Welcome to Sott.net
Fri, 14 Aug 2020
The World for People who Think

Fireballs

Fireball 5

Hurricanes, earthquakes and now a daytime meteor: Fireball blazes over Puerto Rico in broad daylight

meteor puerto rico
© porlosmares / instagram
The US territory has been jolted by a series of powerful tremors since the beginning of this year. The island has also been recovering from the aftermath of Hurricane Maria that ravaged the territory in 2017.

Citizens of Puerto Rico have taken to social media platforms to share photos and videos of an unusual celestial phenomenon they witnessed on Friday afternoon.

In the media posts, a meteor-like fireball was seen swiftly flashing through a blue cloudless sky before disappearing moments later.
puerto rico meteor
© NOAA
A bright meteor fireball disintegrated in the sky over Puerto Rico on January 17 at 4:30 p.m. EST time Friday. This was the moment it detonated in the atmosphere north of the island

Comment: A "rare" event, eh?...

10 Apr 2019: Bright meteor fireball filmed streaking through Puerto Rico skies
27 Jun 2019: Astronomers spotted a car-size asteroid just hours before it exploded over Puerto Rico
26 Jul 2017: Meteor fireball explodes over Cabo Rojo, Puerto Rico
03 Jun 2016: Bright meteor fireball visible from the entire island of Puerto Rico
03 Apr 2015: Big fireball over Puerto Rico
30 Apr 2014: Meteor fireball blazes over Puerto Rico


Comet 2

New comet discovered by Japanese astronomer

New Comet
© Masayuki Iwamoto
Discovery image taken by Masayuki Iwamoto on 5h 39m JST, Jan. 9, 2020.
A Japanese amateur astronomer has discovered a new comet.

Masayuki Iwamoto of Tokushima Prefecture discovered a new celestial object low in the eastern sky in the dawn on January 9, 2020 (JST) and communicated it to the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan's window for reports of new astronomical objects. On January 13 (UTC), this object was independently discovered by Gennady Borisov in Crimea. Through analysis of confirmation observations by other observers, this object was determined to be a comet.

Fireball

Meteor fireball illuminates night sky in Pozan, Poland

Fireball over Poland
© Panorama Poznan Online/MSN
A bright light, believed to be a meteor, has been captured flashing across the sky in the city of Poznan, Poland:


Video source: Panorama Poznan Online

Fireball 4

'Green flash' seen in Fort Collins, Colorado night sky likely a meteor

Fireball over Ft Collins, CO
© Fort Collins Coloradoan (file photo)
Did you see something unusual streaking across the night sky Friday night?

No, I'm not talking about a drone. At least, I don't think I am.

Regardless, there's no need to have a "let's storm Area 51" moment just yet. Any unusual sightings were likely activity from a Quadrantid meteor shower that peaked late Friday night over Northern Colorado.

Coloradoan reader Krista Vance tipped us off to a bright green ball of light she said she and her 15-year-old daughter Olivia saw streak across the sky while driving north on Taft Hill Road near the Cathy Fromme Prairie area around 9 p.m. Friday.

"It was only visible for two snaps of your fingers, then ... poof ... gone," Vance told the Coloradoan, adding that the sight of the quick green flash gave her goosebumps.

Fireball 4

Meteor fireball spotted over Ottawa - Gatineau, Canada

Fireball over Ottawa-Gatineau
© Sandy MacPherson
Several people say they spotted what's been described as a bright ball of light whizzing across the sky over Ottawa-Gatineau late Sunday night.

Jason Jones and his wife were driving alongside the Gatineau River near Cantley, Que., just north of Gatineau, when they spotted the object.

"The two big things were the diameter and the brightness," Jones said Monday morning. "It was clearly as bright as Venus or the moon ... and instead of a pinpoint of light with a tail, it was a sphere with a tail."

Christopher Cordick was driving northbound along Eagleson Road in Ottawa's west end when he saw what he described as a "very vibrant light in the sky descending rapidly." Cordick said the time was around 10:10 p.m.

Fireball 5

Rooftop cameras capture another meteor fireball over Madison, Wisconsin

Rooftop cameras in Madison, Wis. have captured yet another meteor
Rooftop cameras in Madison, Wis. have captured yet another meteor soaring through the nighttime sky.


