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Seven asteroids are headed for Earth this August

Image of two different asteroids captured by NASA
Image of two different asteroids captured by NASA.
NASA has detected a total of seven asteroids headed for Earth in August. According to the agency's Center for Near Earth Object Studies (CNEOS), the biggest asteroid from the group is five times taller than the Statue of Liberty.

The first asteroid that will approach Earth is called 2019 ON. CNEOS noted that the space rock is about 180 feet long and is traveling at a speed of 10,400 miles per hour. It is expected to approach Earth on Aug. 1 at 11:23 am ST. During its approach, it will zip past Earth from a distance of 0.01729 astronomical units or roughly 1.6 million miles away.

Trailing behind 2019 ON is asteroid 2006 QQ23. According to CNEOS' data, this is the biggest asteroid that will approach Earth next month. It has an estimated diameter of 1,870 feet and has a velocity of 10,400 miles per hour.

CNEOS estimated that 2006 QQ23 will fly past Earth on Aug. 10 at 7:23 am ST. It is expected to be about 0.04977 astronomical units or around 4.6 million miles away from the planet during its flyby.

The third asteroid that will visit Earth in August is 454094 2013 BZ45. This asteroid is about 820 feet long and is traveling at 18,250 miles per hour. It will enter Earth's neighborhood on Aug. 12 at 12:14 am ST. Its closest distance to Earth during its visit is expected to be at 0.04352 astronomical units or around 4 million miles away.

Comment: A few years ago NASA created a 'Planetary Defense Coordination Office' with a view to track meteors headed toward Earth, and "redirect" potentially dangerous asteroids as part of a long-term planetary defense goal.

However, asteroid 'redirection' or 'deflection' remains just theoretical. A more accurate way of looking at it is that NASA is funding deflection and redirection of the topic of space threats by 'getting the message out' that 'everything is just fine'.

See also: Expecting an asteroid? Proposed budget for NASA's Planetary Defense Coordination Office suddenly increased three-fold

As Fireball Numbers Increase it is well worth remembering what can come out of the sky, without any warning at all:

Fireball 4

'I thought it was Armageddon' - Perth residents stunned by early morning meteor fireball

Early risers around the Perth metropolitan area were stunned by a bright green light filling the night sky on Wednesday morning, but what looked like Armageddon was most likely a meteor, according to a Perth Observatory staffer.
Meteor Fireball
© Brisbane Times
Just before 6am 6PR News director Lisa Barnes was out for her morning run near Ellenbrook when she saw the phenomenon light up the sky.

"It was so amazing to see, it lit up the whole sky, a quick flash of light and then it drew my eyes to where I was heading (...) and then it was like a ball of light and I watched it fall."

Mrs Barnes said it was much bigger and brighter than a shooting star.

Comet 2

Impact hazard from disintegrating comets

Comet 73P
© NASA/JPL-Caltech/W.Reach [SSC/Caltech]
Last month, Bill Napier (co-creator of the coherent catastrophism theory, with Victor Clube) published his latest paper (MNRAS, vol. 488, p 1822-1827) on the impact hazard from disintegrating comets in the inner solar system. His focus is on a large 100 km comet in an Encke-like orbit. It is a sophisticated work that extends his earlier estimates, this time by combining explicit orbital simulations with a calibrated model of comet fragmentation (published by de Sisto et al. in 2009).

His aim, like mine in Prehistory Decoded, is to estimate the hazard to Earth from the kind of comet thought to have become trapped in our inner system a few tens of thousands of years ago. We know, pretty much, that this happened because of the massive zodiacal dust cloud and correlated fragments that remain in orbit.

He concludes that we can expect one or two impact collisions over the last 20,000 years, or so, with energy over 6000 Mt, and that this energy will likely be unevenly distributed across a hemispherical region. This is roughly 600 times the energy of the Tunguska impact, which itself was large enough to demolish one of our biggest modern-day cities (like Greater London).

