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Fri, 26 Apr 2019
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Fireballs

Fireball 5

June Arietids - The invisible meteor shower you just might see

I've never seen an Arietid meteor and chances are you haven't either. Peaking on June 7-8, the Arietid (AIR-ee-uh-tid) meteor shower is one of the strongest of the year with a maximum rate of 50-80 per hour. But there's a rub. The shower radiant, the point in the sky from which the meteors appear to radiate, is near the sun and best seen during daylight hours. When was the last time you saw meteors in daylight?
Image

You might just see a few meteors from the combined Arietids and Zeta Perseid showers that peak Friday and Saturday mornings. This map shows the sky facing northeast at dawn for the mid-section of the U.S. Created with Stellarium
If you're wondering how anyone could discover a meteor shower when the sun is out, it's impossible unless your eyes can see radio waves. The Arietids were first "seen" in 1947 by operators of radio equipment at Jodrell Bank Observatory in England. Meteors leave trails of ionized gases when they rip through our upper atmosphere at tens of thousands of miles per hour and briefly make ideal reflectors of radio waves.
Image
© Jodrell Bank, University of Manchester
Early scientific exploration of the sky in radio waves at Jodrell Bank Observatory in 1945.

Fireball 4

Did you hear a big boom in the area of Smyrna, Tennessee Monday night?

WGNS has received multiple phone calls and emails from residents in the area of Smyrna telling us that they heard a loud "BOOM" sound Monday night. The sound was heard around 8:30 in the evening.

WGNS checked with the Smyrna Police Department where we talked to Police Chief Kevin Arnold. Arnold told us, "We received several complaints last night about that. The Sheriff's Office also received complaints. From the log this morning it appears nothing was found."

We then headed to the Smyrna / Rutherford County Airport. There, we were told that no "BOOM" sounds involving airplanes were reported on Monday night. Several workers there told us they did not hear the "BOOM."

So that leaves us with the big question... What was that big "BOOM" sound that was heard Monday? It seems as if we cannot find the answer to that mystery.

Fireball 2

Crashed asteroid has a tail that keeps getting longer

A strange comet-like object discovered in 2010 ended up being an asteroid that had been the victim of a head-on collision from another space rock. The object created a bit of buzz because of its mysterious X-shaped debris pattern and long, trailing streamers of dust. Named P/2010 A2 (LINEAR), the object is located in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, and has been the focus of much study, including images taken by the Hubble Space Telescope and many ground-based observatories. But over time, the asteroid's long dust tail has grown to be so long that the entire object can't fit into the field of view of most observatories.
Image
© NASA, ESA, and D. Jewitt (UCLA)
Hubble Views of Comet-like Asteroid P/2010 A2.
"Here, we are watching the death of an asteroid," said Jayadev Rajagopal, a scientist at the WIYN (Wisconsin Indiana at Yale NOAO) Telescope, speaking today at the American Astronomical Society meeting in Indianapolis, Indiana. "We know of dozens of asteroids this has happened to in the past, but this is the only one showing us the event as it is happening."

Using the new wide-field camera at the WIYN 3.5 meter telescope, Rajagopal and his team have found that the peculiar asteroid P/2010 A2′s tail is much longer than was previously supposed. The tail is about a million kilometers long, roughly three times the distance from the Earth to the Moon. The new One Degree Imager (ODI) can currently image an area of the sky about the size of the full moon: a future upgrade will increase the size of the field to about four times as large.

Fireball 4

Fireball over Taiwan, 31 May 2013


Fireball 5

Meteor spotted over Florence, South Carolina

Florence - If you saw what is described as a "fireball" around 11:05 p.m. last night, you were not alone.

The Recorder received a report about a meteor flying over Florence last night. According to the American Meteor Society, more than 50 witnesses reported a large fireball meteor over Ohio May 30.

The fireball was seen primarily from Ohio and Indiana, but witnesses from Kentucky, West Virginia, Virginia, Pennsylvania and North Carolina also made reports.

The society has developed technology that can plot the path of any fireball reported to their system. According to amsmeteors.org, the accuracy of these paths is dependent on the number of witnesses who report the event and their distribution around the fireball.

This particular event provided a large volume and good geographic distribution of witnesses.

The society urges witnesses of the fireball to fill out an official report with them. Visit their website to do so.

Fireball 4

Extremely large meteor lights up skies over Finland, booms heard

Finland Fireball
© Aki Taavitsainen
The fireball was captured by a photographer in Mikkeli, eastern Finland.
An unusual light and sound phenomenon that was sighted in Finnish skies in early May has been confirmed as a fireball, in other words a very bright meteor. The light was seen on May 8th in parts of southern and central Finland.

