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Heaven and Earth: Unusual natural events and strange phenomena from around the world in December 2013 and January 2014

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Chicago from the air: frozen in January 2014
Heaven and Earth / A collection of amateur and media video reports from December 5, 2013 to January 15, 2014

Fireballs, strange lights in the sky, massive sinkholes, new islands, erupting volcanoes, powerful tidal surges and storms, the jet stream going haywire, mass animal deaths... in terms of Earth Changes and other strange phenomena, it looks like 2014 is picking up where 2013 left off!


This new series replaces "20** IS STRANGE". It's pretty much the same thing - cataloguing unusual natural events and other strange phenomena. The biggest change is the title ;)

This is an educational/teaching and research purposes only video. This application is not commercial and is free to use.

Telescope

Two more newly discovered asteroids to pass Earth on Tuesday

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© French Tribune
According to a new report, a small asteroid entered earth's atmosphere and busted over the mid-Atlantic ocean on the Eve of New Year. It has been reported that the asteroid, 2014 AA, was discovered by NASA scientists just 21 hours before it entered the Earth's atmosphere. This has raised a question on NASA's search and discovery of Near Earth Objects (NEOs). NASA is capable of noticing asteroids approaching the Earth, well in advance.

No destruction was caused by the asteroid as it was very small in size. This incident has occurred only for the second time in world history. Researchers cited a similar incident that took place in 2008, in which NASA officials reported about a NEO provisionally titled, 2008 TC3, just 19 hours before it made an entry into the Earth's atmosphere.

Meteor

There is an undeniable and dramatic increase in meteor fireballs, but we're still being lied to: ISS delays planned orbit raise due to "space junk threat"

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© Reuters / NASA / Handout via Reuters
International Space Station
The International Space Station's manoeuvre to raise orbit has been delayed by two days over the threat of collision with space junk that could severely damage the station.

The ISS orbit was scheduled to be raised by nearly two kilometers to ensure safe docking of the Russian Progress M-22M resupply spacecraft on February 6. The manoeuvre was to be carried out to compensate for Earth's gravity. The delay was the initiative of the United States.

The new date and time of the manoeuvre will be announced on Friday, while the preliminary date has been set for January 18, according to Moscow mission control center.

More than 800 pieces of space debris are situated on the same orbit with the ISS and are a potential threat to the station, according to NASA's data from October.

When the ISS faces the threat of a collision with a piece of space junk, the US, Russia and their partners usually order a debris avoidance manoeuvre. This occurs about once a year on average, according to NASA's Orbital Debris Program Office.

Comment: It would be really great, if NASA would stop insulting our intelligence by repeating the same ridiculous lies. The fact is, that
2013 saw a dramatic increase in meteor fireballs. More so, recently, USA and Canada experienced several meteor outbursts and fireballs raining down on their heads, with some of the falls probably resulting in wildfires. But NASA asks you to move along and not to pay attention to the man behind the curtain.

SOTT.net sez 'BS alert!'


Breaking: Meteor outburst over 6 Northeastern U.S. states - Connecticut, New York, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Massachusetts and Maine (so far...)
'Fireball' seen streaking across sky over Northampton; reports from all over Northeastern U.S.
Take cover! Meteor fireballs rain down across U.S. - Outbreaks of wildfires reported




Fireball 5

What was that loud boom that shook homes in Rock Island, Illinois?

Rock Island
© Wikimedia Commons
What was that boom? That's what many people in Rock Island were saying Tuesday morning, January 14, 2014.

People from all over Rock Island, as well as Milan and Moline, say they heard it around 6:50 a.m.

Questions came in from Twitter, Facebook as well as phone calls.

Did you hear that? They said they heard a loud boom sound that shook their house and rattled things hanging on the walls.

What made the sound?

We made a lot of calls to try to track down its origin.

We called the Rock Island Arsenal, fire departments, quarries and anyone we could think of who may have the answer.

Comment: Nope, it was probably yet another overhead meteor explosion.


Comet 2

Duck and cover! Americans warned of imminent, deadly meteor strikes

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File photo of a fireball
With NASA reporting a "potentially hazardous" asteroid nearly half-a-mile wide possibly heading toward earth, and some upstate New Yorkers claiming they experienced a loud boom and a bright light in the sky last night caused by a meteor, a doctors' organization is offering some timely advice:

Just as when the American populace first prepared for the possibility of a nuclear blast, a person's best option for surviving a meteor strike is the same "duck and cover" created during the 1940s and '50s when nuclear weaponry was still in its infancy.

The warning comes from Physicians for Civil Defense, which issued a statement recently during a meeting of the Emergency Management Agency of Utah.

"All Americans, starting with first responders and emergency managers, need to know this basic life-saving principle: 'Drop and cover if you see a sudden very bright light,'" said the statement from the organization's spokeswoman, Jane Orient, M.D.

Comment: Lest anyone thinks these physicians are pulling their leg:




Question

Field museum's newest meteorite puzzles scientists

Meteorite
© NBC Chicago
Scientists aren't exactly sure where a mysterious new meteorite came from, but its bright green hue is certainly bringing one super planet to mind.

While it's probably not from Krypton, the newest member of the Field Museum's meteorite collection is puzzling scientists.