This broadly supports my own estimates in Prehistory Decoded, based on simple fragmentation pathways and Opik's collision formula, where I find that we can expect one or two collisions with an energy of at least 10,000 Mt, and perhaps another ten with energy over 1,000 Mt, from the same sized comet over the same timescale. Great!

Fireball 5

Suspected meteorite crashes into rice field in India

Suspected Meteorite
© STR/AFP/Getty Images
The object was spotted ‘coming down from the sky’ and then excavated from a 150cm-deep hole by residents of Mahadeva village.
Madhubani/Patna: Farmers working in a paddy field at a village in Madhubani district were left shaken when a meteorite-like object weighing around 15kg fell from the sky, leaving a crater at the spot where it crashed.

Madhubani DM Shirsat Kapil Ashok told TOI that the incident took place around 2.30pm on Monday. "Agriculture labourers working the paddy field where the meteorite struck claimed that they saw a fireball-like object coming down from the sky and made a deep crater where it hit the ground. The farmers also saw smoke coming out from the spot in the water-filled agriculture field," Shirsat said.

Displaying the 'meteorite' wrapped in a red cloth on Tuesday morning, the Madhubani DM said the stone-like object has magnetic properties. He added that the mysterious object was kept secure in the treasury office at the Madhubani collectorate.

"I have written a letter to the principal secretary of the science and technology department along with a copy to the principal secretary of state art, culture and youth affairs department," Shirsat said, adding the sample was sent to Patna on Tuesday evening.

"The science and technology department will take a decision regarding further action. The object might be sent to space research organisations like ISRO or any museum," Shirsat said.

Fireball 2

Meteor fireball widely reported over US east coast

East coast meteor

The bright light in the sky was visible in areas from Ontario to New Jersey.
Security cameras have captured a fireball caused by an apparent meteor over the east coast of the US.

In various pieces of footage shared on social media a bright ball of light can be seen in the night sky.

According to local news reports, sightings of the meteor were recorded in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, Vermont, New York and New Jersey, amongst other states.

The celestial display was also visible in the east of Canada in provinces including as Ontario.

Comment: The American Meteor Society (AMS) has received over 360 reports about a meteor fireball seen over Connecticut, CT, DE, Delaware, MA, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, MD, ME, NC, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, NH, NJ, NY, PA, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, RI, VA, Vermont and VT on Thursday, July 25th 2019 around 03:04 UT.

This video was uploaded to YouTube by the AMS (www.amsmeteors.org). Credit:Peter R.

Fireball 2

Incredible video shows meteor fireball streaking across Canadian sky

The Western University All-Sky Camera Network in London, Canada, captured this image of a fireball over southern Ontario and Quebec on July 24, 2019, at 4:44 a.m. EDT (0844 GMT).
© Western University
The Western University All-Sky Camera Network in London, Canada, captured this image of a fireball over southern Ontario and Quebec on July 24, 2019, at 4:44 a.m. EDT (0844 GMT).
A fireball as bright as the full moon streaked across the Canadian province of Ontario early Wednesday (July 24), possibly throwing meteorites to Earth along the way.

The flash of light from a beachball-size space rock was recorded by 10 all-sky cameras deployed by Western University in London, Canada, and mounted across southern Ontario and Quebec. While meteorites could have fallen in the Bancroft area (about 3.5 hours northeast of Toronto), footage was captured as far away as Montreal — about 260 miles (420 kilometers) east of Bancroft.

The fireball was likely visible in the United States as well, as there are several pending reports on the American Meteor Society's website from that time, from observers in New York state and Pennsylvania.

Fireball 4

ANOTHER meteor fireball seen from across Florida - Second such event in two weeks

Fireball over Florida
Video of a bright meteor streaking across the sky came in to the WFLA newsroom early Friday morning. WFLA viewer Rick Gallas was able to capture the video of the meteor on his security cameras at 11:27 pm Thursday night. This is looking east but he is not the only one who saw this meteor.

