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Tue, 20 Oct 2020
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Fireballs

Fireball 5

Bright meteor fireball recorded over southern Spain

Spain meteor fireball
© YouTube/Meteors (screen capture)
This beautiful meteor overflew the south of Spain on 2020 September 14 at about 2:23 local time (equivalent to 0:23 universal time). It was generated by a rock (a meteoroid) from a comet that hit the atmosphere at around 80,000 km/h. It began at an altitude of about 102 km over Ciudad Real, and ended at a height of around 34 km over Córdoba.

The event was recorded in the framework of the SMART project, which is being conducted by the Southwestern Europe Meteor Network (SWEMN). The event was spotted from the meteor-observing stations located at Sevilla, La Sagra (Granada), La Hita (Toledo), and Calar Alto.


Fireball 5

Meteor fireball stunningly captured over Djuma Game Reserve, South Africa

South Africa meteor fireball
© YouTube/ Djuma Private Game Reserve (screen capture)
A meteor fireball was recorded on camera over the Gowrie dam on Djuma Game Reserve, in the Sabi Sand Wildtuin, South Africa on 13th September. As it blazed across the night sky it was caught reflecting on the waterhole, which has the oldest cam in Africa and the world and has been broadcasting LIVE from the spot since 1998.


Fireball 4

Amateur astronomer discovers kilometer-size asteroid

Asteroid
© NASA
An artist's conception of a near-Earth asteroid.
We have not yet found all the large, potentially hazardous near-Earth objects, as highlighted by the recent discovery of a kilometer-size asteroid.

Amateur astronomer Leonardo Amaral was scanning the skies on the night of August 27th, imaging a region in the constellation Indus, when he picked up a cosmic interloper: the asteroid 2020 QU6.

Amaral used the 0.3-meter reflector at the Campo dos Amarais observatory near Sau Paulo, Brazil. The observatory had received a recent upgrade thanks to a Planetary Society grant.

Turns out, 2020 QU6 is about a kilometer across — a surprising find given that most such large objects have been found and cataloged. The asteroid orbits the Sun once every 3.26 years on an orbit inclined 23.5° relative to the ecliptic plane. It poses no current threat to Earth, having passed within 40 million kilometers (24 million miles, more than 100 times the Earth-Moon distance) on September 10th. That's the closest the asteroid will come to Earth in the 21st century.

Question

Loud boom heard in Kilkenny, Ireland - again!

Loud boom in Kilkenny
© KCLR
Tholsel in Kilkenny City
In a case of "hear" we go again another Big Bang was heard in Kilkenny last night.

A number of residents in the city & even on the Bennettsbridge Road reported a loud boom before midnight.

It follows a mystery sound that echoed on August 1, the source of which has yet to be confirmed - it's still under investigation by gardai. (More about that here).

A garda spokesperson this morning told KCLR News that some members also heard last night's noise but don't believe it to be anything sinister.

Comment: Previously: Kilkenny, Ireland residents baffled by mystery 'loud bang' heard around city


Fireball 4

Meteor fireball booms over California in stunning video - ''That was a close call'

FIREBALL
A huge meteor streaked in the skies above California, leaving onlookers stunned with one claiming it was "a close call".

Residents of California were stunned when a bright fireball boomed above them, producing stunning green colours. The meteor hit Earth's atmosphere on Sunday, September 6, above California, with dozens reporting the sighting.

Some Californians claimed it to be the best meteor sighting they had ever seen, while others were stunned by how close it seemingly came to ground.


Cloud Precipitation

Nigeria flood death toll rises to 20, over 50,000 families displaced in Jigawa - 500,000 hectares of farmland devastated in Kebbi

floods
The Jigawa State government has said the death toll in Jigawa flood has risen to twenty.

Executive Secretary, State Emergency Management Agency, (SEMA) Yusuf Sani disclosed this to DAILY POST.

He said those affected were mostly children as a result of a collapsed building caused by heavy rainfall .

DAILY POST reported that sixteen people lost their lives while thousands of houses and farmlands were destroyed as a result of a heavy downpour last week.

Yusuf explained that the flood displaced over 50,000 families, and thousands of farmlands were also submerged.


