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Fireballs

Fireball

Massive fireball seen over Ireland, Wednesday 22 May, 2013

A massive fireball was spotted blazing across the Irish sky on Wednesday night by thousands of people across the country. We have received reports from people from all over Ireland who saw the spectacle on Wednesday, at approximately 10:45pm.
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This exceptionally big and bright meteor is known as a fireball, and can in some cases contain as much energy as an atomic bomb. Fireballs are often big enough to survive the fall through Earth's atmosphere, and can sometimes drop fragments of space rock down to Earth's surface.

The fireball is likely to be a piece of a comet or asteroid that passed near Earth's orbit sometime in the past, or the result of debris floating in space left over from when the Solar System and the planets formed billions of years ago.

If you saw the meteor, please send in your report HERE. We will gather reports and perform an analysis over the coming week. With enough results, it will be possible to determine where any meteorites may have landed!

Fireball 4

Maryland witnesses report seeing large, bright meteor

If you saw a bright light blazing across the sky early Saturday and thought you might be going crazy, you're not, and you're not alone. Dozens of witnesses across the state and the region reported seeing what astronomers are calling a fragmenting meteoric fireball. Witnesses saw the fireball as early as 12:18 a.m. and as late as 1 a.m., with the majority of the area sightings coming at about 12:30 a.m. Some of the witnesses also reported hearing delayed booms.

The fireball - a term used to describe an unusually bright meteor - is believed to have entered the atmosphere near Washington and traveled northwest before terminating in central Pennsylvania, according to the American Meteor Society.

The society received reports of sightings by 13 Marylanders among the 60 witnesses, who saw the meteor in Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Virginia and Ohio.

Four reports were submitted by residents of Frederick County, one each from Frederick, Thurmont, Brunswick and Walkersville. Two sightings were also reported in Westminster.

"It was the brightest traveling object I have ever seen," the Walkersville witness wrote.

"It was neon bright," reported the witness in Brunswick.

Fireball 4

Exploding meteorite may have sealed fate of the mammoths

Mammoth
© Alamy
Scientists have claimed an exploding meteorite may have sealed the fate of the woolly mammoth.
Researchers have found evidence that a large meteorite broke apart in the atmosphere around 12,800 years ago at around the time when mammoths died out.

Studying deposits at 18 archaeological sites around the world they found tiny spheres of carbon they say are characteristic of multiple impacts and mid-air explosions from meteorite fragments.

They claim that millions of tonnes of dust and ash thrown would have been thrown into the atmosphere by the event, which would have choked the atmosphere and altered the global climate.

Their findings cast doubt on claims that it was human hunting that was responsible for the demise of large ice age animals like woolly mammoths, woolly rhinos and sabre toothed tigers.

Many scientists now believe that it was a combination of changes in the climate and pressure from human hunting that led to the mass extinction of many of these species.

However, the cause of the abrupt change in the climate between 12,800 and 11,500 years ago, known as the Younger Dryas by geologists, has been a controversial topic.

Cloud Precipitation

Geological upheaval - April 2013


Fireball 4

Four unique fireball events fall over U.S. in 24 hour period - wide range reported

In the last 24 hours the AMS has received confirmed reports about 4 unique fireball events all occurring near 4:00 AM UTC time. The most recent event occurred in Arkansas and Missouri on May 19th near 3:37 UTC. At the same time 3:37 UTC 4 witnesses reported a fireball in Arizona. The distance between these two locations would inhibit witnesses from observing the same fireball from both locations. On May 18th two large fireball meteors were also spotted within an hour of each other, one over the central east coast and another in Colorado. -AMS

Google Earth users can download a KMZ file containing the trajectory estimates for these four events (you must unzip the file before opening in Google Earth). If you witnessed any of these fireball events please fill out an official fireball report.
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Fireball 2

Meteorite narrowly misses man in New Zealand


A Whakamarama man has geologists excited after a meteorite soared into his garage moving buckets and narrowly missing his head.

The man, who does not wish to be named, was in his garage talking with his neighbour last Monday when a meteorite soared past his head.

"It must have missed me by a couple of feet. I thought it was a gun shot."

He didn't hear or see the meteorite, but noticed the buckets were moving in the garage. Together with his friend the pair began searching.

Fireball 5

Huge rock crashes into moon, sparks giant explosion

Moon Impact
© NASA
This artist's illustration shows a meteor crashing into the surface of the moon. Scientists say hundreds of space rocks impact the lunar surface every year.
The moon has a new hole on its surface thanks to a boulder that slammed into it in March, creating the biggest explosion scientists have seen on the moon since they started monitoring it.

The meteorite crashed on March 17, slamming into the lunar surface at a mind-boggling 56,000 mph (90,000 kph) and creating a new crater 65 feet wide (20 meters).

The crash sparked a bright flash of light that would have been visible to anyone looking at the moon at the time with the naked eye, NASA scientists say.

"On March 17, 2013, an object about the size of a small boulder hit the lunar surface in Mare Imbrium," Bill Cooke of NASA's Meteoroid Environment Office said in a statement.

"It exploded in a flash nearly 10 times as bright as anything we've ever seen before."
Moon Impact_1
© NASA
This photo shows the bright flash of the light that resulted from a huge boulder slamming into the moon's surface March 17, 2013.
NASA astronomers have been monitoring the moon for lunar meteor impacts for the past eight years, and haven't seen anything this powerful before.

Scientists didn't see the impact occur in real time. It was only when Ron Suggs, an analyst at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., reviewed a video of the bright moon crash recorded by one of the moon monitoring program's 14-inch telescopes that the event was discovered.

"It jumped right out at me, it was so bright," Suggs said.

Scientists deduced the rock had been roughly 1-foot-wide (between 0.3 to 0.4 meters) and weighted about 88 lbs (40 kg).The explosion it created was as powerful as 5 tons of TNT, NASA scientists said.

When researchers looked back at their records from March, they found that the moon meteor might not have been an isolated event.

Comment: It's rather nice of NASA to just now inform us of this though there were rumors of this event and nothing to attach to it at the time from the MSM. Just for fun, take a peek at the large number of meteor sightings here on the BBM around that same time.


Comet

1998 QE2 asteroid as big as 19 Royal Cruise liners

Nasa scientists are getting excited about seeing the QE2 in the hope it will reveal crucial new insights. But it is not Her Majesty's defunct steam liner which is lying in dock in Dubai which has set stargazers in Houston, Texas, agog. The object is an asteroid flying through space which is as big as 19 of the former royal vessel. It measures 1.7 miles in length.
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1998 QE2 is set to come close to our world when it flys past in its orbit of the sun, on May 31. Scientists will use the Near Earth Object (NEO) event to help plan for an audacious bid to land on a lump of space rock in four years time as part of asteroid defence planning. Nasa scientist Lance Benner said: 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." Earth's upcoming brush with an extra-terrestial object should not contain the risk of causing chaos for us on earth, like the Russian meteor earlier this year. 1998 QE2 shall fly past earth 3.6m miles above our heads. A Nasa spokesman claimed there is no connection between the asteroid and the British royal cruise ship.

Cloud Precipitation

Video: Strange weather phenomena for the first days of May 2013


Fireball 5

Asteroid 1998 QE2 to sail past earth

Asteroid 1998 QE2
© NASA/JPL-Caltech
Asteroid 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.