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Mini ice age could be unleashed by a medium-sized asteroid strike

Asteroids headed toward Earth
© ESA/P. Carril
Artist's illustration of asteroids headed toward Earth.
A strike by a medium-size asteroid could change Earth's climate dramatically for a few years, making life difficult for people around the world, a new study suggests.

Such an impact on land (as opposed to at sea) could cause average global temperatures to plunge to ice age levels and lead to steep drops in precipitation and plant productivity, among other effects, researchers said.

"These would not be pleasant times," Charles Bardeen, of the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado, said in December during a presentation at the annual fall meeting of the American Geophysical Union (AGU) in San Francisco.

Fireball 4

Meteor fireball seen over Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Meteor fireball over Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
© Youtube/Bramon (screen capture)
Bramon has just released the video of the meteor that ruptured over Rio de Janeiro, in the first minutes of the 08th of February.

Rio de Janeiro meteor flight path
© JVCastro
Meteoroid Flight Path
According to the reports the fireball possessed green color and shone as much as the planet Venus ending its trajectory in the sky with an explosion.


Meteor fireball brighter than full moon filmed over United Arab Emirates

UAE fireball
This fireball over the United Arab Emirates had similar brightness than a full moon.It was captured 06 February 2016 at 21:54:23 UT by the cameras of the UACN project.UACN

The UAE Astronomical Cameras Network (UACN) consists of sky-pointed astronomical cameras located at several locations in the United Arab Emirates, which automatically record a video file once a meteor is detected.


Meteor fireball seen by hundreds over Denmark

© H. Raab
People are encouraged to report their observations and any possible findings of a meteorite to ildkugle.dk or stjerneskud.info
Saturday night, hundreds of Danes reported the sky suddenly lit up and a loud bang followed shortly after

On Saturday night, hundreds of Danes witnessed a spectacular phenomenon as the sky suddenly lit up and a loud bang from an explosion echoed across northeastern Zealand, reports DR.

According to Johan Fynbo, a professor of astronomy at the Niels Bohr Institute, everything indicates a meteorite hit Denmark at about 10 pm.

"It must have been a relatively large meteorite. Not the size of a car, but perhaps the size of a handball," Fynbo told DR.

As a meteorite passes through the Earth's atmosphere, it burns and creates a visible flash of light in the sky. The bigger the meteorite, the stronger the light, explained Fynbo.

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Meteorite lands in Tamil Nadu, killing one and injuring three

© The Hindu
The crater formed after the object, believed to be a meteorite, fell on the campus of Bharathidasan Engineering College, near Natrampalli, in Vellore on Saturday.
One person was killed and three others were injured when an object believed to a meteorite fell on the campus of a private engineering college near Natrampalli in Vellore district in northern Tamil Nadu early on Saturday.

According to police sources, a loud blast was heard near a water tank shortly after midnight on the Bharathidasan Engineering College premises in K.Bandarappalli village. Kamaraj, a college employee, who had gone to drink water suffered serious injuries and was declared dead when taken to the Vaniyambadi Government Hospital. Three others suffered minor injuries. Window panes and wind screens of buses parked nearby and the water tank were broken in the impact of the blast. A crater was formed at the site of blast.

Though there was suspicion that it was a bomb blast, preliminary investigation by forensic and bomb experts showed no sign of any explosive substance at the scene. Pieces of a rare kind of stone were found and samples taken for analysis by scientists.

Comment: Video footage taken moments after the overhead meteor explosion that showered meteorites down on the town of Vellore, southern India:

Fireball 5

Meteor fireball streaks over skies of southern Wisconsin, US

meteor fireball over Wisconsin
© Youtube/TODAY’S TMJ4 (screen capture)
Multiple sources have reported seeing some sort of fireball or meteor over the skies of southern Wisconsin Monday evening.

The Muscoda Police Department caught video of the fireball on a squad dash cam facing east:

That wasn't the only sighting. UW-Madison's Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences school also caught the spectacular display from one of their rooftop cameras.