Info

Ancient impact crater discovered in Southern Laos

Impact Crater
© Shutterstock
An ancient impact scattered bits of glassy debris from Asia to Antarctica, but the resulting crater has long eluded detection.
About 790,000 years ago, a meteor slammed into Earth with such force that the explosion blanketed about 10% of the planet with shiny black lumps of rocky debris. Known as tektites, these glassy blobs of melted terrestrial rock were strewn from Indochina to eastern Antarctica and from the Indian Ocean to the western Pacific. For more than a century, scientists searched for evidence of the impact that created these pitted blobs.

But the crater's location eluded detection — until now.

Geochemical analysis and local gravity readings told researchers that the crater lay in southern Laos on the Bolaven Plateau; the ancient impact was concealed under a field of cooled volcanic lava spanning nearly 2,000 square miles (5,000 square kilometers), the scientists reported in a new study.

When a meteor hits Earth, terrestrial rocks at the impact site can liquefy from the intense heat and then cool into glassy tektites, according to the Jackson School Museum of Earth History at The University of Texas. Scientists can look at the abundance and locations of tektites to help locate an impact, even if the original crater is eroded or concealed, the study authors wrote.

In this case, there were plenty of tektites — so where was the crater?

Jupiter

Jupiter not a shield but is flinging comets toward Earth says new research

Jupiter and the Trojan asteroids
© NASA/JPL-Caltech
Artist’s depiction of Jupiter and the Trojan asteroids.
Some astronomers believe that Jupiter, instead of protecting Earth from dangerous comets and asteroids, is actively flinging objects into the inner solar system. New research now demonstrates this complex process in action.

A popular theory suggests Jupiter, with its tremendous mass, acts like a gigantic shield in space, sucking in or deflecting dangerous debris left over from the formation of the solar system. That makes sense, but the Jupiter Shield theory, as it's known, has been falling out of favour over the past two decades.

A leading critic of this theory, Kevin Grazier, formerly of the West Point U.S. Military Academy and NASA, has sought to debunk this idea for years. He has published several studies on the subject, including a 2008 paper titled, "Jupiter as a Sniper Rather Than a Shield." Indeed, with each successive paper, Grazier has increasingly demonstrated the ways in which Jupiter, instead of being our protector, is actually — though indirectly — a pernicious threat.

Grazier's latest foray into the subject involves a pair of companion papers, one published in the Astronomical Journal in 2018 and the other in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Journal in 2019. The first paper takes a look at the complex ways in which objects in the outer solar system are affected by the Jovian planets, namely Jupiter, Saturn, Neptune, and Uranus, while the second paper looks at a specific family of icy bodies and how they're transformed by Jupiter into potentially deadly comets. Looking at the findings of the two papers, it seems the Jupiter Shield theory is in serious jeopardy.

"Actually, I wouldn't say that it's in jeopardy — I would say that it has been laid to rest." Grazier told Gizmodo in an email. "Our simulations show that Jupiter is just as likely to send comets at Earth as deflect them away, and we've seen that in the real solar system."

To be clear, this was a very good thing when the Earth was young, as comets and asteroids delivered the essential ingredients required for life. Today, however, these impacts are most certainly not good, as they could trigger mass extinctions similar to the one that extinguished non-avian dinosaurs some 66 million years ago.

Comet 2

New Comet C/2019 Y1 (ATLAS)

CBET 4708 & MPEC 2020-A72, issued on 2020, January 05, announce the discovery of a comet (magnitude ~18) in the course of the "Asteroid Terrestrial-Impact Last Alert System" (ATLAS) search program, in images taken on 2019, Dec 16 with a 0.5-m reflector + CCD. The new comet has been designated C/2019 Y1 (ATLAS).

I performed follow-up measurements of this object while it was still on the PCCP webpage. Stacking of 28 unfiltered exposures, 30 seconds each, obtained remotely on 2019, December 20.15 from X02 Telescope Live network (El Sauce, Chile) through a 0.6-m f/6.5 reflector + CCD, shows that this object is a comet with a sharp central condensation and a diffuse irregular coma about 15 arcsec in diameter elongated in PA 90.

My confirmation image (click on it for a bigger version)
Comet C/2019 Y1 Atlas
© Remanzacco Blogspot

Fireball 2

Meteor fireball blazed over Anchorage, Alaska on 21 Dec 2019

Fireball over Anchorage, AK
© Anchorage Police Dept.
You know the saying, 'shooting star make a wish,' well here is your chance!

Anchorage police posted the video below of a meteor lighting up the night sky in Anchorage on Dec. 21.