Welcome to Sott.net
Thu, 12 Dec 2019
The World for People who Think

Fireballs


Fireball 5

Asteroid to fly past Earth on Friday the 13th

Asteroid Flyby
© CCO
NASA has been monitoring an asteroid which maintains an orbit around various bodies in the solar system and consistently passes through Earth's orbit with the sun. 13 near-Earth objects in total are expected to fly past Earth in December of this year.

Earth is set to have a close encounter with an enormous asteroid which is set to fly nearby Earth on Friday at a speed of almost 18,000 miles an hour (more than 28,000 km/h), according to NASA.

The upcoming pass-by is estimated to happen on 8:25 am on 13 December, the unlucky Friday the 13th. The asteroid's orbit diagram indicates that the near-Earth approach will follow the rock's intersection with Earth's orbit.

According to the space agency's Center for Near-Earth Object Studies (CNEOS), the asteroid has an Earth-crossing orbit with the sun and will not approach from a diagonal or perpendicular direction and instead will flyby perpendicular to earth.

Fireball 3

Near-Earth asteroid numbers grow

Asteroid
© SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY - ANDRZEJ/GETTY IMAGES
It looks like being a busy end to 2019 for asteroid watchers.
People using telescopes to stare at the night sky on December 20 or 26 might see a distant light traversing the heavens, but proclaiming it as a harbinger of a New Testament rerun would be unwise.

The European Space Agency's Near-Earth Object Coordination Centre advises that on neither night will the Star of Bethlehem be visible, but an asteroid very likely will be.

On December 20 a 300-metre-wide rock known as (216258) 2006 WH1 will whizz by. Six days later, (310442) 2000 CH59 - a bit bigger, at 400 metres - will do the same.

There is, however, no cause for alarm, given that both will remain at least 15 times the distance from the Earth to the Moon away. (Any relationship between either and newborn messiahs will thus be coincidental rather than causal.)

This is a rather more comforting route than those taken recently by five 10-metre-wide objects, and a single two-metre object, all of which, the ESA reports, came within half a lunar distance of Earth in the first 10 days of November.

Fireball 4

Bright meteor fireball reported over Phoenix, Arizona

Arizona meteor fireball
© Twitter/Lucille Le Corre (screen capture)
By now, we all know, it didn't really happen unless it's confirmed via social media.

And that's what was happening Friday night, as numerous Twitter posts surfaced from people who said they saw a bright light streak across the nighttime sky over Phoenix sometime around 9:30 p.m.

The posts described the sight as a green streak or light, possibly a large meteor or "shooting star," but definitely more than a quick flash that such a phenomenon usually produces.

The Arizona Republic could not immediately confirm the source of the bright light, but several other Twitter posts reported seeing it from vantage points such as 32nd Street and Thomas Road, near the Phoenix Art Museum, or in north Phoenix.


Comment: The American Meteor Society has received 17 reports about a meteor fireball seen over Arizona on Saturday, December 7th 2019 around 04:26 UT.


Fireball 2

Video shows stunning meteor fireball light up sky over Houston, Texas

Meteor fireball over Houston, Texas
© Hunter Moliver
"I thought it was one of the most incredible things I have ever seen in the sky over Houston! The blue flash and the long tail were magnificent." - Hunter Moliver

Reports of fireballs flashing through the night sky have steadily increased since 2006,
according to data from the American Meteor Society.

Sometimes referred to as "shooting stars," fireballs, which are very bright, fast-moving meteors that appear to streak across the sky leaving behind a luminescent trail, are tracked by the organization, which encourages and promotes interest in meteoric astronomy.

So far this year, the organization has tracked nearly 300 events around the world compared to 2006, when only three events were reported, data showed.


Comment: The uptick in meteor fireball sightings continues as sott.net has been reporting for years now.


On Thursday, the agency received roughly 50 reports about a fireball seen over Louisiana, Oklahoma and Texas. The majority of the reports came from Houston, according to the data.


Fireball 2

Bright meteor fireball streaks through night sky over Alabama

Alabama meteor
© NWS Birmingham
The National Weather Service's cameras captured a bright meteor streaking through the night sky in central Alabama.

The NWS tweeted it has received multiple reports of a "vivid and long-lasting meteor/fireball" around 7:25 p.m. Wednesday night. The video was taken at the Shelby County Airport.

If you missed tonight's shooting star, don't worry. You'll have another chance this month when the Geminids meteor shower peaks overnight from Dec. 14-15.

You can see the video below.


Comment: Meanwhile the American Meteor Society (AMS) received 150 reports of a meteor fireball over the US Midwest, including Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin the previous day on Wednesday, December 4th 2019 around 00:16 UT.




Fireball 2

Astronomers suspect 2016 meteor fireball event in Australia was caused by asteroid that had been 'captured' by Earth's gravity

asteroid earth artist impression
© Getty
Both space rocks detected recently could cause major damage if they crashed into our planet
Humans have good reason to fear comets, asteroids and other massive space objects.

