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Tue, 26 Oct 2021
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Fireball 4

Huge meteor fireball explodes over Minsk, Belarus (and possibly a different one over Slovenia)

This awesome picture was captured on October 30, 2015 in Slovenia...
Fireball over Minsk
© Marko Korosec


Meteor/fireball seen over Irvine, California - 10/23/2015

AMS events over California area 23 October
© AMS website / google maps
Map showing over 230 meteor/fireball sightings reported in the California region on the AMS website (screen capture)
This fireball was caught on camera by a driver driving northeast bound on Culver between Irvine Center and Walnut. The meteor/fireball can be seen at At 0:13 mark.

According to the American Meteor Society (AMS) website, there were over 230 separate reports of meteor/fireballs over California and nearby states on 23/24 October 2015.

Something wicked this way comes!


Russia opens first static meteor observing station in Siberia

© Irkutst State University
On a clear night, the equipment has registered up to 40 meteorites.
One early visitor: a fireball streaking across the sky and splashing into Lake Baikal.

The station is in remote Tunka valley, in the Republic of Buryatia, an ideal vantage point for observing incoming meteors because of the absence of artificial lighting. Created by the astronomical observatory of the Irkutsk State University (ISU), it operates from two unmanned modules some 58 kilometres apart.

This allows researchers to observe the same meteor from two different locations, and to measure its size, light energy, direction, weight of meteoric particles and other parameters, more precisely.

Kirill Ivanov, researcher at ISU's observatory, explained that the cameras are pointed in such a way that the centres of their field of view match at a height of about 100 km. 'They ensure maximum overlap of the field of view, two thirds, at a height of about 80-120 km. The data is stored in industrial computers.' On a clear night, the equipment has registered up to 40 meteorites.
© The Siberian Times
It operates from two unmanned modules some 58 kilometres apart.

Comment: Huge meteorite crashes in Lake Baikal, Siberia


Impact in Russia - 'Huge' meteorite crashes near Lake Baikal, Siberia

© Youtube/tvoyirkutsk
A piece of meteorite landed right in Lake Baikal in Russia's Siberia, Irkutsk State University (ISU) reported Wednesday, according to TV Channel Zvezda.

Although the meteorite fell on October 22, the Astronomical Observatory of the University published its report on Wednesday.

"The piece of meteorite was first observed at the height of 67.2 meters, but then was quickly lost out of sight at the height of 62.1 meters," the ISU statement said.

Comment: There must be some confusion on the university's part: what was observed was a 'meteor fireball'. A 'meteorite' is the actual piece(s) of rock/metal that is later found on the ground or in the water.

The meteorite didn't have as much hitting power due to the celestial body catching up with the Earth. That's why the speed of the meteorite didn't exceed 13 km/s when it hit the lake.

Comment: Hmm, well that's pure guess-work on their part. And it doesn't sound plausible. The more likely reason for its slow speed is related to electrical interaction with the atmosphere/local region.

According to ISU scientists, the meteorite landed one kilometer away from the shore of Baikal near the village of Bolshoe Goloustnoe. Local residents noticed the meteorite fall and actively discussed the event in online forums.

Comment: The Hazard to Civilization from Fireballs and Comets

Fireball 4

Spectacular Orionid meteor shower 2015 - photos

The peak of the 2015 Orionid meteor shower has passed now. Here are some awesome photos from the Earthsky community!
Orionid Fireball Meteor
© Barry Simmons
Barry Simmons said: "Caught this Orionid fireball on the morning of October 22. It's the BEST meteor shot I've gotten since I started shooting meteors several years ago." Captured at Lake Martin, Alabama. Thank you, Barry, and thanks Nanette Estes Simmons!
© John Ashely
John Ashely took this photo in Makoshika State Park, near Glendive, Montana on October 20, 2015. He told EarthSky: "Nice amount of moonlight to start off last night's portion of the Orionid meteor shower. Only saw about a dozen bright ones but they were spectacular as always. Shot at Makoshika State Park, which derives its name from the Lakota phrase for bad land."


Huge fireball sighted over western Finland

The Ursa Astronomical Association's online observation system lit up with reports of a large bright object streaking across the sky on Friday evening. The apparent fireball stirred consternation in neighbouring Sweden.
© Aki Taavitsainen
This fireball was photographed over Mikkeli in 2013.
Finland's main Astronomical Association, Ursa, says that dozens of people reported spotting a light phenomenon in the western skies just before 8 pm Friday. According to the Swedish newspaper Expressen, the apparent meteor startled some residents in the Stockholm area.

