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Fireballs

Fireball 2

Driver shocked as meteor fireball flashes across south east England

Fireball - stock image

Stock image
A 'FIREBALL' has been seen blazing a trail across the skies of Sussex.

One Twitter user said: "Just driving through and looked up to see something we could only describe as a fireball.

"It was a real 'wow' moment, I just saw it fly across the windscreen.

"It was low and very fireball-like."

The UK Meteor Observation Network posted an image of the fireball, taken in East Barnet in London.

Fireball seen in Sussex
© UK Meteor Observation Network
Fireball seen in Sussex

Clock

Mystery surrounds 'massive bang' in Plymouth, England

Loud bang in Plymouth, England
© plymouthlive.com
Plymouth residents say they were woken to "a massive bang" in the middle of the night - but no-one knows what it was.

Several people on social media said there was some activity in the St Judes area of the city during the early hours of Monday morning.

She tweeted: "there was a massive bang at 4.10am heard in st Jude's, anyone know what it was please? Scared the life outta me it was so loud."

Comment: A subsequent article reports that the loud bang was caused by fireworks. The noise was heard the Hooe, Laira, Mutley and St Jude's sections of Plymouth which encompasses about a 4-5 mile area. We doubt fireworks could cause such an uproar at 4:00 am.
"I sat up and opened the window, (I live in an attic room, so I have a very good view south over the PL4 area and over to PL1 and PL9) but couldn't see anything. I could hear seagulls flying away, squawking in surprise and fear.

"To me the boom noise sounded like a firework, but I saw no fireworks or lights in the sky.

One comment on social media read: "Defo a pretty firework, I saw it whilst working nights on Laira train depot."

Another said: " Sure there were fireworks going off between 3-4 o'clock I could hear from Mutley."



Fireball 5

Nighttime meteor fireball reported flying over Germany, France

Fireball over Germany
© Martin R.
The American Meteor Society (AMS) received 8 reports of a meteor flying over Germany and France on the night of May 22, 2019. AMS member Jurgen D. uploaded video footage of the event from his all-sky camera:


Fireball 3

Meteor fireball captured over northern Germany

Fireball over Germany
© Andre K.
The American Meteor Society (AMS) received two reports of a meteor over northern Germany on May 24, 2019. AMS member A. Knofel uploaded video footage of the fireball as is flew over Tauche:


Fireball 2

Meteor fireball flies over La Aparecida, Spain

Fireball - stock image

Stock image
On May 25, 2019, American Meteor Society member V. Cayuelas Moila recorded video of a fireball as it flew over southeastern Spain.


Fireball 2

Meteor fireball lights up Queensland sky in Australia

A view of the meteor from The Hummock Lookout,
© Ezi-Web Wholesale Bargara/ Tim Sayre
A view of the meteor from The Hummock Lookout, left, and a still from dashcam footage taken on McCarthy Road, in Bundaberg.
Some Queenslanders are counting their lucky stars after catching a glimpse of what's believed to be a bright meteor.

Tim Sayre and his wife were two skygazers left in awe when the night sky lit up above their car about 6.40pm on Monday.

They captured the shooting star on dashcam on McCarthy Road, in Bundaberg.

"Really a case of the right place, right time!" Sayre told 7NEWS.com.au.


Comment: Two other similar events have happened over the same continent within the last 8 days: Spectacular light show as meteor fireball lights up south-eastern Australia

Meteor fireball detonates over Australia's Northern Territory, turns night into day


Info

Oldest meteorite collection on Earth found in the Atacama Desert

Meteorite recovery campaign
© Photo by Katherine Joy (University of Manchester)
Meteorite recovery campaign in the Atacama Desert (Nov. 2017).
Boulder, Colo., USA: Earth is bombarded every year by rocky debris, but the rate of incoming meteorites can change over time. Finding enough meteorites scattered on the planet's surface can be challenging, especially if you are interested in reconstructing how frequently they land. Now, researchers have uncovered a wealth of well-preserved meteorites that allowed them to reconstruct the rate of falling meteorites over the past two million years.

