirm his belief that his last Asian pear was knocked from the tree by an extraterrestrial object. In the meantime, the pear and meteorite are chilling in his freezer for safe keeping.

Comet 2

Giant comets pose a much greater hazard to life than asteroids

Giant Comet
© The Daily Galaxy
A decade ago, Stephen Hawking warned that one of the major factors in the possible scarcity of intelligent life in our galaxy is the high probability of an asteroid or comet colliding with inhabited planets. This past December, a team of astronomers from Armagh Observatory and the University of Buckingham reported that the discovery of hundreds of giant comets in the outer planetary system over the last two decades means that these objects pose a much greater hazard to life than asteroids.

Giant comets, termed centaurs, move on unstable orbits crossing the paths of the massive outer planets Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune. The planetary gravitational fields can occasionally deflect these objects in towards the Earth. Centaurs are typically 50 to 100 kilometer across, or larger, and a single such body contains more mass than the entire population of Earth-crossing asteroids found to date.

Because they are so distant from the Earth, Centaurs appear as pinpricks of light in even the largest telescopes. Saturn's 200-km moon Phoebe, depicted in this image, seems likely to be a Centaur that was captured by that planet's gravity at some time in the past. Until spacecraft are sent to visit other Centaurs, our best idea of what they look like comes from images like this one, obtained by the Cassini space probe orbiting Saturn. NASA's New Horizons spacecraft, having flown past Pluto six months ago, has been targeted to conduct an approach to a 45-km wide trans-Neptunian object at the end of 2018.

Calculations of the rate at which centaurs enter the inner solar system indicate that one will be deflected onto a path crossing the Earth's orbit about once every 40,000 to 100,000 years. Whilst in near-Earth space they are expected to disintegrate into dust and larger fragments, flooding the inner solar system with cometary debris and making impacts on our planet inevitable.

Known severe upsets of the terrestrial environment and interruptions in the progress of ancient civilisations, together with our growing knowledge of interplanetary matter in near-Earth space, indicate the arrival of a centaur around 30,000 years ago. This giant comet would have strewn the inner planetary system with debris ranging in size from dust all the way up to lumps several kilometres across.

Specific episodes of environmental upheaval around 10,800 BCE and 2,300 BCE, identified by geologists and palaeontologists, are also consistent with this new understanding of cometary populations. Some of the greatest mass extinctions in the distant past, for example the death of the dinosaurs 65 million years ago, may similarly be associated with this giant comet hypothesis.

Fireball 2

Mysterious bangs possibly caused by meteor over South Island, New Zealand

Fireball - stock image

Stock image
An astronomer says a loud bang heard in Rolleston and a red streak seen in the sky over Whanganui at the same time were possibly from a meteorite entering Earth's atmosphere. Retired astronomer Peter Cottrell said it was possible the red streak and loud explosions late Saturday could be from a meteorite or space junk.

"It's possible to get a sonic boom from something coming through the atmosphere at high speed.

"It's a sonic boom because it is travelling faster than the speed of sound."

The red flash seen in Whanganui could have been the meteorite burning up in the atmosphere.

"As soon as it hits the atmosphere there's a lot of friction and friction creates heat and heat creates light as well."

Security guard Nick O'Leary, who was on duty at Whanganui Hospital, said he saw a red streak for a split second just after 11.30pm.

At the same time several residents in the town of Rolleston, Canterbury, reported loud explosions in the area.

Police were unable to identify the source.

Cottrell said the loud bang, or sonic boom, heard in Rolleston would have followed the sighting in Whanganui, Cottrell said.

If it had not burned up completely, finding the meteorite would be challenging. It could be as small as the size of a pebble, but would be dense and heavy.

Cottrell said it was fairly common for meteorites to enter Earth's atmosphere.

Fireball

Fireball seen across Pacific Northwest

Screenshot of AMS map
© Screenshot of AMS map
Map of where the fireball was reported seen.
Portland, Oregon - Many people throughout the Pacific Northwest reported seeing a "fireball" blazing through the sky at around midnight Friday.

According to the American Meteor Society, more than 130 people reported seeing the light shoot across the sky. It was reported seen as far south as Grants Pass and as far north as Port Angeles, Washington. Most of the reports came from the Willamette Valley.

Videos and photos of the fireball were posted on social media.

Fireball 2

Bright meteor fireball recorded over Andalusia, Spain

bolide over Spain
© SMART project (screen capture)
This bolide was observed over the South of Spain on 30 Aug. 2016, at 01:57 UT (03:57 local time). The meteoroid impacted the atmosphere at about 130.000 km/h and produced a fireball that began at a height of 97 km over the Mediterranean Sea. The event ended at an altitude of about 37 km over Andalusia (Spain).


Fireball 4

Huge green, blue ball of light seen over Ontario, Canada

green meteor

Archive file
Initial Sighting Reports

August 29th, 10:55pm. While traveling on Hazeldean Road between Bells Corners and Eagleson Road in Kanata, Ontario, Canada. I glanced to the South and was shocked to see a huge lime colored ball of light shooting toward earth, perhaps at a 25 degree angle, traveling from East to West. As it came closer to earth, it quickly vanished. It was over within a few seconds I imagine.

Frankly, I always thought these things were the color of stars. Learn something new every day.
Thank you, Susan

8:27 pm. I am quite sure we may have seen the exact same meteor! I was looking out my window last night from Grimsby, Ontario. I have a wonderful elevated view of the lake from this window and for only a second or so saw a bright bluish light streak across the sky, but only for a second.

I saw lights from a nearby plane in the area (probably going into Toronto), but I was also thinking it could have been flares from another search and rescue on the lake. But there were no other lights and no glowing from a flare. To me it seemed to be traveling south to north, but I could be wrong because it was so brief, but definitely was in my northern sky.
Glad to read I was not seeing things!- Slick Demetrius

Fireball

Asteroid zooms past Earth hours after discovery

Asteroid 2016 QA2 was twice as big as the space rock that entered over Russia in 2013, breaking windows in 6 Russian cities. It passed safely Saturday night

The calculated orbit of 2016 QA2.
© JPL Small Body Database/Sciencythoughts Blogspot
The calculated orbit of 2016 QA2.
An asteroid safely passed by our planet on Saturday night - August 27-28, 2016 - just hours after being detected. Astronomers have labeled the space rock as asteroid 2016 QA2. The rocks is estimated to be at least twice as big as the Chelyabinsk meteor that penetrated the atmosphere over Russia in February, 2013.

According to the Minor Planet Center, closest approach to Earth occurred August 28 at 01:24 UTC (9:24 p.m. EST on August 27; translate to your time zone). The asteroid has an estimated size of 111.5 feet (34 meters), although its exact dimension can range between 52-171 feet (16 to 52 meters).

The speeding space rock came considerably closer than the moon, as it passed at just 0.22 the Earth-moon distance. That's about 52,580 miles (84,619 km) away. For comparison, the moon is located at some 239,000 miles (384,633 km) from Earth.

Asteroid 2016 QA2 was first seen by the SONEAR Observatory at Oliveira, Brazil.