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Tue, 21 Jan 2020
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Fireballs

Comet 2

New Comet C/2019 Y1 (ATLAS)

CBET 4708 & MPEC 2020-A72, issued on 2020, January 05, announce the discovery of a comet (magnitude ~18) in the course of the "Asteroid Terrestrial-Impact Last Alert System" (ATLAS) search program, in images taken on 2019, Dec 16 with a 0.5-m reflector + CCD. The new comet has been designated C/2019 Y1 (ATLAS).

I performed follow-up measurements of this object while it was still on the PCCP webpage. Stacking of 28 unfiltered exposures, 30 seconds each, obtained remotely on 2019, December 20.15 from X02 Telescope Live network (El Sauce, Chile) through a 0.6-m f/6.5 reflector + CCD, shows that this object is a comet with a sharp central condensation and a diffuse irregular coma about 15 arcsec in diameter elongated in PA 90.

My confirmation image (click on it for a bigger version)
Comet C/2019 Y1 Atlas
© Remanzacco Blogspot

Fireball 2

Meteor fireball blazed over Anchorage, Alaska on 21 Dec 2019

Fireball over Anchorage, AK
© Anchorage Police Dept.
You know the saying, 'shooting star make a wish,' well here is your chance!

Anchorage police posted the video below of a meteor lighting up the night sky in Anchorage on Dec. 21.


Fireball 4

Meteor believed to have caused loud boom, flash of light in Saratoga County, New York

Fireball (stock)
© George Varros and Dr. Peter Jenniskens/NASA/Getty Images
As many people search for answers after hearing a loud explosion accompanied by a green flash in the sky, Saratoga County Sheriff Michael Zurlo said he now believes it may have been a meteor.

"It sounds exactly like a fireball report. They can surprise people. We can't always predict them," said Dr. Valerie Rapson, director of the Dudley Observatory at Siena College and has her PhD in Astrophysics.

She said as soon as she heard the reports meteor came to mind. She said specifically, a "bolide."

"When these rocks come in, they're fairly small, but they're coming in at very high speeds so they can potentially break the sound barrier and actually create this ripple effect that will shake homes or cause explosions," said Dr. Rapson.

Comment: Read SOTT.net's Comets and Catastrophes Series by Laura Knight-Jadczyk for more on the hazards to humanity from meteors and asteroids. Bombardments from space rocks are cyclic in nature and have occurred repeatedly throughout history.


Fireball 2

Doorbell camera captures meteor fireball streaking over Saskatoon, Canada

Saskatoon meteor fireball
© YouTube/Saskatoon StarPhoenix (screen capture)
A Saskatoon man got quite the sight this weekend.

Adam Frank spotted a meteor blazing across the night sky late Saturday night.

His doorbell camera also caught the spectacle from the front of his Hampton Village home.

Sky-watchers will want to keep their eyes peeled for the next few nights, as we are in the midst of the Quadrantids meteor shower, which typically runs from the end of December to about mid-January.


Fireball 3

Spectacular meteor breaks up over Pacific island of Guam

guam meteor fireball
A fireball which blazed through the night sky, falling apart in a fireworks display and dazzling the residents of Guam, was captured in multiple astounding videos, triggering disputes over its origins.

Hundreds of people witnessed the mysterious ball which was seen darting across the sky in the US territory, Guam in the western Pacific on Friday night, some capturing spectacular pictures and videos of the spectacle.

The unusual event triggered heated debates over the origins of the bright object that apparently fell apart and burned up in the atmosphere.


Fireball 5

Meteor fireball flying through sky caught on doorbell camera in Hamden, Connecticut

A possible meteor streaking across the sky was caught on a doorbell camera in Hamden.

Annette says her Ring doorbell camera caught a video around 5:30 a.m. Sunday of a meteor.
Fireball over Hamden, CT
© WTNH
NASA posted about the Geminid meteor shower Saturday night, encouraging everyone to look up at "a bright & brilliant cosmic show...now playing in a sky near you!"


Camcorder

Dashcam captures meteor fireball over Greenville County, South Carolina

Fireball over S. Carolina
© WYFF
It's not every day you see a meteor flash through the sky.