Most of the Finnish sightings were from the Turku region, with others ranging from southernmost Hanko to Merikarvia on the Ostrobothnian coast and Mariehamn in the Åland Islands.

Those reporting observations said the object was seen in the west-south-west sky, close to the horizon.

The streak of light lasted for several seconds, says Jukka-Pekka Teitto, coordinator of Ursa's Artjärvi observation centre in Orimattila.

"This object from space has mostly moved across Sweden," he tells Yle.

Comment: There are in fact observations of meteors or fireballs nearly every single day. For more information, see:

Celestial Intentions: Comets and the Horns of Moses

Comet 2

Recently discovered Halloween asteroid 'may actually be a comet'

Orbit of asteroid 2015 TB145
© NASA/JPL-Caltech
This graphic depicts the orbit of asteroid 2015 TB145 as it flies past Earth on Oct. 31, 2015.
The big asteroid that will zoom past Earth on Halloween may actually be a comet, NASA researchers say.

The roughly 1,300-foot-wide (400 meters) asteroid 2015 TB145, which some astronomers have dubbed "Spooky," will cruise within 300,000 miles (480,000 kilometers) of Earth on Halloween (Oct. 31) — just 1.3 times the average distance between our planet and the moon.

Though 2015 TB145 poses no threat on this pass, the flyby will mark the closest encounter with such a big space rock until August 2027, when the 2,600-foot-wide (800 m) 1999 AN10 comes within 1 Earth-moon distance (about 238,000 miles, or 385,000 km), NASA officials said.

Astronomers plan to beam radio waves at 2015 TB145 on Halloween using a 110-foot-wide (34 m) antenna at NASA's Deep Space Network facility in Goldstone, California, then collect the reflected signals with the Green Bank Telescope in West Virginia and Puerto Rico's Arecibo Observatory.

Such work should reveal key details about the space rock's size, shape, surface features and other characteristics — including, perhaps, its true identity.

"The asteroid's orbit is very oblong with a high inclination to below the plane of the solar system," Lance Benner, of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, said in a statement.

Comment: It IS a 'comet' because the only difference between an asteroid and a comet is that the latter is glowing from electrical discharge.


Earth could be hurtling through comet shower that may cause mass extinction

Asteroid 2011 UW-158
© Corbis
Asteroid 2011 UW-158 will pass 1.5 million miles away from Earth.
Earth could be in danger as our galaxy throws out comets that could hurtle towards us and wipe us out, scientists have warned.

Scientists have previously presumed that we are in a relatively safe period for meteor impacts, which are linked with the journey of our sun and its planets, including Earth, through the Milky Way. But some orbits might be more upset than we know, and there is evidence of recent activity, which could mean that we are passing through another meteor shower.

Showers of meteors periodically pass through the area where the Earth is, as gravitational disturbances upset the Oort Cloud, which is a shell of icy objects on the edge of the solar system. They happen on a 26-million year cycle, scientists have said, which coincide with mass extinctions over the last 260-million years.

The most recent shower happened 11 million years ago. But that doesn't mean that the Earth is safe, according to a new study.

Fireball 5

Surprise asteroid to give Earth a Halloween flyby

Asteroid 2015 TB145
© Shutterstock
Asteroid 2015 TB145 (not pictured) will pass our planet on October 31, 2015 at approximately 1.3 times the distance from the Earth to the Moon.
An asteroid designated 2015 TB145 will pass by the Earth at around 1.3 lunar distances (approximately 310,000 miles or about 499,000 km) on October 31 this year. Estimated to be anywhere between 280 to 620 m (918 to 2,034 ft) in diameter and traveling in excess of 126,000 km/h (78,293 mph), the asteroid was discovered less than two weeks ago using the Pan-STARRS array in Hawaii and is the largest object to so closely approach our planet in recent times.

Before you start panicking, NASA says that the object is expected to safely pass by the Earth and is following an eccentric and high-inclination orbit, which may help explain why it was not discovered until October 10 of this year.

Much closer than a "near miss" of 3.1 lunar distances by another recent asteroid, 2004 BL86, 2015 TB145 is of a similar size or greater than that object, but without an accompanying moon. Nevertheless, this now qualifies as the latest known close encounter, after 2004 XP14 in July 2006 at 1.1 lunar distances, and until the asteroid 1999 AN10 swings by Earth at less than one lunar distance sometime in August 2027.

Fireball 2

Bright fireball flies through Kiev, Ukraine skies

© Screenshot via YouTube
A bright fireball in the sky over Kiev October 10, 2015 6:30 AM local time.

Comment: See also: Cosmic Turkey Shoot