"Our purpose in this work was to see how the meteorite flux to Earth changed over large timescales-millions of years, consistent with astronomical phenomena," says Alexis Drouard, Aix-Marseille Université, lead author of the new paper in Geology.

To recover a meteorite record for millions of years, the researchers headed to the Atacama Desert. Drouard says they needed a study site that would preserve a wide range of terrestrial ages where the meteorites could persist over long time scales.
Meteorite in Atacama Desert
© Photo by Jérôme Gattacceca (CEREGE)
Meteorite with thin, dark, fusion crust in the Atacama Desert.
While Antarctica and hot deserts both host a large percentage of meteorites on Earth (about 64% and 30%, respectively), Drouard says, "Meteorites found in hot deserts or Antarctica are rarely older than half a million years." He adds that meteorites naturally disappear because of weathering processes (e.g., erosion by wind), but because these locations themselves are young, the meteorites found on the surface are also young.

"The Atacama Desert in Chile, is very old ([over] 10 million years)," says Drouard. "It also hosts the densest collection of meteorites in the world."

Comet

Taurid comet debris may raise chances of impacts on Earth in June

Tunguska Event
© Western University
An expedition in 1929 discovered the extent of the damage caused by the Tunguska Event in 1908.
A new study from Western University posits proof to the possibility that an oncoming swarm of meteors - likened to the Loch Ness Monster and Bigfoot by some extraterrestrial experts - may indeed pose an existential risk for Earth and its inhabitants. (That's us.)

When considering catalysts for catastrophic collision, there are two main sources Near Earth Objects (NEOs) like asteroids and meteoroids and interlopers from the outer solar system, which are typically comets. Over the past few decades, a great deal of effort has been expended in cataloguing more than 90 per cent of the potentially hazardous NEOs, and work is ongoing to detect, catalogue and track greater numbers and smaller sizes of these objects. Interlopers from the outer solar system are much harder to chart but again, much work is underway.

The Taurid swarm is a third potential source of risk that changes the probabilities of possible catastrophic impacts. The Tunguska (Russia) explosion of 1908 is considered a one-in-1000-year event, assuming a random distribution of events over time. But the Taurid swarm, a dense cluster within the Taurid meteoroid stream, and through which the Earth periodically passes, changes the odds significantly and gives a possible reason for the unlikely occurrence that a once per 1000-year event occurred just over a century ago. If the hypothesized might of the Taurid swarm is successfully proven, this also heightens the possibility of a cluster of large impacts over a short period of time.

Comet

'Oumuamua was a fragment from a disintegrated comet

Oumuamua
© ESO / M. Kornmesser
One artist's impression shows ʻ1I/'Oumuamua as a cigar-shaped object.
'Oumuamua's strange trajectory back out to interstellar space can be explained if the object was a comet fragment with the density of air.

'1/'Oumuamua, the interstellar mystery object that briefly visited the inner solar system in 2018, has proven a difficult nut to crack. Astronomers are still arguing about what it even is - asteroid, comet, or something else altogether? Now, in a pair of studies posted recently on the arXiv (paper 1, paper 2), Zdenek Sekanina (JPL-Caltech) suggests the object might be an ultra-low density fragment from a comet that disintegrated while passing near the Sun.

Info

New study confirms Libyan Desert Glass formed by airburst

Libyan Desert
© Associated Press
In the remote desert of western Egypt, near the Libyan border, lie clues to an ancient cosmic cataclysm.

Libyan desert glass is the name given to fragments of canary-yellow glass found scattered over hundreds of kilometres, between giant shifting sand dunes.

Interest in Libyan desert glass goes back more than 3,000 years. Among items recovered from King Tut's burial chamber is a gold and jewel-encrusted breastplate. In the centre sits a beautiful scarab beetle, carved from Libyan desert glass.

Libyan desert glass - raw and carved - is easily available today, but how the glass formed has long puzzled scientists.

Our research has found the answer.