It's even more rare to capture the event on video.

A WYFF News 4 viewer likely did just that recently. uLocal Carolinas member Jeff Bott captured his video Thursday morning.

uLocal Carolinas is WYFF News 4's Facebook group where members post pictures and videos of cool and beautiful images.

Bott said he was driving on Emily Lane, south of the Southern Connector (County Rd. 316,) in Greenville County at 4:40 a.m. when his dashcam captured a light streaking through the dark sky. Footage of the meteor can be seen here.

Cloud Lightning

Loud bang, flash of light shocks Merseyside, England - UPDATE: Thunder and lightning caught on camera... in DECEMBER?!

Mystery boom (stock)
© KY3
Dozens of people are reporting a loud bang and flash that appeared to set off car alarms in the early hours of this morning.

Concern has been raised on social media, with questions being asked about the incident which seems to have been experienced by people right across Merseyside.

Debate is raging over whether the incident was weather-related - there was heavy rain and hail in parts of the region last night - but many are convinced it was not thunder and lightning.

In several areas it was reported that car alarms appeared to be set off in the immediate aftermath.

The bang and flash was heard and seen in Speke , Dovecot, Everton, St Helens and Runcorn - and even as far away as Wigan.


Comment: A video from a taxi driver's dash-cam captured the cause: a huge 'thunderbolt':


That is NOT normal for December in the UK!


Fireball 2

2017 meteor over Australia was a rare 'grazing fireball'

Australia 2017 grazing fireball
© arXiv:1912.01895 [astro-ph.EP]
Long exposure images of event DN170707_01. The event lasted over 90 seconds and spanned four 30 second exposures (A, B, C, D). The fireball was first observed at 85 km altitude, reached as low as 58 km, and then was visible until 86 km before escaping the Earth’s atmosphere. The initial velocity was 16.1 km s−1 , and the exit velocity after passing through the atmosphere was about 14.6 km s−1 . The images are all oriented so that the fireball travels from left to right (west to east).
A team of researchers at Curtin University in Australia reports that a meteor that streaked across the Australian sky back in 2017 was a rare "grazing fireball." The group has written a paper describing their observations and findings and have posted it on the arXiv preprint server.

Back in 2017, a meteor tore through the atmosphere over Australia. It was notable for its duration — it lasted for approximately a minute and a half. In this new effort, the researchers have found that the object was a meteor for just a short period of time — it never struck the Earth. Instead, the object headed back out into space. Such meteors are known as grazing fireballs because they only graze the Earth's atmosphere rather than plunge through it. This is possible due to the angle at which it approaches. Like a rock that skips off the surface of a lake rather than plunging in, a meteoroid can skip off the atmosphere if its angle is very small.

The researchers with this new effort used data from Australia's Desert Fireball Network — a group of space enthusiasts who capture video of space objects that appear overhead. The network is the largest in the world and, as its name implies, is focused on learning more about space objects that make their way to Earth.

Comment: See also: Astronomers suspect 2016 meteor fireball event in Australia was caused by asteroid that had been 'captured' by Earth's gravity


Fireball 5

Asteroid to fly past Earth on Friday the 13th

Asteroid Flyby
© CCO
NASA has been monitoring an asteroid which maintains an orbit around various bodies in the solar system and consistently passes through Earth's orbit with the sun. 13 near-Earth objects in total are expected to fly past Earth in December of this year.

Earth is set to have a close encounter with an enormous asteroid which is set to fly nearby Earth on Friday at a speed of almost 18,000 miles an hour (more than 28,000 km/h), according to NASA.

The upcoming pass-by is estimated to happen on 8:25 am on 13 December, the unlucky Friday the 13th. The asteroid's orbit diagram indicates that the near-Earth approach will follow the rock's intersection with Earth's orbit.

According to the space agency's Center for Near-Earth Object Studies (CNEOS), the asteroid has an Earth-crossing orbit with the sun and will not approach from a diagonal or perpendicular direction and instead will flyby perpendicular to earth.