Now we'd like to add 'mini-moons' to the list of heavenly bodies we should be worried about. Scientists have claimed our planet was recently hit by one of these mysterious rocks, which exploded in a gigantic fireball.

A mini-moon is an object which becomes entangled in Earth's orbit as it's zooming through space. It will either whirl around the planet harmlessly forever, zoom off back off on its journey through the solar system or, in the worst case, smash into our planet.

'Objects gravitationally captured by the Earth-Moon system are commonly called temporarily captured orbiters, natural Earth satellites, or minimoons,' scientists wrote in a new study published in The Astromomical Journal.

Comment: God, MSM reporting on space rocks is INFURIATINGLY stupid...
"Scientists say there's just no way to know when and where they'll impact us because even in our near-Earth environment they're highly unstable and unpredictable... but we're glad to report that everything was, is, and always will be JUST FINE!"
Anyway, the astronomers who published this paper have touched on something we've been wondering about: whether some (or most) of the 'slow-moving meteors' may in fact be objects that had been previously captured by Earth's gravity.

The same phenomenon is apparently occurring with respect to other planets in our solar system, whose numbers of 'moons' grow by the year. Those new 'moons' are typically accounted for by 'better observation technology', but clearly the actual numbers of 'moons' are growing...


Info

Stars seen slinging comets at Earth for the first time

Night Sky
© VISITBRITAIN/VISITSCOTLAND
Stars and comets make unlikely dance partners. Their gravitational partnership is one that astronomers have long suspected but have never seen — until now. For the first time, a Polish group has identified two nearby stars that seem to have plucked up their icy partners, swinging them into orbits around our sun.

The astronomers found the stellar duo after studying the movements of over 600 stars that came within 13 light-years of the sun. The new findings validate a theory born more than a half-century ago, and in doing so have also shown just how rare these stellar dances can be.

Out on the far edge of the solar system, hanging like wallflowers around the planetary dance floor, is the Oort Cloud. This icy group of objects were left over after the formation of the solar system, creating a giant shell enveloping our home system that extends from 66 times the distance to Neptune to 9.23 trillion miles (14.9 trillion kilometers) away from the sun. Astronomers think the Oort Cloud is a reservoir for long-period comets — those that take more than 200 years to orbit the sun. Comet Hale-Bopp, which has a 2,500-year orbit, is one of the most famous of these long-period comets.

Since the cloud's existence was first proposed by Jan Oort in the 1950s, astronomers have suspected that every so often, a passing star might be able to pick up an object and send it swinging on a wild ride through our solar system; that ride would bring some of those comets streaming through the night sky for us to marvel at. Astronomers have spent years trying to find proof of these stellar dances, but none had been conclusively shown until now.

Fireball 4

Night sky lit up by apparent meteor over Camarillo, California

Fireball over Camarillo, CA
© KTLA
A bright light lit up the sky over Camarillo late Monday night.

The unexpected sighting was witnessed by drivers on the 101 Freeway about 11:30 p.m.

The video shows what appears to be a meteor briefly streaking above the freeway traffic.

The activity comes less than a week after the alpha Monocertoid -- aka Unicorn -- meteor shower dazzled skygazers.


Question

Marlboro, New Jersey's late-night mysterious booms remain unexplained

Mystery boom (stock)
© KY3
Monday night's mysterious "booms" that could be heard throughout the area remained a mystery Tuesday.

Township Trustee Wayne Schillig surmised the noise might have come from someone illegally target-shooting at night.

Police Chief Ron Devies was in the police station when both booms rang out — the first at 8 p.m. and the second at 8:45 p.m.

"I was indoors and our building's pretty tight. It's a brick structure," he said, adding, "I heard it clearly."

Devies initially thought the sound was the result on someone dropping a heavy item into the recycling bin outside. When he heard the second boom, he knew it wasn't that.

Hourglass

100 years ago, a gigantic meteor shook Michigan on Thanksgiving eve

Chelyabinsk Meteor
© Associated Press
In this frame grab made from a dashboard video camera, a meteor streaks through the sky over Chelyabinsk, Russia, Friday, Feb. 15, 2013.
A century ago, on Thanksgiving eve, people across Michigan saw something that would mark Nov. 26 in their memories for years to come. Fog and rain rolled across the Great Lakes region, when just before 8 p.m. something unusual cut through the dark.

"The road, trees, houses and even ourselves were bathed in a blinding phosphorescent-like glow which had its center in a bright streak in the sky above us," highway construction superintendent Leroy Milhan of Centerville, Michigan, would recall in a paper published the following year. "It passed over us toward the west. Immediately came a muffled report or jar that shook houses and the very earth like an earthquake."

The following day, the Washington Times reported that "telegraph and telephone communications and electric lighting plants in several cities in southern Michigan and northern Indiana are out of commission" as a result of "a remarkable phenomenon believed by several scientists to have been a gigantic meteor."

Comment: You can read more about the hazards to humanity from cometary bombardment in SOTT's Comets and Catastrophe Series by Laura Knight-Jadczyk.