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Sun, 17 Oct 2021
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Comet 2

New Comet P/2021 Q5 (ATLAS)

CBET 5029 & MPEC 2021-R98 , issued on 2021, September 06, announce the discovery of a new comet (magnitude ~17) on CCD images taken on August 29.6 UT with a 0.5-m f/2 Schmidt reflector at Haleakala, Hawaii, in the course of the "Asteroid Terrestrial-Impact Last Alert System" (ATLAS) search program. The new comet has been designated P/2021 Q5 (ATLAS).

Stacking of 58 unfiltered exposures, 30 seconds each, obtained remotely on 2021, September 03.1 from G18 (ALMO Observatory, Italy) through a 0.30-m f/4 reflector + CCD, shows that this object is a comet with a compact coma about 8" arcsec in diameter and a tail 10" long in PA 270 (Observers A. Valvasori & E. Guido).

Our confirmation image (click on the images for a bigger version; made with TYCHO software by D. Parrott)
Comet P/2021 Q5 (ATLAS)
© Remanzacco Blogspot

Fireball 2

Meteor fireball crosses cities in Minas Gerais and lights up Copacabana's sky in Brazil

Sky watchers could see the luminous route of a celestial body that entered the Earth's atmosphere last night (29) and crossed four Brazilian cities. As recorded by the climate observation cameras of the Clima ao Vivo platform, a bolide - an object of unknown origin on a high-speed route - lit the skies of Itamonte, Varginha and Patos de Minas, in Minas Gerais, and could also be seen from Rio de January.

See the video record:


NASA: 'At least 5 fireballs' reported over US

There were reports of at least five fireballs over the U.S. last week.

Fireball 4

Meteor fireball seen over British Columbia and Washington on September 25th

We received 5 reports about a fireball seen over British Columbia and WA on Saturday, September 25th 2021 around 09:11 UT.

For this event, we received one video.

Fireball 5

Meteor fireball seen over Germany on September 26th

© Uwe B.
We received 12 reports about a fireball seen over Baden-Württemberg, Bayern, Grand Est, Kamnik, Marche, Rheinland-Pfalz, Sachsen, Salzburg and Schwyz on Sunday, September 26th 2021 around 02:06 UT.

For this event, we received one video and 8 photos.

Fireball 2

Meteor fireball seen over North Carolina and 3 other states

We received 81 reports about a fireball seen over NC, SC, VA and WV on Friday, September 24th 2021 around 23:40 UT.

For this event, we received one video.

Fireball 2

NASA says 'boom' and shaking in Virginia was a fireball

Satellite data picked up on lightning flashes over Hardy county Friday morning yet there were no storms. This is why we think a meteor strike is possible.

Satellite data picked up on lightning flashes over Hardy county Friday morning yet there were no storms. This is why we think a meteor strike is possible.
Numerous reports came in all across the Harrisonburg, Virginia, area Friday morning of a "boom" and ground shaking.

NASA says this was a fireball exploding in the sky. Power outages were also reported in Hardy County.

Initial reports came in as a possible explosion in Shenandoah County, but no explosion was found.

WHSV reported that suspicions then turned to a possible earthquake. Dozens of earthquake reports were sent to Volcanodiscovery.com, but an earthquake was not reported by the USGS.

Comet 2

Study confirms that it was a giant meteorite impact that caused massive extinction in the late Cretaceous

Impact Event
© Universitat de Barcelona
The Zumaia cliffs are characterized by an exceptional section of strata that reveals the geological history of the Earth in the period of 115-50 million years ago (Ma).
A study published in the journal Geology rules out that extreme volcanic episodes had any influence on the massive extinction of species in the late Cretaceous. The results confirm the hypothesis that it was a giant meteorite impact what caused the great biological crisis that ended up with the non-avian dinosaur lineages and other marine and terrestrial organisms 66 million years ago.

The study was carried out by the researcher Sietske Batenburg, from the Faculty of Earth Sciences of the University of Barcelona, and the experts Vicente Gilabert, Ignacio Arenillas and José Antonio Arz, from the University Research Institute on Environmental Sciences of Aragon (IUCA-University of Zaragoza).