Comment: The American Meteor Society (AMS) received 160 reports yesterday about a fireball seen over Wisconsin and neighbouring states. On January 30th 2016 there were 880 reports of meteor fireball sightings over Northeast US and Canada. See also: Fireball seen over Northeast US

NASA space data supports citizens' observations: Meteor fireballs are increasing dramatically

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Summary of comets and asteroids news for January 2016

This post introduces a new monthly column that will serve as a summary of the most important news about comets & asteroids and an overview of the comets discovered (and recovered) throughout the month just ended. During the month of January 2016, 8 new comets were discovered, there were 2 recoveries and cometary activity has been reported for 2 previously discovered objects (earlier designated as asteroids).

Moreover, observations of a secondary companion for comet P/2015 Y2 = P/2010 V1 (IKEYA-MURAKAMI) and the discovery of the binary nature of asteroid (2242) BALATON have been reported. "Current comet magnitudes" & "Daily updated asteroid flybys" pages are available at the top of this blog (or just click on the underline text here).

The dates below refer to the date of issuance of CBET (Central Bureau Electronic Telegram) which reported the official news & designations.

- Comet Discoveries

Jan 07 Discovery of C/2016 A1 (PANSTARRS)
Jan 07 Discovery of P/2016 A2 (CHRISTENSEN)
Jan 07 Discovery of C/2016 A3 (PANSTARRS)
Jan 16 Discovery of C/2016 A5 (PANSTARRS)
Jan 20 Discovery of C/2016 A6 (PANSTARRS)
Jan 23 Discovery of P/2016 A7 (PANSTARRS)
Jan 23 Discovery of C/2016 B1 (NEOWISE)
Jan 29 Discovery of C/2016 A8 (LINEAR)
Comet C/2016 B1 (NEOWISE).
© J. Masiero/Gemini Observatory/AURA
Comet C/2016 B1 (NEOWISE).

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Fireball seen over Northeast US

Fireball over DC
© Alex Salvador via Twitter
Fireball captured by dashcam of Alex Salvador at 6:17 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 30, 2016.
Scores of witnesses in northern Virginia, Maryland, and the District spotted a brilliant fireball dashing through the sky around 6:17 p.m. Saturday evening.

The fireball, defined as a very bright meteor, entered the region from the north according to reports. It was seen all over the Northeast U.S. and even southeast Canada. Specifically, Capital Weather Gang obtained reports from Baltimore, New Jersey, New York, Michigan, and Ontario via Twitter.

Observers described it as "huge" and "very bright" but then noted it fizzled, disintegrating into fragments.

Comment: Two planes also got it on tape:

Fireball 2

Fireball meteor burns through South Georgia skies

AMS Event #266-2016 – Heat map of the witnesses and estimated ground trajectory

AMS Event #266-2016 – Heat map of the witnesses and estimated ground trajectory
Dozens of spotters sighted a fireball burning its way through the skies of South Georgia and North Florida Sunday, and a Valdosta State University astronomer said it may have been a meteorite making landfall in the region.

More than 50 reports of an "extremely bright daytime fireball" around 10:25 a.m. have been submitted to the American Meteor Society, according to the group's website. Most of the sightings were to the east and southeast of Valdosta, though some sightings were made in the Tallahassee, Fla., area to Valdosta's west, according to a map on the website.

Dr. Martha Leake of the physics, astronomy and geosciences department at Valdosta State said she was alerted to the fireball by Dr. William Cooke, a VSU graduate and head of the NASA Meteoroid Environment Office at Marshall Space Flight Center in Alabama.

"Apparently, Doppler weather radar tracked it down to an altitude of a mile," she said, indicating "significant material on the ground." Leake said the lack of sightings in and around Valdosta may have been due to the position of the sun at the time.

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Fireball meteor disintegrates over Lviv, Ukraine

The sky of the largest city in western Ukraine was visited by a disintegrating bright white fireball on January 23, 2016, local time.

The entry of this space rock must have been impressive and has most probably created a loud sonic boom.

Here another video from the same event... From another camera of the network: