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Thu, 17 Oct 2019
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Plasma? Mysterious 'fireball' that crashed in Chile was NOT meteor say scientists

Chile
© National Geology and Mining Service of Chile
Mysterious "fireball"-like objects spotted blazing through the sky over Chile were not meteors, government scientists say, in a finding sure to enthuse UFO buffs the world over.

Residents of Dalcahue, a port city on the southern island of Chiloé, took to social media last week with reports of the unidentified flying objects, some sharing photos of the phenomenon. The "fireballs" reportedly crash-landed at a number of locations around the town.

Chile's National Geology and Mining Service soon gathered scientists to investigate the strange bright objects, dispatching teams to some seven sites on Chiloé to take samples. In a statement issued over the weekend, the scientists concluded they "found no remains, vestiges or evidence of a meteorite" left behind by the "luminous and incandescent" objects.

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Info

New evidence sheds light on Younger Dryas impact hypothesis

Comet
© Shutterstock
Just less than 13,000 years ago, the climate cooled for a short while in many parts of the world, especially in the northern hemisphere. We know this because of what has been found in ice cores drilled in Greenland, as well as from oceans around the world.

Grains of pollen from various plants can also tell us about this cooler period, which people who study climate prehistory call the Younger Dryas and which interrupted a warming trend after the last Ice Age. The term gets its name from a wildflower, Dryas octopetala. It can tolerate cold conditions and was common in parts of Europe 12,800 years ago. At about this time a number of animals became extinct. These included mammoths in Europe, large bison in North America, and giant sloths in South America.

The cause of this cooling event has been debated a great deal. One possibility, for instance, is that it relates to changes in oceanic circulation systems. In 2007 Richard Firestone and other American scientists presented a new hypothesis: that the cause was a cosmic impact like an asteroid or comet. The impact could have injected a lot of dust into the air, which might have reduced the amount of sunlight getting through the earth's atmosphere. This might have affected plant growth and animals in the food chain.

Research we have just had published sheds new light on this Younger Dryas Impact Hypothesis. We focus on what platinum can tell us about it.

Fireball 4

Meteor fireball seen soaring over São Paulo, Brazil

Fireball over Sao Paulo, Brazil
© AMS/Eduardo S.
On September 29, 2019, a meteor was captured by EXOSS as it flew over São Paulo, Brazil. The footage was uploaded to the American Meteor Society by 'Eduardo S':


Fireball

Bright flash from meteor fireball captured on home surveillance camera in Denham Springs, Louisiana

Bright flash from meteor in LA
© YouTube/J. Prestridge
On September 30, 2019, American Meteor Society member 'J. Prestridge' captured video of a bright flash of light attributed to a meteor on her home surveillance camera:


Fireball 5

Daytime fireball meteor explodes over Queensland emitting a deafening sonic boom

Queensland meteor fireball

The huge ball of fire was seen in the skies around 1.30pm on Tuesday in areas across Far North Queensland (pictured)
An incredibly rare 'daytime fireball' meteor exploded in the sky above Far North Queensland on Tuesday.

The 'very bright flash of light' was seen in the skies around 1.30pm spanning hundreds of kilometres around Cairns.

It was followed by a sonic boom which left some locals wondering if there had been an earthquake.

David Reneke who has been an astronomer for 50 years told Daily Mail Australia it was extremely rare to ever witness this type of meteor.

'To see one in the daytime is quite a unique event, they're quite rare,' Mr Reneke said.


Comment: Other meteor fireballs observed over Australia recently include:

Meteor fireball caught on camera flying across southern Victoria, Australia (26th Sept. 2019)

'Fireball' meteor lights up skies over Tasmania and Victoria (21st Sept. 2019)


Mr Reneke said the meteors burn through the sky before becoming so hot that they explode.

'These meteors come through the sky and they burn and they melt. When they melt they give off nice bright colours and a sonic boom associated.'

'They get so hot they actually explode.'

He said it was hard to see as it was over in a matter of seconds.

Fireball 4

Stunning meteor fireball filmed exploding over the Mediterranean Sea

Fireball over Mediterranean Sea`
© YouTube/Meteors
The SMART project captured footage of an 'amazing meteor' as it soared over the Mediterranean Sea on September 25, 2019:
It was generated by a rock from a comet that hit the atmosphere at about 140,000 km/h. It began at an altitude of about 108 km over the sea, and ended at a height of around 60 km.


Fireball 5

Bright meteor fireball flies over the north of Spain

Fireball over N. Spain
© YouTube/Meteors
On September 27, 2019, the SMART projected recorded a bright meteor as it flew over the provinces of Segovia, Valladolid and Zamora, Spain:
This fireball flew over the provinces of Segovia, Valladolid and Zamora on the night of September 27, at 22:40 local time.

A rock from an asteroid at a speed of about 111 thousand kilometers per hour came into the earth's atmosphere. The ball of fire advanced westward to end south of the province of Zamora.


Fireball 4

Meteor fireball widely reported over northern Germany

Meteor fireball over Germany
© American Meteor Society (screen capture)
The American Meteor Society has received 157 reports about a meteor fireball seen over northern and eastern Germany on Friday, September 27th 2019 around 17:32 UT.

A Twitter user from Ludwigsburg near Greifswald managed to photograph it over Greifswalder Bodden according to NDR.de. Some observers reported a greenish glowing ball of light with a tail that broke into three to four parts after three to five seconds.


Meteor

Pure hubris: NASA investing in 'planetary defense' to detect, deflect city-killing asteroids

NASA DART program
© Fox News
NASA has doubled what it is spending to help detect and possibly deflect asteroids on a collision course with Earth.

Next year, the U.S. space agency plans to spend $150 million on its so-called "planetary defense" programs. Some of the money would be going to develop systems to detect asteroids and comets like the football-field-sized space rock that zipped past the Earth this summer at 55,000 mph. It was only spotted by astronomers 24-hours after it passed by.

This close, passing asteroid was characterized as a "city killer" by Swinburne University astronomy professor Alan Duffy. If it had been on a collision course, it would have crashed into the Earth with more than 30 times the energy of the atomic blast at Hiroshima, the Sydney Morning Herald reported. NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine likened it to the meteor that struck Chelyabinsk, Russia, in 2013.

Even though NASA missed this relatively small asteroid, the agency is "really good at characterizing, cataloging and tracking objects that are one kilometer or larger, which is the type of object that could damage the Earth permanently, Bridenstine said. But NASA is investing in capabilities to discover these smaller objects.

Camera

Meteor fireball caught on camera flying across southern Victoria, Australia

Fireball over NZ
© Catriona Ross
A meteor has been caught on camera flying across regional Victoria.

Catriona Ross was sitting with her family around a bonfire in Koroit, near Warrnambool, when her son Lachlan noticed the meteor.

"I already had my camera open on my phone because I was taking photos of the bonfire so I zoomed it around," Ross told 7NEWS.com.au.

Ross said the meteor was bright but wasn't travelling as fast as a regular meteor would.

"It was amazing... it was quite clear," Ross said. "The unusual thing was that it was right on sunset."


Comment: Just five days before this meteor sighting, another fireball lit up the skies over Tasmania and Victoria.