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Asteroid 1998 QE2 to sail past earth

Asteroid 1998 QE2
© NASA/JPL-CaltechAsteroid 1998 QE2 will get no closer than about 3.6 million miles at time of closest approach on May 31 at 1:59 p.m. Pacific (4:59 p.m. Eastern).
On May 31, 2013, asteroid 1998 QE2 will sail serenely past Earth, getting no closer than about 3.6 million miles (5.8 million kilometers), or about 15 times the distance between Earth and the moon. And while QE2 is not of much interest to those astronomers and scientists on the lookout for hazardous asteroids, it is of interest to those who dabble in radar astronomy and have a 230-foot (70-meter) -- or larger -- radar telescope at their disposal.

"Asteroid 1998 QE2 will be an outstanding radar imaging target at Goldstone and Arecibo and we expect to obtain a series of high-resolution images that could reveal a wealth of surface features," said radar astronomer Lance Benner, the principal investigator for the Goldstone radar observations from NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif. "Whenever an asteroid approaches this closely, it provides an important scientific opportunity to study it in detail to understand its size, shape, rotation, surface features, and what they can tell us about its origin. We will also use new radar measurements of the asteroid's distance and velocity to improve our calculation of its orbit and compute its motion farther into the future than we could otherwise."

The closest approach of the asteroid occurs on May 31 at 1:59 p.m. Pacific (4:59 p.m. Eastern / 20:59 UTC). This is the closest approach the asteroid will make to Earth for at least the next two centuries. Asteroid 1998 QE2 was discovered on Aug. 19, 1998, by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Lincoln Near Earth Asteroid Research (LINEAR) program near Socorro, New Mexico.

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Shooting stars seen in Midland County area, Michigan over the weekend

Residents and Midland County sheriff's deputies reported seeing shooting stars over the weekend.

A media log entry states a Greendale Township resident reported seeing a light in the sky with a tail following it at 10:07 p.m. Saturday. Deputies saw several falling stars throughout the night, the entry states.

One of those sightings was reported by a deputy over his radio at 10:14 p.m. Saturday, and was heard over the scanner.

"I just saw a falling star to the north," he said. A dispatcher teased, "I did not realize you were an astronomer," and the jovial deputy replied that he was "just observant."

According to the American Meteor Society, there were 14 reports of a fireball seen over Michigan and Ohio about 1:30 a.m. Sunday.

One of those reports came from a Gorgia F. in Mount Pleasant, who wrote it "looked like a shooting star, just much bigger and beautiful. It was coming down at an angle and looked as if it was heading down toward Rosebush or Clare."

Thirteen of the reports listed on the website are from Michigan, with the majority made from in Detroit area.

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Meteorite strikes mahangu field in Namibia

Onesi - Thousands of people have flocked to the Omusati Region out of curiosity to view a small piece of meteorite that landed in a mahangu field in the village of Oshika, in Onesi Constituency, yesterday morning.

The incident created fear and panic among villagers who suggested the 'strange object' had something to do with the recent commotion over the 12 South African aircraft that were released after days of grounding at Ondangwa Airport. The aircraft of South African origin were grounded for several days and then sent back to South Africa, because they had no permits to use Namibian airspace.

People who came from all over the five northern regions, including the Kunene Region, flocking to Oshika, expressed fears that the tourists may have had something to do with the 'strange' object that fell in the mahangu field of Andreas Kamafo Ningilenimo.

"Maybe those people who came here with so many aircraft are responsible for this. Maybe that object is poisonous, we are scared, we won't even want to get close to it. If it is not taken away, we will not cultivate near it," said Selma Shikongo.

A piece of meteorite, the of a size of a small ball or two human fists put together made such an impact that people within a radius of over 200km were able to hear the explosive impact, feel the resulting tremor and observe the blinding light that followed as it landed.

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Fireball Meteor explodes near Tokyo, Japan

A meteor exploded over Japan terrifying dozens people in the early morning of May 6, 2013. An amateur photographer captured spectacular images of the blast which were then posted on the Internet.

The space rock disintegrated in the atmosphere releasing a noisy boom over Saitama Prefecture, near Tokyo. The celestial event took place at 3.58 a.m. local time and a video footage shows the meteor appearing as a fast moving fireball whose intensity gradually increases.

The first snaps were uploaded by an eyewitness on the blog before spreading across the social networks.

