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Fireballs

Fireball 3

Chelyabinsk meteor explosion was so bright, radiation burned people's eyes and skin

At its most intense, meteor fireball glowed 30 times brighter than the sun causing skin and retinal burns, say researchers
Image
© Marat Ahmetvaleev
Scientists have published the most complete picture yet of the devastation caused by the meteor that exploded over the city of Chelyabinsk in Russia this year.

The 20-metre-wide space rock hurtled into the skies over the city in February and began to tear apart at an altitude of 28 miles. Travelling at a speed of 12 miles per second, the rock exploded with the energy of around 500 kilotonnes of TNT, researchers found.

Directly beneath the meteor's path, the shockwave was powerful enough to knock people off their feet. Windows were shattered in more than 3,600 apartment blocks, and a factory roof collapsed.

In the local library in Yemanzhelinsk, 30 miles away, a statue of Pushkin cracked when it was struck by a blown-out window frame. At least 1,210 people were treated for injuries, most from falling building debris and flying glass.


Fireball 5

Massive 'blast' felt in Chicago was not from earthquake or quarry blast - Another overhead meteor explosion?

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People in the western suburbs who felt the earth move Monday weren't imagining it. But the cause remains a mystery.

The U.S. Geological Survey assigned the tremor that occurred about 12:35 p.m. near Countryside a preliminary magnitude of 3.7. Soon after, they downgraded the tremor to 3.2 and said it wasn't an earthquake, but likely was caused by work at a nearby quarry.

"Based on what they've looked at, we're pretty sure it's from a blast," said Paul Caruso, a geophysicist with the Survey. "It is not an earthquake."

The website Did You Feel It?, which is operated by the agency, reported that by midafternoon more than 700 people had contacted the site to say they had, indeed, felt it. Police departments in Hinsdale, Elmhurst and elsewhere said residents called to report the tremor.

Fireball 2

Amazing fireball caught in the sky of Japan - October 30, 2013

This car driver was lucky to have is camera on... He indeed recorded a long fireball traveling across the sky over Japan.


This great meteor record was caught on Oct. 30, 2013 near Yokohama, in Japan. The following picture was shot from Asahi Village in the Nagano Prefecture.

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© http://sonotaco.jp/forum/viewtopic.php?t=3116&sid=82158aeeb5e267abbce200972516d5fc
Fireball seen across Japan – October 30 2013

Fireball

Fireball explodes over Sarajevo at 30km above the ground

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© AD Orion
Bolide entering the atmosphere photographed from Sarajevo
Multiple explosions were registered last night at 00:36:59 as bolide penetrated the atmosphere. Its fragments could have hit the ground.

The cameras of Bosnia and Hercegovina Meteorite Network run by Orion Astronomic Society and Hydrometeorological Institute in Sarajevo, located in Sarajevo, Gradačac and Pelješac, registered bolide incursion with above -9 magnitude equal to the Moon glow in the first quarter.

This is the brightest meteorite event every since the Meteorite Network commenced with its experimental activities in tracking the sky activity.

The fireball plummeted at 20 km/s speed and exploded/extinguished at about 30 km from the ground.

Fireball 5

Russian fireball explosion shows meteor risk greater than thought

Supercomputer simulation
© Randy Montoya/Sandia
Supercomputer simulation shows details of a fireball that might be expected from an asteroid exploding in Earth's atmosphere. A team led by Sandia National Laboratories researcher Mark Boslough devised the simulation.
Denver - As researchers recover more leftover pieces from the space rock that detonated earlier this year near the Russian city of Chelyabinsk, the event is helping to flag a worrisome finding: Scientists have misjudged the frequency of large airbursts.

Computer simulations also imply that such airbursts cause more damage than nuclear explosions of the same yield, which are typically used as an analogue to ballpark impact risk.

The meteor explosion over Chelyabinsk gives the bottom-line message that the risk from airbursts is greater than previously thought.

Fireball 4

Fireball in Pacific Northwest sky likely landed in Pacific Ocean

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© American Meteor Society
Preliminary trajectory
A fireball in the sky above the Pacific Northwest led dozens of people to report sightings to the American Meteor Society on Wednesday. The FOX 12 newsroom started receiving reports of a bright light flashing across the sky around 6 a.m. Wednesday.

AMS experts said it appears the decent-sized meteor entered the Earth's atmosphere in Washington state, traveled in an east-to-west direction and landed in the Pacific Ocean. "It went from one horizon to the other, never fading," said one witness. A report out of Tigard said it "traveled east to west across the entire visible sky - very long."

Another witness, out of Gladstone, described it as "the longest lasting shooting star I've ever seen."

There were also reported sightings in British Columbia, Alberta, Montana and Washington. Because of cloud cover in the Seattle area, there were very few reported sightings there. Experts at OMSI say a fireball is another term for a very bright meteor, generally brighter than magnitude -4, which is about the same magnitude of the planet Venus in the morning or evening sky.

Comet 2

Paying lip service to the cosmic threat: UN votes to 'fight' asteroids by creating 'global warning network'... maybe

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© Oleg Kargopolov / AFP/Getty Images
A meteorite trail seen above a residential apartment block in the Urals city of Chelyabinsk, Russia.
Even the United Nations is taking the threat of asteroids hitting our planet seriously. Last week, the U.N. General Assembly approved measures to coordinate detection and response to asteroid strikes that could level cities and possibly destroy our civilization.