The Ursa Astronomical Association confirmed that a bright light and loud boom seen and heard by almost 300 Finnish citizens on May 8th was a meteor. The space rock was estimated to be about half a metre long and weighing 50 kilos.

Fireball 4

Alberta couple's retirement project shakes up debate about ancient impact from space

Impact Event
© Getty, YDB Research Group
There's new evidence of a comet impact 13,000 years ago.
Some retirees golf. Some dream of buying a boat and sailing the world. Anton and Maria Chobot spent 30 years of their retirement digging up artifacts of the Clovis culture on their property near Buck Lake, Alberta, and now, they may have provided some of the evidence needed to settle a long debate in the science community.

Roughly 13,000 years ago, something touched off the 'Big Freeze' - a 1,300-year-long cold snap formally called the Younger Dryas stadial - that caused major climate changes and droughts.

These have been blamed for the extinction of the mammoth and the saber-toothed tiger, and also the downfall of the ancient Clovis culture. However, what that something was has been debated for years.

One idea that's proven popular over the years is that a meteorite or comet struck the planet, somewhere around what is now Hudson Bay. However, if something big enough to melt the Laurentide ice sheet had hit the planet there should have been some indication of it, in the form of a crater, or shocked and melted rocks, or 'impact spherules'. And, until recently, the evidence was lacking.

Fireball 3

Trajectory modelled for fireball that exploded over Southern Finland with supersonic boom, 8 May 2013

Image
© Kuva Ursa / Mikko Suominen / Celestia
Estimated trajectory of today's overhead explosion in Finland
Translated by SOTT.net reader Seppo Ilmarinen

The flight route of the bright fireball that flew over Southern Finland on Wednesday 8th of May has been modelled. Esko Lyytinen, mathematician of URSA astronomical association and member of URSA Finnish Fireball Working Group, estimated that about 5kg of the fireball ended up on the earth's surface, in the southern part of Huittinen. There were over 300 sightings of the fireball reported in the URSA database.

The exact flight route estimation was based on the meteor camera pictures of URSA Finnish Fireball Working Group. Photographers of the fireball route were Johan Linden in Turku and Aki Taavitsainen in Mikkeli.

The cause of the fireball light phenomena was a meteoroid that passed through the atmosphere. Based on the simulation, the mass of the meteoroid was about 50 kilograms, and it's diameter was about 30 centimeters. It arrived in the atmosphere at a 43 degree angle.

The speed of the object was about 23 kilometers per second when it arrived the atmosphere. It ignited into a glowing fireball near Mynämäki at the height of 60 kilometers, from where it travelled into north-east. After crossing Lake Pyhäjärvi, the fireball flamed out northeast of Säkylä, at an altitude of about 23 kilometers.

Comment: Ah, the normalcy bias: "Earth has always been impacted by hundreds of tonnes of small objects from space, so the spectacular fireballs phenomenon everyone the world over has noticed in the past few years has always been so, except that now, people suddenly notice them more..."

Does that sound credible to you?

Note the casual remark at the very end, after giving us 'the dry facts' about fireballs:
"...and the supersonic explosion it caused."
Say what?!

That is rare! Well, it was rare. It's more normal now! But only because something wicked this way comes...




Fireball 2

Bright fireball seen streaking over southern Ontario

Meteor
© Wikimedia Commons
This particularly bright Leonid meteor was captured in November of 2009.
Some sky watchers out to view the grouping of Mercury, Venus and Jupiter got an extra treat on Sunday night as a particularly bright meteor - called a bolide - zipped through the skies a little after 9 p.m. local time.

Glimpses of the bolide were reported from Maryland in the U.S., to Ajax, Ontario as it burned up in the atmosphere. People reporting the event on American Meteor Society website called it one of the "brightest fireballs [they'd] ever seen" with a wide, bright flame trail.

'Fireball' is the name given to a meteor that appears to be brighter than Venus - one of the brightest planets in our sky, and a 'bolide' is a fireball that burns so bright that it can outshine the full moon. While spotting a fireball is rare, the meteors that cause them aren't; according to the AMS, several thousand occur in Earth's atmosphere each day.

Fireball 5

Meteorite hits car in Quebec, 21 May 2013

In the following excerpt from radio-canada.ca TV news, a man describes his car windshield being smacked by a small dark meteorite on May 21, 2013.


Source [From 10'30"]