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Large meteor spotted in night sky in England and Wales

© BBCThe meteor was captured on CCTV by the BBC in Cardiff.
A meteor has been spotted travelling across the night sky by people in many parts of England and Wales.

Sightings of the celestial body were reported on Twitter in areas such as Cornwall, Hampshire, Lancashire, south Wales and Worcestershire.

Suzy Buttress, of Basingstoke, described witnessing the meteor as a "once in a lifetime thing".

Space scientist Dr Maggie Aderin-Pocock said the phenomenon was likely to have been debris from Halley's Comet.

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Large meteor explodes in Wyoming sky

Meteor Over Wyoming
© American Meteor SocietyThe red line is the estimated trajectory of the bolide, which is a meteor that explodes in the atmosphere. The green pins indicate where the trajectory started and the red pins indicate where it ended. The human-looking icons represent each of the eight reports that the American Meteor Society received of the event. The direction of the icon represents where each person was “standing” when the bolide was spotted. .
A large meteor exploded in the sky above southern Wyoming on Sunday night and was observed from as far as 400 miles away.

Jordan Dowers of Olympia, Wash., was driving along Interstate 80 near Laramie with his father when they spotted it about 10:45 p.m.

"The first thing we noticed is the sky lit up really bright," said Dowers, 23. "At first it was, 'Where did that lightning strike come from?' Then it was much, much brighter than lightning. From the south, it was neon blue. It looked like it was going to hit the ground. Then it just disappeared."

Eight witnesses reported the event to the American Meteor Society, including people as far away as Idaho and Colorado.

Technically, the meteor is called a bolide, said society volunteer Mike Hankey, who lives in Baltimore.

Comment: And there was an earthquake around the same time/area: Earthquake Magnitude 4.2 - 28km W of Soda Springs, Idaho. Interestingly, the technical data from USGS shows a Depth of +/- 11.3km with an uncertainty of =/- 10.9km...

Also, do not confuse the fact that more fireballs events are taking place with the fact that more people are becoming aware of them. It's not that more fireballs are being observed due to more people looking out for them; more fireballs are being observed because more fireball events are happening!


SOTT Focus: Something impacted the fertilizer plant in West, Texas... most likely a Comet fragment!

Joe Quinn asked recently: Was the West, Texas Explosion a Meteorite Impact?

More information has come to light that suggests exactly that, and, at the very least, strengthens the idea that a 'missile' strike of some kind caused the explosion.

We now have four different video angles of the fire at the fertilizer plant.

In the first three videos, we can see the explosion that happened afterwards. In the last video, we can't see the explosion, but it gives us another vantage point of the site in flames:

Video from viewpoint #1:

Video from viewpoint #2:

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Meteorite lands on home in Wolcott, Connecticut


A Yale expert confirmed Tuesday that an object that crashed through a house in Wolcott Friday night was a meteorite.

Larry Beck, of Williams Court in Wolcott, called police at 10:20 a.m. on Saturday and said a rock crashed through the roof of his house on Friday night and damaged the roof and copper piping, and cracked the ceiling in his kitchen.

"All the sheet rock had broken apart and it was on the floor," Beck said.

That was around the time that people from several towns along the shoreline called police and reported a loud boom that rattled windows.

Beck told police that he'd heard a loud crash and thought that a joist or rafter had broken.

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Video: Suspected meteor interrupts concert in Argentina

Video footage, captured in the early hours of Sunday morning in Argentina, showed fans watching a band.

During the concert, a bright light appeared in the sky to the right of the stage.

It started off as a small greenish glow, before becoming a larger, brighter fireball.

The suspected meteor then fell to earth, with some locals reporting that they felt the ground shake as it hit.


What really happened? According to "experts", fireball that fell on Dharamsala villagers not a meteorite, but explosives

The mysterious fireball, which fell in Jadrangal village here, injuring two women, was not a "meteorite", but "low intensity explosives", the state forensic experts claimed Saturday.

"It was a low intensity explosive which contained radicals of Barium Nitrate, Aluminium and Iron Oxide, normally used in incendiary projectiles," Dr Arun Sharma, Director, Himachal Pradesh Forensic Science Laboratory told reporters here.

In a first-of-its-kind incident, two women sustained minor injuries as the explosives fell from the sky on the village on March 21.

Two women were doing some household work when the fireball hit the surface and some of its parts fell on the women after splitting following which they sustained burn injuries on arms and back.

The rumours of it being a meteorite started spreading soon after the incident.