Comment: AllAfrica reported on the same date:
Floods have again hit several parts of the country, severely affecting farmlands and displacing thousands of people, especially in Kebbi State where our correspondent reports that it ravaged over 500,000 hectares of farm produce estimated at over N5billion, while also rendering people homeless in other states, heightening threats to food security.

Besides other factors threatening food security in Nigeria, including the seemingly intractable terrorism, banditry and killer herdsmen's onslaught which are steadily spreading across the country, harvest of farm produce might be imperiled this year and even the next as a result of flooding.

In Kebbi State for instance, 500,000 hectares was recently devastated by flood, 450,000 hectares of it being for rice farms.

This has heightened fears that by next year, majority of farmers in the state, particularly rice farmers, would be out of business.

Many farmlands visited by our correspondent were overrun by floods, just as rice farms were submerged.



Fireball 2

Meteor fireball over central Spain (Sep. 4)

FIREBALL
This bright meteor overflew Spain on 2020 September 4 at about 3:14 local time (equivalent to 1:14 universal time). It was generated by a rock from a comet that hit the atmosphere at around 54,000 km/h. It began at an altitude of about 101 km over the province of Toledo, and ended at a height of around 75 km. The total length travelled by the meteoroid in the atmosphere was of about 45 km.

The event was recorded in the framework of the SMART project, which is being conducted by the Southwestern Europe Meteor Network (SWEMN). The event was spotted from the meteor-observing stations located at La Hita (Toledo), La Sagra (Granada), and Seville.


Fireball 5

The long history of comet phobia

he Book of Miracles, c. 1550
© Wikimedia Commons
The Book of Miracles, c. 1550.
Nowadays, the appearance of a comet, like the recently soaring NEOWISE, is likely to inspire wonder and excitement. But for much of human history, a comet was more likely to inspire blood-curdling fear.

"Almost always in classical times comets were regarded as portents, generally as warnings of dire events," writes historian Duane Koenig. (They were also sometimes "harbingers of happy things," like the birth of heroes, prophets, or kings.)

Ancient records show that thousands of years ago, "Persians and Koreans viewed comets as of evil nature and often [announced] war with the country in whose direction the tail pointed," writes Koenig. Over in Rome, comets were an object of fear and worship. Historian Geraldine Herbert-Brown finds that Pliny the Elder paid "particular attention to comets, and the terror they had caused humans in the course of history." According to Pliny, a comet would appear at "crucial intervals" starting in 49 BCE, "glaring terribly when Nero succeeded Claudius, and then continuously throughout Nero's principáte."

Comets — also called "bearded stars" — were consistently seen as bad news for rulers. Around 70 CE, the Roman emperor Vespasian was cautioned about a comet. "He contended the bearded star did not concern him because he was bald. It threatened his neighbor, the king of the Parthians, who was hairy," writes Koenig.

Fireball

Meteor fireball spotted in background of news bulletin in Sydney

Meteor on News Broadcast
© Channel 7
Meteor spotted in background of Seven news in Sydney.
Channel 7 viewers in Sydney were stunned last night when a meteor shot into the Earth's atmosphere during the news.

Mark Ferguson was presenting the 6pm bulletin when a meteor was visible in the live feed of Sydney's skyline in the background.

Some eagle-eyed viewers noticed the object and posted about it on a Facebook group dedicated to meteor sightings.

Ferguson called into Sunrise this morning and spoke about the incident, telling the breakfast show hosts: "I didn't know too much at the exact time but within a few seconds of throwing to the commercial, Jess our cameraman quickly said, 'Mate, something has just flown behind you. I reckon it's a meteor.'

"We replayed it and had a good look and we couldn't believe it; what a shock!" Ferguson said.

Fireball 2

Meteor fireball over the south of Spain on September 3

FIREBALL
This beautiful meteor overflew the south of Spain on 2020 September 3 at about 2:35 local time (equivalent to 0:35 universal time). It was generated by a rock (a meteoroid) from an asteroid that hit the atmosphere at around 97,000 km/h. It began at an altitude of about 80 km over the Gulf of Cadiz (Atlantic Ocean), and ended at a height of around 44 km over the sea level.

The event was recorded in the framework of the SMART project, which is being conducted by the Southwestern Europe Meteor Network (SWEMN). The event was spotted from the meteor-observing stations located at Sevilla, La Sagra (Granada), La Hita (Toledo), and Calar Alto.