Rick may have been one of the only ones to capture the meteor on video but plenty of people saw it. Twitter has numerous reports of the meteor being seen all across Florida.

The meteor was so bright that the global lightning mapper on the GOES East satellite displayed it at a lightning strike near Orlando!

Comment: It's raining steadily now. And still the masses sleep!

Meteor or 'space junk'? Something broke apart in the sky over South Florida


Boom heard, felt across four western Illinois counties - Remains mystery

Mystery boom (stock)
© myjournalcourier.com
What's certain is that dozens of people across at least four counties heard a loud boom or felt a shaking Thursday afternoon.

What's a mystery is where it originated.

Emergency and law enforcement agencies in Greene, Morgan, Scott and Pike counties received numerous reports of a loud, explosion-like sound that shook the ground and buildings about 1 p.m. Thursday.

Some who felt it quickly took to social media looking for clues. Although there were a few erroneous reports of explosions, most people were left scratching their heads.

"It sounded like a jet or something that blew up," Joe Harwick of White Hall said. "It echoed for some time."

Greene County Chief Deputy Cale Hoesman said there were reports about the sound, but the source could not be verified.

Comment: There have been several reports of these mysterious booms in the past few weeks: These events are probably due to the dramatic increase in space rocks flying over our heads. To learn more about our changing near-space environment and humanity's role in it, read "Earth Changes and the Human-Cosmic Connection" by Pierre Lescaudron and Laura Knight-Jadczyk.


Loud boom of unknown origin shakes homes in south Texas

Loud boom in SO. TX
© Kens 5
Neighbors from La Vernia to Karnes City reported hearing a loud boom Wednesday afternoon on social media.

While many people are speculating as to what it may have been, right now the loud boom continues to remain a mystery.

Wilson County authorities said they began getting calls into dispatch reporting the boom around 1:30 p.m. Wednesday. Sisters Bailey and Molly Runty were at home in their home in Adkins when they heard it.

"We were just sitting in the room, and then we just heard it and then I started freaking out," Bailey said.

The girls described the boom as being so huge that it shook their house.

Comment: Dr. David Wood, an astronomy professor with San Antonio College, reported to Wilson County News that the mysterious 'sonic' boom likely came from a exploding meteor:
"Given how wide-ranging this sound was, a bolide is the most likely culprit," Wood told the Wilson County News.

Bolides are large meteors that explode in the earth's atmosphere.

At night, these appear as fireballs in the sky, Wood explained, but at midday, "it would be much less noticeable."

In February 2013, a large bolide entered earth's atmosphere over Russia as a very visible fireball. "The percussive effect broke windows and caused injuries to people on the ground," Wood said.

What Texans experienced last Wednesday could have been a bolide, according to Wood, although he couldn't say definitively.

"We do get hit all the time [by these]," he said. "They're usually much smaller."

There's "a lot of junk in earth's orbit," the professor said, adding that 1,747 fireball sightings were recorded in the last 30 days.

Meteors, he explained, can enter earth's atmosphere at about 50,000 mph. If it was small, say a few meters in diameter, and exploded very high — 80 to 100 kilometers, or about 60 miles — above the earth, a bolide might have avoided detection.

"All the evidence seems to really point that direction," Wood said.

Fireball 5

Very rare meteor cluster recorded in Maranhão, Brazil

Brazil meteor cluster
A very rare cluster of meteors was registered in the early hours of June 26 from the BRAMON EMM2/MA Station managed by Edgar Merizio in São José do Ribamar, Maranhão, Brazil. Where at least 9 meteors registered simultaneously in less than 1 second, all parallel to each other.

Meteor cluster like these originate from the same meteoroid that broke apart before it hit Earth. Usually this fragmentation occurs a few hours, perhaps days, before its encounter with the terrestrial atmosphere.