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Tue, 27 Jul 2021
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Fireballs

Meteor

Meteor or 'space junk' spotted over York, UK

Image
© Donna Chamberlain
Early risers in York yesterday morning could have spotted an intriguing display in the skies over the city.

Heworth woman Donna Chamberlain was up with the lark on Friday when she saw what she thought could be a meteor or "space junk" burning up as it entered the Earth's atmosphere.

The firey dot appeared at 6.45am and moved slowly through the sky before it disappeared again at 6.52am, but not before Donna had chance to capture the "magical" display on camera.

Gabrielle Potter spotted the same thing as she walked from Holgate to the station at around 7.20am. She said: "I watched it and then it just disappeared - interesting to see! I took a photo as I've never seen anything like it before."

But a space expert has been in touch to explain that rather than a meteor or falling piece of space debris, what the two woman saw was more likely a trick of the early morning light.

York man Chris Bergin who edits NASA SpaceFlight.com said the pictures look just like the image created when contrails from an aircraft are caught in low angled light - like sunrise.

He said: "You can also see the trail is splitting in two, not quite parallel-wise - consistent with a two engine plane.
Image
© Donna Chamberlain
"Meteors enter with incredible speed and such events only last a matter of seconds due to their velocity and disintegration - the latter making them visible." "Most space hardware (junk or otherwise) is tracked by Space Command, protecting other space hardware - such as the International Space Station - from conjunction events and the event in the photo matches no tracking.

Comment: Not a likely conclusion, actually: Space Junk Rising Exponentially (and No, It's Not Man-Made)

See also: The Hazard to Civilization from Fireballs and Comets


Fireball

Fireball brighter than crescent moon flies over Alabama

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On September 16, at 8:22:25 PM local time, NASA meteor cameras in north Georgia and western North Carolina detected a bright fireball over middle Alabama. First seen at an altitude of 45 miles above Paul M. Grist State Park, near Selma, Alabama, the 6 inch diameter chunk of asteroid moved east at a speed of 38,000 miles per hour before burning up some 28 miles above northern Elmore County. At its most intense, the meteor was even brighter than a crescent Moon.


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Fireball 3

Meteor fireball lights up Quezon, Philippines

Meteor Over Quezon
© YouTube Screen Capture
Joje Vitug, a resident of Barangay Pasong Tamo in Quezon City, uploaded a video of a meteor lighting up the night skies.

"I was about to reach my house last night when I saw a meteor that seemed to explode in mid air and illuminated the sky. I paused before going to my garage because I was not sure of what I saw," Vitug said.

He was lucky that his vehicle's dashboard camera was able to capture the scene, which he considers a "once-in-a-lifetime event."

Vitug sent his video to ABS-CBN News on Thu, Sep 17.

According to state weather bureau PAGASA, the appearance of the meteor is normal.

Fireball

Newfound meteor showers expand astronomical calendar

Meteor Shower
© Babak Tafreshi/National Geographic Creative
A meteor (upper left) streaks through the Orion constellation during the Perseid shower.
The list of meteor showers that occur every year has just grown longer. Eighty-six previously unknown have now joined the regular spectaculars, which include the Perseids, Leonids and Geminids. Astronomers spotted the shooting-star shows using a network of video cameras designed to watch for burglars, but repurposed to spy cosmic debris burning up in Earth's atmosphere.

The newfound showers are faint but important: each is fuelled by Earth's passage through a trail of particles left behind by a comet or asteroid, so mapping them reveals previously unknown sources of dust.

"The cool thing is, we are not just doing surveillance of meteors in the night sky," says Peter Jenniskens, an astronomer at the SETI Institute in Mountain View, California. "Now we also have a three-dimensional picture of how dust is distributed in the Solar System."

Most of the particles are the size of a sand grain, but a few are large enough to survive the searing heat of their passage through the atmosphere — and possibly do damage on Earth's surface. Jenniskens and his colleagues describe the discoveries in four papers accepted for publication in Icarus.

Astronomers have been documenting meteors for centuries, first by eye and more recently with radar and video-tracking systems. Meteors sprinkle Earth steadily throughout the year, but during a shower a significant number seem to originate from the same point in the sky. Skywatchers around the world have reported more than 750 possible meteor showers to the International Astronomical Union (IAU) — but only a small fraction of those have been confirmed as bona fide events.

Fireball 2

Scientists use lasers to simulate shock effects of meteorite impact on silica

Meteor Crater in Arizona
© National Map Seamless Server/USGS
Meteor Crater in Arizona, formed by a meteorite impact 50,000 years ago, contains bits of a hard, compressed form of silica called stishovite. Researchers precisely measured the rapid transformation of a fused silica glass into stishovite using SLAC's X-ray laser, the Linac Coherent Light Source.
Scientists used high-power laser beams at the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory to simulate the shock effects of a meteorite impact in silica, one of the most abundant materials in the Earth's crust. They observed, for the first time, its shockingly fast transformation into the mineral stishovite - a rare, extremely hard and dense form of silica.

You can scoop up bits of stishovite at the scene of meteorite impacts, such as a 50,000-year-old meteor crater in Arizona that measures about 3/4-mile across and about 570 feet deep. A similar form also exists naturally at the extreme pressures of the Earth's mantle, hundreds of miles below ground.

The Speed of Stishovite

In the experiment at SLAC, researchers used lasers to create a shock wave in samples of silica glass. The heat and compression of this shock wave caused tiny crystals, or "grains," of stishovite to grow within just a few nanoseconds, or billionths of a second. This speed defies predictions that the changes take tens or even hundreds of times longer.

"The beauty here is that the quality of the data enabled us to make a measurement that gives us entirely new insight into the mechanism for this transformation," said Arianna Gleason, who led the experiment at SLAC's Linac Coherent Light Source (LCLS) X-ray laser, a DOE Office of Science User Facility. The work was published in the Sept. 4 issue of Nature Communications.

"Figuring out how atoms rearrange themselves in this material is important, and to our great surprise, what we expected to be a slower process is really rapid," said Gleason, who was a postdoctoral researcher at SLAC and Stanford University at the time of the 2012 experiment and is now a postdoctoral fellow at Los Alamos National Laboratory. "That was not known before. LCLS gave us access to this ultrashort timescale combined with the capability to generate a shockwave, which is unique."

Question

Mysterious 'boom' stuns residents of a town in Gloucester, UK

Kingsholm, Gloucester

A mysterious explosion shook Kingsholm, Gloucester
on September 9 2015.
A super loud bang brought residents in Malvern Road in Gloucester from their homes last night (September 9) leaving families stunned.

The deep boom was significant enough to prise Kingsholm people from their sofas during peak television viewing time.

Residents gingerly opened front doors to peer out into the street - expecting to see a trail of destruction, bomb crater, tail of an aircraft, damage to vehicles, the front of a neighbour's house missing or the remnants and shrapnel of someone's boiler.

What greeted them came as another shock - the same peaceful scene of parked cars, twitching curtains and hedgehogs scuttling for cover.

Comment: Such loud booms with no identifiable source could in all likelihood be overhead explosions caused by meteor fireballs, or other seismic interactions brought about from our changing cosmic climate. See also:

Sott Exclusive: Meteor fireball explodes over eastern Turkey, sending shower of meteorites to the ground


Fireball 5

Unique twin meteorite impacts found in Sweden

Sweden Impact Event
© Don Dixon/Erik Sturkell/University of Gothenburg
Illustration of a twin meteorite impact that resulted in a unique double crater in Sweden.
Twin craters in a county in Sweden have been found to be the remnants of ancient simultaneous meteorite collisions that took place about 460 million years ago, say University of Gothenburg researchers. The impacts, one very large and the other about a tenth of the size, were found in the Swedish county of Jämtland. These were not the only meteorites that landed on Earth during this time.

"Around 470 million years ago, two large asteroids collided in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, and many fragments were thrown off in new orbits. Many of these crashed on Earth, such as these two in Jämtland," Erik Sturkell, professor in the University of Gothenburg's Department of Earth Sciences, said in a news release.

During this period, Jämtland was under about 500 meters of water in that area. The impact forced the surrounding water away for a short time, during which the craters were completely dry. Sturkell explained that when the water rushed back in, it brought meteorite fragments with it and caused large sea waves. Double impacts are very unusual, and this is the first one that has been proved to land on Earth.

Fireball 2

Meteor seen entering Oman atmosphere; explosions heard

Image
© Shutterstock
Meteor like unidentified object did enter the Sultanate's atmosphere on Wednesday night, however it is not clear whether it landed in Oman or not, according to Saleh Al Shidhani from the Oman Astronomical Society, Locals in Wilayat of Yanqul in Al Dhahira Governorate reported that they witnessed Meteor like object and also heard the crash.

Speaking to Times of Oman, Saleh Al Shidhani from the Oman Astronomical Society, said, "Based on the information we have gathered currently, we can't confirm whether it was a meteorite or not."

"We are also not sure whether it landed in Sultanate, but it definitely passed through the atmosphere. But we don't know where it landed exactly," he further added, saying that the object passed through Al Dhahira Governorate and probably continued to the United Arab Emirates.

"The villagers had conflicting stories where some of them said they had heard the explosion when others denied it. We will send a team to that region and question the witnesses and investigate the matter," said Al Shidhani.

Comment: See also this other recent report: Sott Exclusive: Meteor fireball explodes over eastern Turkey, sending shower of meteorites to the ground


Fireball 2

Meteor filmed by Washington Monument camera

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© NASA Meteor Watch Facebook
A bright meteor was seen shooting through the sky Tuesday night and a camera located on the Washington Monument captured its movement.
A bright fireball streaking across the sky Tuesday night was captured on camera from the Washington Monument.

According to NASA's Meteor Watch, the fireball was seen in Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, North Carolina and West Virginia around 9:27 p.m. It moved east to west and appeared to be orange, according to witness reports on the American Meteor Society's website.

An "Earthcam" on the Washington Monument captured the meteor's race through the sky.

According to the American Meteor Society, fireballs are very bright meteors, about as bright as Venus in the morning and evening skies.

About 10 to 15 meteorites fall to Earth each day, but sightings are rare since streaking fireballs often fall over the ocean, or during daylight hours when they can't be seen.

Fireball 2

Photographer captures fireball against the Northern Lights in Finland

Image
© MARKUS KIILI
Photographer Markus Kiili was lucky enough to capture this stunning photo
The incredible images show a bright white line hurtling through the green and blue sky, in a rare moment which was visible for just a few seconds.

Photographer Markus Kiili was fortunate enough to not only witness the beautiful event - but also capture it on TWO cameras.

The 40-year-old cameraman was shooting a time-lapse video in Lapland, Finland, with two cameras last night when he witnessed the stunning sky.