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Wed, 23 Sep 2020
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Fireballs

Comet 2

New Comet C/2020 H6 (ATLAS)

CBET 4768 & MPEC 2020-J23, issued on 2020, May 03, announce the discovery of a comet (magnitude ~18.5) on individual images from taken on Apr. 22 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 C/2020 H6 (ATLAS).

We performed follow-up measurements of this object while it was still on the PCCP webpage.

Stacking of 10 unfiltered exposures, 120 seconds each, obtained remotely on 2020, April 28.4 from Q62 (iTelescope network) through a 0.50-m f/6.8 astrograph + CCD + focal reducer, shows that this object is a comet with a compact coma about 10" in diameter slightly elongated toward PA 330.

Our confirmation image (click on it for a bigger version)
C/2020 H6 ATLAS
© Remanzacco Blogspot

Meteor

Early morning loud boom wakes residents in Hereford, UK

Mystery boom (stock)
© myjournalcourier.com
People across Hereford were awoken by a loud bang in the early hours of this morning.

Described as 'a huge boom', and 'like a cannon', the sudden noise was heard all over the city, from Kings Acre Road to Hampton Dene, at around 2.45am.

Many have taken to social media to question what they heard, with suggestions ranging from fireworks to thunder.

Natalie in Belmont said: "It wasn't a gun shot, it was a deep bang, so much so that the first thing I did was look at the news."

Catherine Street resident Robin Hart said: "This is at least the second time we have been woken by this bang.

Info

Infectious disease modeling study casts doubt on the Justinianic Plague's impact

Justinianic Plague’s Impact
© SESYNC
Annapolis, MD — Many have claimed the Justinianic Plague (c. 541-750 CE) killed half of the population of Roman Empire. Now, historical research and mathematical modeling challenge the death rate and severity of this first plague pandemic.

Researchers Lauren White, PhD and Lee Mordechai, PhD, of the University of Maryland's National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center, examined the impacts of the Justinianic Plague with mathematical modeling. Using modern plague research as their basis, the two developed novel mathematical models to re-examine primary sources from the time of the Justinianic Plague outbreak. From the modeling, they found that it was unlikely that any transmission route of the plague would have had both the mortality rate and duration described in the primary sources. Their findings appear in a paper titled "Modeling the Justinianic Plague: Comparing hypothesized transmission routes" in PLOS ONE.

"This is the first time, to our knowledge, that a robust mathematical modeling approach has been used to investigate the Justinianic Plague," said lead author Lauren White, PhD, a quantitative disease ecologist and postdoctoral fellow at SESYNC. "Given that there is very little quantitative information in the primary sources for the Justinianic Plague, this was an exciting opportunity to think creatively about how we could combine present-day knowledge of plague's etiology with descriptions from the historical texts."

White and Mordechai focused their efforts on the city of Constantinople, capital of the Roman Empire, which had a comparatively well-described outbreak in 542 CE. Some primary sources claim plague killed up to 300,000 people in the city, which had a population of some 500,000 people at the time. Other sources suggest the plague killed half the empire's population. Until recently, many scholars accepted this image of mass death. By comparing bubonic, pneumonic, and combined transmission routes, the authors showed that no single transmission route precisely mimicked the outbreak dynamics described in these primary sources.

Fireball 2

Meteor fireball streaks over Florida's Panhandle

Fireball over Florida's Panhandle
© WJHG/WECP
A viewer of WJHG's shared a video from his security camera of a meteor shooting over the sky of Panama City Beach Thursday night.

The meteor may have been a precursor to the upcoming Eta Aquariid Meteor Showers which peaks during the early morning hours of May 4, 5, and 6. You can read more about that meteor shower at the link to the right.

Fireball 2

Dashcam captures meteor fireball over Metro Vancouver in broad daylight

Metro Vancouver meteor fireball
© YouTube/Glass it by dGol Polish it (screen capture)
If you happened to be looking skyward over Metro Vancouver on Thursday afternoon, you may have been lucky enough to catch a shooting star so bright it was visible in broad daylight.

Motorist Al Dinis caught the bright flash on his dashcam as he was eastbound on Marine Way at North Fraser Way in Burnaby, around 1:30 p.m.

"This is the first time I've seen this, maybe I should play the 6/49 [lottery]," Dinis told Global News.

Dinis most likely saw a meteor — a lump of space rock that's been captured by earth's gravitational force, says Rachel Wang, an astronomer at Vancouver's HR MacMillan Space Centre.

