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Sat, 05 Dec 2020
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Fireballs

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.

Comet 2

New Comet C/2020 F8 (SWAN)

CBET 4750 & 4752 & MPEC 2020-G94, issued on 2020, April 13, announce the discovery of a comet (total magnitude ~8.5) by M. Mattiazzo in the low-resolution public website hydrogen Lyman-alpha images obtained with the Solar Wind Anisotropies (SWAN) camera on the Solar and Heliospheric Observer (SOHO) spacecraft. The new comet has been designated C/2020 F8 (SWAN).

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

Stacking of 3 unfiltered exposures, 30 seconds each, obtained remotely on 2020, April 11.4 from X02 (Telescope Live, Chile) through a 0.6-m f/6.5 astrograph + CCD, shows that this object is a comet with a compact coma about 5' in diameter and a tail 6' long in PA 220. Total magnitude 8.4.
Stacking of 3 unfiltered exposures, 120 seconds each, obtained remotely on 2020, April 11.7 from Q56 (Telescope Live, Australia) through a 0.1-m f/3.6 astrograph + CCD, shows that this object is a comet with a compact coma about 8' in diameter and a tail 25' long in PA 220.

Our confirmation images (click on it for a bigger version):

Comet C/2020 F8 Swan
© Remanzacco Blogspot

Fireball 4

Meteor fireball streaks across Arkansas, Louisiana, and Texas

Fireball - stock image

Stock image
Many South Arkansas residents saw a fireball in the southern sky on Wednesday night.

According to local reports, and reports posted to the American Meteor Society website, the event took place about 8:15 p.m. and was seen by people in Arkansas, Louisiana and Texas.

Observers said the fireball appeared to move east to west and had a green-colored tail.

Fireballs are pieces of rocks in space that either bounce off or penetrate the earth's atmosphere. Their colors vary depending upon the composition of a rock.

The American Meteor Society says on its website that a green trail indicates the presence of nickel. A "fireball" is a term for a very bright meteor, which is as bright as the planet Venus in the morning or evening sky.

Comet 2

The Younger Dryas Impact - Armageddon at 10,000 BCE

Fragments of a comet likely hit Earth 12,800 years ago, and a little Paleolithic village in Syria might have suffered the impact.
The Paleolithic settlement of Abu Hureyra
© Jennifer Rice, CometResearchGroup Org
The Paleolithic settlement of Abu Hureyra, in what is now Syria, may have been destroyed by the airburst of an impacting comet about 12,800 years ago.
Abu Hureyra is an important archaeological site in Syria, known for artifacts documenting early adoption of agriculture in the region. It may also be recognized as the only known human settlement to have been hit by a fragment of a comet.

The site, now under the waters of Lake Assad, was quickly excavated between 1972 and 1973 before construction of the Tabqa Dam flooded the area. During the excavation, archaeologists realized that there were really two sites, one on top of the other. The first was a Paleolithic settlement of hunter-gatherers, and the second was a farming town, with new buildings of a different style.

A new analysis of samples of soil and artifacts salvaged from the original excavation has revealed a surprising finding: The Paleolithic village at Abu Hureyra was indirectly hit and destroyed by fragments of a comet that slammed into Earth about 12,800 years ago.

The researchers think that upon entering Earth's atmosphere, the already-fractured comet likely broke up into several more pieces, many of which didn't reach the ground. Instead, they produced a string of explosions in the atmosphere known as airbursts. Each airburst was as powerful as a nuclear blast, instantaneously vaporizing the soil and vegetation underneath and producing powerful shock waves that destroyed everything for tens of kilometers around. The village at Abu Hureyra was hit by one of these shock waves.

Comet 2

New Comet C/2020 F5 (MASTER)

CBET 4746 & MPEC 2020-G73, issued on 2020, April 08, announce the discovery of a comet (magnitude ~15.8) in images taken with the "Mobile Astronomical System of the Telescope-Robots" (MASTER) auto-detection system (0.40-m f/2.5 reflector) near San Juan, Argentina. Additional pre-discovery observations from Mar. 17.0 UT (mag 15.8-15.9), Mar. 22.0 (mag 15.8), and Mar. 23.0 (mag 15.7-15.8) were found on images taken with the MASTER 0.40-m reflector at the South African Astronomical Observatory (Sutherland). The new comet has been designated C/2020 F5 (MASTER).

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

Stacking of 22 unfiltered exposures, 60 seconds each, obtained remotely on 2020, April 05.7 from Q62 (iTelescope network) through a 0.43-m f/6.8 astrograph + CCD, shows that this object is a comet with a compact coma about 10" in diameter and a tail 30" long in PA 290.

Our confirmation image (click on it for a bigger version)
Comet C/2020 F5 MASTER
© Remnanzacco Blogspot

Fireball 5

Daytime meteor fireball blazes over Central Europe

Meteor fireball over Central Europe
© American Meteor Society (screen capture)
The American Meteor Society (AMS) received 350 reports (1591-2020) about a meteor fireball seen over Central Europe (Ajdovščina, Škofja Loka, Šmarje pri Jelšah, Žalec, Baden-Württemberg, Bavaria, Celje, Cerknica, Domžale, Dravograd, Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Grosuplje, Idrija, Jesenice, Kamnik, Kärnten, Koper, Kranj, Lenart, Litija, Ljubljana, Ljutomer, Logatec, Mozirje and Nova Gor) on Monday, April 6th 2020 around 13:33 UT.

Only two days ago 449 people reported a bright meteor fireball blazing over the Netherlands.



Fireball 4

Hundreds report bright meteor fireball blazing over Netherlands

AMS observers map of event 1587-2020
© American Meteor Society (screen capture)
The Meteoren Working Group received more than a hundred reports from people in the Netherlands who had seen a bright meteor fireball on 4th April around 11:45 PM.

According to RTL Nieuws a number of people on Twitter saw the colour green. "It looked like a green rocket. Never seen such a bright fireball before," wrote someone.

Meteoren Working Group has made an initial analysis of the recordings and they suspect that the meteor fireball appeared in the area northeast of Groningen before probably extinguishing above the Wadden Sea.

The American Meteor Society (AMS) received 449 reports of the event (1587-2020). Videos were uploaded to their website.