Welcome to Sott.net
Mon, 13 Jul 2020
The World for People who Think

Fireballs

Info

19 'Centaurs' beyond Jupiter may be from another star system

Centaur Chariklo
© Illustration: ESO/L. Calçada/Nick Risinger/SkySurvey Org
Artist’s impression of the Centaur Chariklo.
Astronomers think they've found an entire population of asteroids originating from outside our solar system, according to a new paper.

The objects at the centre of this investigation aren't new discoveries. Called the Centaurs, they're mysterious asteroids that orbit in the neighbourhood of Jupiter and beyond. These objects take highly inclined orbits relative to the plane of the rest of the planets, and in at least one case, orbit the "wrong" way relative to the rest of the solar system's objects. By playing the laws of physics in reverse, scientists Fathi Namouni at the Université Côte d'Azur in France and Helena Morais at UNESP in Brazil found that 19 of these objects likely originated around another star.

Astronomers first spotted the object (514107) 2015 BZ509, now called Ka'epaoka'awela, in the Pan-STARRS survey in 2015. Analysis of this asteroid revealed something shocking: It was orbiting the wrong way around the solar system in a stable yet eccentric orbit near Jupiter, on a tilt relative to the rest of the planets.

Morais and Namouni studied that object's orbit, built a simulation, and played in reverse the behaviour of a million imaginary objects that fit Ka'epaoka'awela's orbital parameters, each with slightly different properties within the margin of error of the original observations. Most of the simulated objects either crashed into the Sun or other planets or were ejected from the solar system, but both of these cases failed to produce sensical origin stories for the asteroids once they turned the arrow of time back forward, Namouni explained. The ones that did obey the laws of physics were stable since the founding of the solar system 4.5 billion years ago. The researchers interpreted their observations as the objects having been captured from elsewhere.

Fireball

'First ever' evidence of death by meteorite recorded in Iraq in 1888, archive digitization reveals

meteor
© NASA/Robert P. Moreno Jr
An exploding meteor.
Researchers have finally found credible records of someone being killed by a falling meteorite.

On 22 August 1888, according to multiple documents found in the General Directorate of State Archives of the Presidency of the Republic of Turkey, a falling meteorite hit and killed one man and paralysed another in what is now Sulaymaniyah in Iraq.

This constitutes, according to researchers, the first-ever known proof of death by meteorite strike. And it hints there could be more such records out there, hiding in archives, waiting to be discovered.

Comment: As will become clear in the following article, far from the above story being the 'first ever' incident report, there is actually a wealth of historical data and records, dating back thousands of years, that document Meteorites, Asteroids, and Comets: Damages, Disasters, Injuries, Deaths, and Very Close Calls. The data also suggests that there are periods where there is a heightened risk and, judging by current reports, our own era has entered one of those periods.

See also: For a discussion on the above topics, check out SOTT radio's: Behind the Headlines: Earth changes in an electric universe: Is climate change really man-made?

And for documentation of fireballs and much, much more occurring in our own time, watch SOTT's monthly documentary SOTT Earth Changes Summary - March 2020: Extreme Weather, Planetary Upheaval, Meteor Fireballs:




Meteor

Bizarre fireball spotted over Hull, UK last night likely a meteor

Fireball over Hull, UK
© Men Media Syndication
A bizarre burning fireball was spotted last night over Hull, with images capturing the moment the inferno burned up in the atmosphere as it plummeted towards Earth.

The Humberside 'bright orange' object was spotted by several people moving slowly over the city leaving a trail in its wake before disappearing.

Experts believe the unusual occurrence was a meteor, potentially linked to the annual Lyrid meteor shower due to commence this week.

Rebecca Holmes saw it from her garden in Bransholme, near Kingston upon Hull.

She said : 'I was sat in the garden, my husband was doing some gardening and I looked up and it was so bright orange and it was just gliding really slowly like something was burning but it was definitely too slow to be a shooting star.

Meteor

Mysterious 'boom' rattles windows, startles wildlife in the Midlands, Ireland

Meteor
A Westmeath woman is trying to find the source of a mysterious sound in the skies over the weekend.

Anna Duffy from Moate heard a massive boom on Saturday, that she says shook windows and startled wildlife. Others in the area also reported hearing the noise, but it later emerged people as far away as Galway noticed the disturbance.

Ms. Duffy says speculation is now rife on social media as to what could have made the unusual sound, with some suggesting it could have been a meteor.

Comet 2

New Comet P/2020 G1 (Pimentel)

CBET 4754 & MPEC 2020-H06, issued on 2020, April 17, announce the discovery of a comet (magnitude ~15) by Eduardo Pimentel on CCD images taken by Jacques, Pimentel, and J. Barros with a 0.28-m f/2.2 astrograph of the "Southern Observatory for Near Earth Research" (SONEAR) at Oliveira, Brazil. The new comet has been designated P/2020 G1 (Pimentel).

We performed follow-up measurements of this object while it was still on the PCCP webpage.

Stacking of 7 unfiltered exposures, 24 seconds each, obtained remotely on 2020, April 15.4 from Q62 (iTelescope network) through a 0.50-m f/6.8 astrograph + CCD + focal reducer, shows that this object is a comet with a compact coma about 15" in diameter and a tail 20" long in PA 90.

Our confirmation image (click on it for a bigger version)
Comet P/2020 G1 Pimentel
© Remanzacco Blogspot

Fireball 3

Meteor fireball? Mystery burning object leaves smoky trail for 20 minutes over Cambridgeshire, UK

The mysterious plume was there for several minutes after an object was seen spiralling towards earth
© BPM
The mysterious plume was there for several minutes after an object was seen spiralling towards earth
People in Cambridgeshire have been left scratching their heads over a mysterious plume of smoke that appeared over the county.

A large flaming object was spotted spiralling in the sky at around 8pm by Gerry Underwood, 55.

He was sitting outside his canal boat in Stretham, having a little fire, when he spotted the trail. He said: 'It looked like a very thick chemtrail to start with. It looked like a short, skinny cloud. It wasn't moving quickly at all. I'm pretty sure it wasn't a meteorite, because they are gone in seconds.

'We have seen hundreds of shooting stars, but this definitely wasn't that either. This was coming down very slowly and spiralling. It started to glow orange as you can see in the pictures.


Comment: The electrical interaction of meteor fireballs with different charge layers of the atmosphere can cause them to appear to move 'slowly and spiralling.' In September 2019 a bright slow-moving meteor fireball was recorded over the English Channel.


'There were flames coming out of the back of it as well. It was really unusual.'


Fireball 3

Bright meteor fireball explodes over Peru

Meteor fireball over Peru
© Eduardo Aguirre Masson
A security camera was able to capture a bright fireball as it illuminated its surroundings over a town in Peru. According to the reports submitted by the eyewitnesses, the meteor that hit Earth and created the fireball event was brighter than Venus.

The latest fireball event in Peru was reported via the International Meteor Organization (IMO). Based on the reports collected by the organization, at least two people in the country witnessed the fireball incident.

According to the reports filed by the eyewitnesses, the fireball appeared on April 16 at 1 a.m. UT, or on April 15 at 9 p.m. EDT. Based on their observations, the magnitude of the fireball ranged from -13 to -19. This means that the meteor produced a very bright illumination that was capable of lighting up its surroundings. It was also much brighter than the planet Venus when viewed from Earth, which has a magnitude of about -5.

An eyewitness named Miguel A. from the Lima Callao region stated in his report that the fireball remained in the sky for about 20 seconds. As it streaked across the sky, it produced different colors, including white, green and pink. After a while, the fireball began to break apart, producing around five to six fragments.


Comet 2

Trio of comets grace our skies

New Comet SWAN brightens, while Comet ATLAS continues to fragment and Comet PanSTARRS holds steady.

There's a lot happening in the northern sky these days, namely lots of comets! Comet ATLAS is still worth watching, but look for the new Comet SWAN (C/2020 F8). And you can still catch a glimpse of our old friend, Comet PanSTARRS (C/2017 T2).

COMET CRAZY

Comet ATLAS (C/2019 Y4) continues to shed fragments while slowly fading and becoming more diffuse. But it ain't dead yet!

Comet ATLAS Fragmenting
© Gianluca Masi and Nick Haigh
The evolution of Comet ATLAS's fragmenting pseudo-nucleus is clearly visible in these images taken between April 6th and 14th. The brightest fragment situated off-axis from the other pieces may be the original nucleus. In the final frame note that it has developed a tiny tail of its own.
Observers are still spotting the crumbling object in 100-mm binoculars and (dimly) in 6-inch telescopes under dark skies. On April 14th at 3h UT the comet's overall magnitude had faded to 9.4, but striking changes have occurred within the inner coma. The nuclear region is now clearly elongated east-to-west with hints of fuzzy condensations visible along its length, using magnifications upward of 300× and averted vision.

Info

New formation theory explains the mysterious interstellar object 'Oumuamua

'Oumuamua-like objects
© NAOC/Y. Zhang
This illustration shows the tidal disruption process that can give rise to 'Oumuamua-like objects.
Since its discovery in 2017, an air of mystery has surrounded the first known interstellar object to visit our solar system, an elongated, cigar-shaped body named 'Oumuamua (Hawaiian for "a messenger from afar arriving first").

How was it formed, and where did it come from? A new study published April 13 in Nature Astronomy offers a first comprehensive answer to these questions.

First author Yun Zhang at the National Astronomical Observatories of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and coauthor Douglas N. C. Lin at UC Santa Cruz, used computer simulations to show how objects like 'Oumuamua can form under the influence of tidal forces like those felt by Earth's oceans. Their formation theory explains all of 'Oumuamua's unusual characteristics.

"We showed that 'Oumuamua-like interstellar objects can be produced through extensive tidal fragmentation during close encounters of their parent bodies with their host stars, and then ejected into interstellar space," said Lin, professor emeritus of astronomy and astrophysics at UC Santa Cruz.

Fireball 4

Meteor fireball lights up Brunei, Borneo sky

Fireball over Borneo
© MOHAMMAD NAZHIF BIN HAJI ABDUL KHALID
Passing meteor photographed by a resident in Kampong Lambak.
A large green meteor streaked through the sky over Brunei Darussalam last Sunday, with many excited observers taking to social media to discuss the natural phenomenon.

The passing meteor was photographed at 7.27pm by Mohammad Nazhif bin Haji Abdul Khalid, who was taking pictures of the planet Venus in the clear sky at his home in Kampong Lambak.

He recalled, "At first, I thought that it was a fireworks display, but there were no exploding sounds."

The photo of the event uploaded to his Instagram page caught the attention of the Astronomical Society of Brunei Darussalam (PABD), which has been receiving eyewitness accounts about a vivid ball of light on the evening of April 12.

The fireball was also spotted in other districts, starting at around 7pm.