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Sat, 07 Dec 2019
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Fireballs


Fireball 2

Video shows stunning meteor fireball light up sky over Houston, Texas

Meteor fireball over Houston, Texas
© Hunter Moliver
"I thought it was one of the most incredible things I have ever seen in the sky over Houston! The blue flash and the long tail were magnificent." - Hunter Moliver

Reports of fireballs flashing through the night sky have steadily increased since 2006,
according to data from the American Meteor Society.

Sometimes referred to as "shooting stars," fireballs, which are very bright, fast-moving meteors that appear to streak across the sky leaving behind a luminescent trail, are tracked by the organization, which encourages and promotes interest in meteoric astronomy.

So far this year, the organization has tracked nearly 300 events around the world compared to 2006, when only three events were reported, data showed.


Comment: The uptick in meteor fireball sightings continues as sott.net has been reporting for years now.


On Thursday, the agency received roughly 50 reports about a fireball seen over Louisiana, Oklahoma and Texas. The majority of the reports came from Houston, according to the data.


Fireball 2

Bright meteor fireball streaks through night sky over Alabama

Alabama meteor
© NWS Birmingham
The National Weather Service's cameras captured a bright meteor streaking through the night sky in central Alabama.

The NWS tweeted it has received multiple reports of a "vivid and long-lasting meteor/fireball" around 7:25 p.m. Wednesday night. The video was taken at the Shelby County Airport.

If you missed tonight's shooting star, don't worry. You'll have another chance this month when the Geminids meteor shower peaks overnight from Dec. 14-15.

You can see the video below.


Comment: Meanwhile the American Meteor Society (AMS) received 150 reports of a meteor fireball over the US Midwest, including Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin the previous day on Wednesday, December 4th 2019 around 00:16 UT.




Fireball 2

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

asteroid earth artist impression
© Getty
Both space rocks detected recently could cause major damage if they crashed into our planet
Humans have good reason to fear comets, asteroids and other massive space objects.

Now we'd like to add 'mini-moons' to the list of heavenly bodies we should be worried about. Scientists have claimed our planet was recently hit by one of these mysterious rocks, which exploded in a gigantic fireball.

A mini-moon is an object which becomes entangled in Earth's orbit as it's zooming through space. It will either whirl around the planet harmlessly forever, zoom off back off on its journey through the solar system or, in the worst case, smash into our planet.

'Objects gravitationally captured by the Earth-Moon system are commonly called temporarily captured orbiters, natural Earth satellites, or minimoons,' scientists wrote in a new study published in The Astromomical Journal.

Comment: God, MSM reporting on space rocks is INFURIATINGLY stupid...
"Scientists say there's just no way to know when and where they'll impact us because even in our near-Earth environment they're highly unstable and unpredictable... but we're glad to report that everything was, is, and always will be JUST FINE!"
Anyway, the astronomers who published this paper have touched on something we've been wondering about: whether some (or most) of the 'slow-moving meteors' may in fact be objects that had been previously captured by Earth's gravity.

The same phenomenon is apparently occurring with respect to other planets in our solar system, whose numbers of 'moons' grow by the year. Those new 'moons' are typically accounted for by 'better observation technology', but clearly the actual numbers of 'moons' are growing...


Info

Stars seen slinging comets at Earth for the first time

Night Sky
© VISITBRITAIN/VISITSCOTLAND
Stars and comets make unlikely dance partners. Their gravitational partnership is one that astronomers have long suspected but have never seen — until now. For the first time, a Polish group has identified two nearby stars that seem to have plucked up their icy partners, swinging them into orbits around our sun.

The astronomers found the stellar duo after studying the movements of over 600 stars that came within 13 light-years of the sun. The new findings validate a theory born more than a half-century ago, and in doing so have also shown just how rare these stellar dances can be.

Out on the far edge of the solar system, hanging like wallflowers around the planetary dance floor, is the Oort Cloud. This icy group of objects were left over after the formation of the solar system, creating a giant shell enveloping our home system that extends from 66 times the distance to Neptune to 9.23 trillion miles (14.9 trillion kilometers) away from the sun. Astronomers think the Oort Cloud is a reservoir for long-period comets — those that take more than 200 years to orbit the sun. Comet Hale-Bopp, which has a 2,500-year orbit, is one of the most famous of these long-period comets.

Since the cloud's existence was first proposed by Jan Oort in the 1950s, astronomers have suspected that every so often, a passing star might be able to pick up an object and send it swinging on a wild ride through our solar system; that ride would bring some of those comets streaming through the night sky for us to marvel at. Astronomers have spent years trying to find proof of these stellar dances, but none had been conclusively shown until now.

Fireball 4

Night sky lit up by apparent meteor over Camarillo, California

Fireball over Camarillo, CA
© KTLA
A bright light lit up the sky over Camarillo late Monday night.

The unexpected sighting was witnessed by drivers on the 101 Freeway about 11:30 p.m.

The video shows what appears to be a meteor briefly streaking above the freeway traffic.

The activity comes less than a week after the alpha Monocertoid -- aka Unicorn -- meteor shower dazzled skygazers.