"When they enter Earth's atmosphere and then they start burning up and if they become really bright they're fireballs, or normally we call them shooting stars," she said.


Fireball 3

Falling meteor fireball creates bright flash over Arizona

Fireball over AZ
© Mount Lemmon Sky Center/ American Meteor Society
A fireball event caused by a meteor illuminated the skies of Arizona recently. According to a couple of eyewitness reports, the falling meteor may have broken apart in the sky and produced visible signs of fragmentation.

The fireball incident was confirmed by the American Meteor Society (AMS). A total of 11 eyewitness reports were filed through its website.

Based on the data compiled by the AMS, the fireball event happened on April 25 at around 11:00 p.m. UT or around 7:00 p.m. EDT. The event was mainly spotted from various cities in Arizona.

Based on the eyewitness reports, the fireball produced by the falling meteor had a brightness or magnitude that ranged from -5 to -19, making it brighter than the planet Venus when viewed from Earth. As noted by the eyewitnesses, the fireball appeared for about 1.5 to 3.5 seconds long.

Fireball 5

Meteor fireball spotted across several Washington State counties

Fireball map WA state
© American Meteor Society
Many people have reported spotting a fireball in the sky above parts of Washington on Thursday.

According to the American Meteor Society, reports came in of a fireball came in from Twisp, Moses Lake, Omak and Richland.

The Okanogan County Sheriff's Office also received several reports of a loud explosion or sonic boom-type noise being heard or felt across the county.

Several people in the Methow Valley reported seeing a green ball with a fire tale, possibly a meteor, flying over Twisp, according to the Sheriff's Office.

Fireball 4

Burning object recorded in New Zealand sky likely a meteor

Meteor over the Remarkables
© Matthew Willcox
Queenstown resident Matt Wilcox was lucky enough to witness what was probably a meteor on Wednesday evening.
A Queenstown man has captured some mysterious footage above the Remarkables mountain range.

Matt Wilcox was out for a walk when he spotted something odd.

"[It] was probably only visible for around a minute or so. Then it went behind the Remarkables and out of sight."

Southland Astronomical Society astronomer Mike Bailey had examined the footage and said he believed it was not a plane as it was moving too fast.

"It also looks dirty, aircraft contrails would normally be white," he added.

Fireball 4

Rethinking the world's largest 'explosion': Tunguska event could have been caused by iron asteroid entering and leaving atmosphere

Tunguska trees
© Russian Geographical Society
'At present, there are over 100 hypotheses about the nature of the Tunguska phenomenon', says Sergei Karpov. 'They include the fall of a small asteroid measuring several dozen metres consisting of typical asteroid materials, either metal or stone, as well as ice.'
For decades experts have been baffled by the shattering detonation which wiped out more than 80 million trees over a remote area of the then tsarist empire.

Explanations have focused on a meteor exploding in the atmosphere, a meteorite striking the surface, or a comet composed mainly of ice, yet apart from the wholesale destruction at ground level in an unpopulated area, there is only minuscule evidence of a space object.

In a major new contribution to the scientific debate, Dr. Sergei Karpov, leading researcher at Kirensky Physics Institute in Krasnoyarsk and his peers, argue 'that the Tunguska event was caused by an iron asteroid body, which passed through the Earth's atmosphere and continued to the near-solar orbit'.

It was 100 to 200 metres (328 to 656 feet) in diameter.

Comment: Scientists are still hanging on to the 'icy snowball' theory of comets. If one looks at comets as charged solid bodies, the effects become much more understandable


Info

Prof. Wickramasinghe and team share potential origin and predict progression of COVID-19

Map of Coronavirus spread
© EIN PressWire
Map of Coronavirus spread.
Scientific researchers released their findings about the source and predicted direction of the coronavirus and proposed critical measures for the pandemic.

London, UK, — Professor Chandra Wickramasinghe and his team of researchers believe that the novel coronavirus arrived on meteorites in Oct 2019 and instantaneously infected hundreds of thousands of people through the atmosphere, as meteorites were reported in China, Northern Italy, Michigan in October 2019. This is somewhat at odds with the mainstream assertion that it originated in bats in WUHAN, China. Given this disparity, they went to great lengths to produce a timely research paper to back up their argument.

In the research paper released on COVID-19, Professor Wickramasinghe puts forward several thought-provoking arguments. Notably that: "our informed view is that many people were almost simultaneously infected and naturally inoculated with the same COVID-19 virus strain."