K/Pg boundary: the great extinction of the Cretaceous in Zumaia coasts

The scenario of this study were the Zumaia cliffs (Basque Country), which have an exceptional section of strata that reveals the geological history of the Earth in the period of 115-50 million years ago (Ma). In this environment, the team analyzed sediments and rocks that are rich in microfossils that were deposited between 66.4 and 65.4 Ma, a time interval that includes the known Cretaceous/Paleogene boundary (K/Pg). Dated in 66 Ma, the K/Pg boundary divides the Mesozoic and Cenozoic eras and it coincides with one of the five large extinctions of the planet.

This study analysed the climate changes that occurred just before and after the massive extinction marked by the K/Pg boundary, as well as its potential relation to this large biological crisis. For the first time, researchers examined whether this climate change coincides on the time scale with its potential causes: the Deccan massive volcanism (India) ─one of the most violent volcanic episodes in the geological history of the planet─ and the orbital variations of the Earth.

"The particularity of the Zumaia outcrops lies in that two types of sediments accumulated there ─some richer in clay and others richer in carbonate─ that we can now identify as strata or marl and limestone that alternate with each other to form rhythms", notes the researcher Sietske Batenburg, from the Department of Earth and Ocean Dynamics of the UB. "This strong rhythmicity in sedimentation is related to cyclical variations in the orientation and inclination of the Earth axis in the rotation movement, as well as in the translational movement around the Sun".

These astronomic configurations ─the known Milankovitch cycles, which repeat every 405,000, 100,000, 41,000 and 21,000 years─, regulate the amount of solar radiation they receive, modulate the global temperature of our planet and condition the type of sediment that reaches the oceans. "Thanks to these periodicities identified in the Zumaia sediments, we have been able to determine the most precise dating of the climatic episodes that took place around the time when the last dinosaurs lived", says PhD student Vicente Gilabert, from the Department of Earth Sciences at UZ, who will present his thesis defence by the end of this year.


Ancient Tunguska sized airburst demolished city in Jordan Valley

Researchers present evidence that a cosmic impact destroyed a biblical city in the Jordan Valley
Ancient Airburst
© Allen West and Jennifer Rice, CC BY-ND
In the Middle Bronze Age (about 3,600 years ago or roughly 1650 BCE), the city of Tall el-Hammam was ascendant. Located on high ground in the southern Jordan Valley, northeast of the Dead Sea, the settlement in its time had become the largest continuously occupied Bronze Age city in the southern Levant, having hosted early civilization for a few thousand years. At that time, it was 10 times larger than Jerusalem and 5 times larger than Jericho.

"It's an incredibly culturally important area," said James Kennett (link is external), emeritus professor of earth science at UC Santa Barbara. "Much of where the early cultural complexity of humans developed is in this general area."

A favorite site for archaeologists and biblical scholars, the mound hosts evidence of culture all the way from the Chalcolithic, or Copper Age, all compacted into layers as the highly strategic settlement was built, destroyed and rebuilt over millennia.

But there is a 1.5-meter interval in the Middle Bronze Age II stratum that caught the interest of some researchers for its "highly unusual" materials. In addition to the debris one would expect from destruction via warfare and earthquakes, they found pottery shards with outer surfaces melted into glass, "bubbled" mudbrick and partially melted building material, all indications of an anomalously high-temperature event, much hotter than anything the technology of the time could produce.

"We saw evidence for temperatures greater than 2,000 degrees Celsius," said Kennett, whose research group at the time happened to have been building the case for an older cosmic airburst about 12,800 years ago that triggered major widespread burning, climatic changes and animal extinctions. The charred and melted materials at Tall el-Hammam looked familiar, and a group of researchers including impact scientist Allen West and Kennett joined Trinity Southwest University biblical scholar Philip J. Silvia's research effort to determine what happened at this city 3,650 years ago.

Their results (link is external) are published in the journal Nature Scientific Reports.

Fireball 2

Meteor fireball seen over Shanghai, China

© Xijiang W.
We received 4 reports about a fireball seen over Shanghai and Shanghai Shi on Saturday, September 18th 2021 around 20:41 UT.

For this event, we received 4 videos and 4 photos.