While most meteorites look like a black or grey chunk of rock, this one is bright green and looks more gem-like than other meteorites in the collection, according to museum officials. Even more perplexing is the rock's chemical composition, which has proven impossible to classify.

The meteorite, named Northwest Africa 7325, was found in South Morocco in early 2012 and likely comes from an asteroid in the space between Mars and Jupiter, officials said.

Comet 2

A possible meteor shower from Comet ISON?

ISON-ids
© Stellarium
The position of the radiant for any possible “ISON-ids” in Leo. Note the nearby Full Moon the night of January 15th.
Hey, remember Comet C/2012 S1 ISON? Who can forget the roller-coaster ride that the touted "Comet of the Century" took us on last year. Well, ISON could have one more trick up its cosmic sleeve - although it's a big maybe - in the form of a meteor shower or (more likely) a brief uptick in meteor activity this week.

In case you skipped 2012 and 2013, or you're a time traveler who missed their temporal mark, we'll fill you in on the story thus far.

Comet ISON was discovered by Artyom Novichonok and Vitali Nevski on September 21st, 2012 as part of the ongoing International Scientific Optical Network (ISON) survey. Shortly after its discovery, researchers knew they had spotted something special: a sungrazing comet already active at over 6.4 Astronomical Units (A.U.s) from the Sun. The Internet then did what it does best, and promptly ran with the story. There were no shortage of Comet ISON conspiracy theories for science writers to combat in 2013. It's still amusing to this day to see predictions for comet ISON post-perihelion echo through calendars, almanacs and magazines compiled and sent to press before its demise.

Fireball

'Fireball' seen streaking across sky over Northampton; reports from all over Northeastern U.S.

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© Sott.net
John and Marianna Connolly of Williamsburg were going on a stroll in Look Park at dusk when they were shocked to see a "fireball" streak across the sky overhead.

"I thought it was fireworks at first, but it was way up there," John Connolly said Sunday, soon after seeing the object at about 5:10 p.m. "It was way brighter than any meteorite I've seen."

Similar reports from people all over New England, New York and New Jersey flooded Twitter and the website of the National Meteor Society soon afterward. Of the 90 reports of the bright object on the website, called a meteorite or fireball by many, 17 were from Massachusetts, including one from Amherst.

Connolly said the fireball was about five times bigger and hundreds of times brighter than most meteorites he has seen. He said it glowed blue and orange as it traveled for three or four seconds northeast across the sky before disappearing behind clouds.

Whatever it was, he said, "it was in the atmosphere for sure, it was burning up."

'Fireball' seen streaking across sky over Northampton; reports from all over Northeast

He noted that it was not completely dark out at the time, and usually meteors are only visible when it is completely dark. "This was very bright, as bright as the moon," he said.

Neither he or his wife heard any noise when they saw the fireball, he said.

A report from Rollingsford, N.H., said the fireball appeared to be about the size of a quarter when held at arm's length and had a trail of sparks. Others commented that it left a green trail and appeared low in the sky.

Fireball 5

2013 saw a dramatic increase in meteor fireballs - What does 2014 have in store?

Fireball City
So many new comets were discovered last year that astronomers named 2013 the 'Year of the Comet'. Less popularlized was the noticeable increase in fireball meteors observed in the Earth's atmosphere. Another year has passed and fireballs are still raining down like never before, with their rate apparently increasing exponentially.

SOTT.net has been cataloguing fireball events since 2002, and a couple of other websites have sprung up since then, but in general the lack of record-keeping and media coverage of this phenomenon is shocking, especially given how extraordinary the phenomenon is (or rather, was - apparently it's 'normal' now!) and whatever it may portend for civilization, sometime in the future, if not immediately.

One relatively new resource is the American Meteor Society's 'Fireball Logs', a database where eyewitnesses have been submitting reports of fireball events in the U.S. The AMS does subsequent checks to verify events with the All-Sky Fireball Camera Network set up by NASA's Meteoroid Environment Office (MEO) and other observation networks. Their stats are remarkable, yet they do fit with what we've noticed at SOTT.net in recent years: the numbers just keep going up and up, and at an ever increasing rate!

Using the AMS data, which begins in 2005, I've created the following tables to give readers a visual for what's going on. Check this out:

Fireball Increase 3.0
© SOTT

Comment: See also:




Fireball 2

Take cover! Meteor fireballs rain down across U.S. - Outbreaks of wildfires reported

Reports are pouring in from across the United States of multiple meteor fireballs streaking across the sky yesterday evening, January 12th, 2014, from approximately 5pm through 7pm, Eastern Standard Time. Over 170 observation reports were submitted to the American Meteor Society website, in addition to dozens of reports submitted on the Lunar Meteorite Hunters website, from eyewitnesses in northeastern and western states.

Streaks appearing on NOAA's online radar service apparently indicate that the fireballs came in from a northeast-southwest direction:

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© NOAA
The Pacific coast of the US earlier today. Note the blue streak over Washington state and similar on the Nevada-Utah border.

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© NOAA
Note the streaks over the ocean west of Washington state and Oregon.

Comment: Update 16 January 2014

A reader sent us the link to this video report from 'Fire in the Sky News' on the above meteor 'outburst':