Question

Marlboro, New Jersey's late-night mysterious booms remain unexplained

Mystery boom (stock)
© KY3
Monday night's mysterious "booms" that could be heard throughout the area remained a mystery Tuesday.

Township Trustee Wayne Schillig surmised the noise might have come from someone illegally target-shooting at night.

Police Chief Ron Devies was in the police station when both booms rang out — the first at 8 p.m. and the second at 8:45 p.m.

"I was indoors and our building's pretty tight. It's a brick structure," he said, adding, "I heard it clearly."

Devies initially thought the sound was the result on someone dropping a heavy item into the recycling bin outside. When he heard the second boom, he knew it wasn't that.

Hourglass

100 years ago, a gigantic meteor shook Michigan on Thanksgiving eve

Chelyabinsk Meteor
© Associated Press
In this frame grab made from a dashboard video camera, a meteor streaks through the sky over Chelyabinsk, Russia, Friday, Feb. 15, 2013.
A century ago, on Thanksgiving eve, people across Michigan saw something that would mark Nov. 26 in their memories for years to come. Fog and rain rolled across the Great Lakes region, when just before 8 p.m. something unusual cut through the dark.

"The road, trees, houses and even ourselves were bathed in a blinding phosphorescent-like glow which had its center in a bright streak in the sky above us," highway construction superintendent Leroy Milhan of Centerville, Michigan, would recall in a paper published the following year. "It passed over us toward the west. Immediately came a muffled report or jar that shook houses and the very earth like an earthquake."

The following day, the Washington Times reported that "telegraph and telephone communications and electric lighting plants in several cities in southern Michigan and northern Indiana are out of commission" as a result of "a remarkable phenomenon believed by several scientists to have been a gigantic meteor."

Comment: You can read more about the hazards to humanity from cometary bombardment in SOTT's Comets and Catastrophe Series by Laura Knight-Jadczyk.


Fireball 5

Flash of light, window-shaking boom heard in Peru, Illinois

Mystery boom in Peru, IL
© WGLC
After a loud, deep kaboom shook windows in Peru on Sunday night, neighbors began pointing fingers at possible fireworks enthusiasts.

Could it have been a fireball? Mike Hankey from American Meteor Society said www.amsmeteors.org received 13 notifications Sunday about fireball sightings over Iowa and Illinois. However, most of those were logged at 5:30 p.m. So, not likely.


Comment: Meteors can explode in the atmosphere without being seen which may explain why it wasn't reported to the American Meteor Society in that time frame.


However, Peru police chief Douglas Bernabei said police could not pinpoint the source of a 9 p.m. boom that resulted in many calls from various neighborhoods to the dispatchers.

"Widespread reports in multiple locations," he acknowledged.

Fireball 3

Mysterious 'fireball' streaks across Oregon sky, leaves cops scratching their heads

mystery fireball oregon
© Polk County Sheriff’s Office
Possible fireball over the Oregon Coast Mountains
Photos of what looks like a fireball falling in Polk County, Oregon, has sparked a frantic search amid reports of a plane crash. Nothing was found, however and police now believe it was a meteor. Netizens have their own ideas.

It all started on Thursday evening, when the Polk County Sheriff's Office received a 911 call alerting them about a possible plane crash in the area southwest of Polk County. The caller then sent a couple of photos that show what resembles a white streak an airplane might leave behind when going down.

Police rushed to locate the site of the reported crash, sending a helicopter to scan the wooded area in the hope of recovering some wreckage. However, the extensive search has turned up nothing, leaving police dumbfounded over what actually just whizzed above the rural area.

Comment: See the local news interview with Richard Romano here.

The American Meteor Society received two reports of fireballs over Portland, Oregon and Friday Harbor, Washington on the same day.


Meteor

'Boom!' Sonoma Valley, California residents look to skies for answer following nocturnal noises

Mystery boom in Sonoma Valley, CA
© Press Democrat (file photo)
An amateur astronomer sets up his home-made 18" Newton Reflector during the monthly public viewing night at the Ferguson Observatory in Sugarloaf Park. Though there were few reported meteors on the night of Nov. 21, many people heard distant sonic booms with no known source.
People all over Sonoma County looked up at about 7:40 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 21, when a brief series of "booms" rolled across the valleys. But there was no glow in the sky, the stars were visible in the cloudless sky. Was it thunder?

Or was it a meteor?

It may be no coincidence that the sound corresponded to a large but infrequent meteor shower, known as the Unicorn (or Monocerotids, from the constellation of its visible origin), seen only every 25 years or so - and last reported in 1995. But meteors are usually silent apparitions, fleeting and ghostly.

In social media groups, many people dialoged about the Thursday night noises. Descriptions of the noises ranged from "rumbles like thunder" to "like a limb fell on the house."

And it didn't seem to be particularly localized, but strong throughout the Sonoma Valley, in Nextdoor neighborhoods from Temelec to Denmark Street. Similar social media networks reported the noises at about the same time in Healdsburg, 25 miles away. Others on Facebook said it was heard in Sebastopol, Santa Rosa, Cloverdale, Petaluma, Napa and Marin.