Specifically, the agency voted to create an International Asteroid Warning Network made up of scientists, observatories and space agencies around the planet to share information about newly discovered asteroids and how likely they are to impact Earth. The group will also work with disaster relief organizations to help them determine the best response to an asteroid impact like the one that rattled the Russian city of Chelyabinsk in February. The U.N. will also set up a space mission planning advisory group to look into how humans might deflect an asteroid heading our way -- the best options, the costs and the technologies needed. The results of that study will be shared with space agencies throughout the world.

The General Assembly also agreed that the existing U.N. Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space would monitor threats from asteroids and help plan and authorize a deflection campaign if necessary.

Comment: Given the current state of the world, humans voting on pooling resources to deflect asteroids is like ants voting to prevent the boulders rolling down the hill from hitting their colony. And these UN diplomats might even realise this on some level. They can say all the things they want, vote endlessly on measures everyone should take, but at this point it's far too late. Practical, physical technologies should have already been developed, tested and worked out.

But no! Instead they had wars to fight and money to make... to hell with protecting and advancing the welfare of mankind.


Fireball 3

Fireball seen over Portland, Oregon, 30 October 2013

Fireball
© George Varros and Dr. Peter Jenniskens/NASA/Getty Images
In Space - November 19: This image taken with a meteorite tracking device developed by George Varros, shows a meteorite as it enters Earth's atmosphere during the Leonid meteor shower November 19, 2002. The device, which is deployed on board a NASA DC-8, tracks and photographs meteorites.
Several people in the Portland Metro area reported seeing a fireball in the sky Wednesday morning, moving east to west.

Three different viewers contacted KGW to say they had seen it just before 6 a.m.

"I was out walking my dog this morning around 5:55 a.m. and saw what looked like someone lit a tennis ball on fire and threw it," viewer John Kisling said. "It took a couple seconds to traverse the sky."

An expert told KGW it was a piece of an asteroid burning up when it hit the atmosphere.

"Fireballs are not uncommon," said Dick Pugh of the Portland State University Meteorite Labratory. "The question is: Did it make it all the way down?"


Comment: No, the question is: why are they now common?


Fireball 5

Trailer truck-size asteroid to buzz Earth inside moon's orbit today

2013 UV3
© NASA / JPL
This illustration shows the trajectory of asteroid 2013 UV3, in blue, as it flies by Earth.
A space rock the size of a tractor-trailer is set to fly harmlessly by Earth today (Oct. 29), zipping between our planet and the moon.

"Small asteroid 2013 UV3 will safely pass Earth Oct. 29," reads a Twitter post from NASA's Near-Earth Object Program (@AsteroidWatch), based at the agency's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, Calif.

The space rock was first observed just a few days ago, on Oct. 25, according to data from JPL. The asteroid's path, illustrated in this video animation, (below) will bring it inside the orbit of the moon, which typically circles Earth from a distance of about 239,000 miles (384,600 kilometers).

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Paleontologist presents origin of life theory

Origin of Life Theory
© Texas Tech University
Most researchers believe that life originated in deep-sea hydrothermal vents. About 4 billion years ago, Earth was a watery planet; ocean stretched from pole to pole; any life synthesis would be dilated. It needed a protected basin.
It has baffled humans for millennia: how did life begin on planet Earth? Now, new research from a Texas Tech University paleontologist suggests it may have rained from the skies and started in the bowels of hell.

Sankar Chatterjee, Horn Professor of Geosciences and curator of paleontology at The Museum of Texas Tech University believes he has found the answer by connecting theories on chemical evolution with evidence related to our planet's early geology.

"This is bigger than finding any dinosaur," Chatterjee said. "This is what we've all searched for - the Holy Grail of science."

Thanks to regular and heavy comet and meteorite bombardment of Earth's surface during its formative years 4 billion years ago, the large craters left behind not only contained water and the basic chemical building blocks for life, but also became the perfect crucible to concentrate and cook these chemicals to create the first simple organisms.

He will present his findings Oct. 30 during the 125th Anniversary Annual Meeting of the Geological Society of America in Denver.

As well as discovering how ancient animals flew, Chatterjee discovered the Shiva Meteorite Crater, which was created by a 25-mile-wide meteorite that struck off the coast of India. This research concluded this giant meteorite wreaked havoc simultaneously with the Chicxulub meteorite strike near Mexico, finishing the dinosaurs 65 million years ago.

Ironically, Chatterjee's latest research suggests meteorites can be givers of life as well as takers. He said that meteor and comet strikes likely brought the ingredients and created the right conditions for life on our planet. By studying three sites containing the world's oldest fossils, he believes he knows how the first single-celled organisms formed in hydrothermal crater basins.

"When the Earth formed some 4.5 billion years ago, it was a sterile planet inhospitable to living organisms," Chatterjee said. "It was a seething cauldron of erupting volcanoes, raining meteors and hot, noxious gasses. One billion years later, it was a placid, watery planet teeming with microbial life - the ancestors to all living things."