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Tue, 19 Nov 2019
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Comet

Double feature: Not one but TWO asteroids set to fly by Earth this weekend

Asteroids
© ESA via globalookpress.com
NASA is brushing off any asteroid alarmism with assurances that Earth is under no immediate danger from incoming space rocks while revealing that two are set to pass our planet safely in the coming days.

Asteroid 2010 C01, measuring roughly 400 to 850 feet (120 to 260 meters) in size, will fly by late on September 13, followed by 2000 QW7 at 950 to 2,100 feet (290 to 650 meters) in the early hours of September 14.

"Both of these asteroids are passing at about 14 lunar distances from the Earth, or about 3.5 million miles away, but small asteroids pass by Earth this close all the time,"said NASA planetary defense officer Lindley Johnson.

Fireball 5

Big bright meteor fireball spotted in the Netherlands

fireball netherlands
On Thursday afternoon, September 12th, a large, bright meteor/fireball was spotted in the sky over northern parts of the Netherlands. It was seen around 14.50 above Langeoog, an East Frisian Island north of Germany.

While most of the meteor appears to have burned up in the atmosphere, a piece as large as a "fist or a soccer ball" likely ended up in the North Sea.


Comment: See also the following previous meteor/fireball events in the Netherlands:


Fireball 5

Meteor fireball streaks across San Antonio, Texas sky

Fireball over San Antonio, TX
© KENS5/K. Palivec
Eyewitness video captured a meteor streaking across the San Antonio sky over the weekend.

The American Meteor Society confirmed the meteor sighting, which took place Saturday around 10 p.m.

The meteor was seen here in Texas as well as several other states, including New Mexico and Louisiana.

The majority of sightings were reported from the Central Texas area, according to AMS.

Meteors like the one spotted Saturday are often referred to as fireballs, AMS said. They are common events but can often be hard to see in city lights.

The video, shown below, was captured by K. Palivec Saturday night.


Info

Another possible interstellar comet headed our way in July 2020

Astronomers have discovered a potentially interstellar comet — the second after 'Oumuamua — and it's approaching the Sun, with a perihelion in mid-2020.
Oumuamua
© Universe Today
First there was 'Oumuamua. Now we might be in store for another interstellar flyby, this time by the recently discovered comet A/2019 Q1. Gennady Borisov captured the object on August 30, 2019, at the Crimean Astrophysical Observatory when it was about 5.5 astronomical units (a.u.) from the Sun. Unlike 'Oumuamua, which was discovered well after perihelion, the new comet is approaching the plane of the solar system and will reach perihelion on July 24, 2020 at a distance of 4.96 a.u., about the distance between Jupiter and the Sun.

But it's still early. Don't be surprised if these dates change as more observations come in.

What sets A/2019 Q1 apart from nearly every other comet is the eccentricity of its orbit. Eccentricity measures how much an orbit deviates from a perfect circle, which has an eccentricity of 0. Elliptical orbits, typical of planets, asteroids and comets, have eccentricities between 0 and 1. Parabolas are equal to 1, and an eccentricity greater than 1 indicates a hyperbolic orbit.
Object Orbit
© Stamcose / CC BY-SA 4.0 with additions by the author
How flat an object's orbit is called its eccentricity. An object on a hyperbolic orbit is likely from beyond the solar system.

Fireball 4

Meteor fireball lights up sky over Rīga, Latvia

meteor
On the evening of September 9, a fireball was seen in the sky over Rīga. The object was identified as a bolide - an extremely bright meteor - by the StarSpace observatorija astronomy page.

It was caught on one of the LTV webcams in the Latvian Television building.

StarSpace observatorija noticed a fireball burning in the Rīga sky, seen for about 5 to 6 seconds and burning out mutely with a blue-green flame and a long tail.


Hardhat

Mysterious sonic boom-like noise baffles residents in Glasgow, Scotland

Loud boom in Glasgow, Scotland
© Rob McDowall
A sonic boom-like noise is baffling people in Glasgow after it was heard over the Southside.
A mysterious "sonic boom" has been baffling people after it was heard over Glasgow this afternoon.

The loud boom was captured on video my a concerned resident around 3:17pm, but the source remains unexplained.

Rob McDowall, a resident in Maxwell Park, in the Southside of the city tweeted around 4pm asking: "did anyone else hear a massive boom in Glasgow? Sounded like a sonic boom."

He went on to share CCTV footage of the mystery bang, prompting one woman to say she thought it was a gas explosion in nearby Rutherglen.

Fireball 3

'It got bigger and bigger and bigger and popped': Meteor fireball sighted off Kāpiti Coast, New Zealand

Fireball over NZ
© stuff.co.nz (file photo)

At first Gary Wheaton thought he was looking at a flare, until he saw a plane flying beneath it.

Now the Paekakariki man believes what he saw off the Kāpiti Coast about 1.20pm on Monday was likely a meteor that was also spotted over Nelson.

"It was like a streak of light screaming across the sky," Wheaton said. "It got bigger and bigger and bigger and popped."

Wheaton called his daughter out who got there to see the "huge smoke trail" it left across the sky.

"It just happened so quick," he said.

He initially thought it was a flare from a boat but realised - due to seeing a plane in the sky beneath it - it was far too high.

Fireball 2

Bright slow-moving meteor fireball recorded over the English Channel

English Channel meteor trail
© FIONA HAYES
The trail, seen here over Torquay, was thought initially to have been caused by an aircraft
A bright, slow-moving meteor fireball was recorded over the English Channel on September 8, 2019. The American Meteor Society (AMS) received 179 reports from people living across England and northern France.


Meteor

Mystery boom resounds throughout northern New York; shakes buildings

Sarnac Lake, NY
© Mwanner/Wikimedia Commons
Some people heard it as a boom, some as a bang, some as a series of explosions. Imagine the noise of a dump truck being dropped from 100 feet in the air onto pavement. It shook buildings.

Many people said it sounded like it was coming from inside their building on on their block. But it wasn't just local; people heard it around the same time across a huge swath of northern New York. In response to an Enterprise Facebook post, people wrote that they had heard it as far west as Cranberry Lake, as far north as Malone, as far east as AuSable Forks and as far south as Eagle Bay, plus throughout the Tri-Lakes villages.

That boom was heard in Saranac Lake 10:13 a.m. Some people also reported hearing a later one, perhaps around 1 p.m.

The cause of the noise remained a mystery as of Friday afternoon.

There was no record of any earthquake within 2,000 miles of the Adirondacks, according to the U.S. Geological Survey's online global tracker.

Comment: See also:


Meteor

Bright flash of light, loud boom filmed in Acworth, Georgia

Flash and boom in Acworth, GA
© YouTube/AMS/M. Nixon
On August 30, 2019, a bright flash of light and loud boom from an exploding meteor was recorded on a home surveillance camera in Acworth, Georgia. The footage was uploaded to the American Meteor Society by M. Nixon.