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Chelyabinsk meteorite fragments reveal potential space collision

© Victor Sharygin
When the Chelyabinsk meteorite streaked across the sky in February, it caused quite a bit of a stir in Russia. The resulting shockwave from its impact shattered glass, injuring over a thousand people. Now, scientists have found out a little bit more about this meteorite. Fragment of Chelyabinsk meteorite, showing the fusion crust -- the result of a previous collision or near miss with another planetary body or with the sun.
When the Chelyabinsk meteorite streaked across the sky in February, it caused quite a bit of a stir in Russia. The resulting shockwave from its impact shattered glass, injuring over a thousand people. Now, scientists have found out a little bit more about this meteorite.

The main body of the meteorite fell to the bottom of the Cherbarkul Lake near Celyabinsk. That's why in order to learn a little bit more about the meteorite, scientist examined fragments of the space rock. The fragments are composed of the same minerals as the main body of the meteorite, which means that the scientists could learn what they needed to know about the event.

So what did they find? It turned out that the meteorite had undergone an intensive melting process before being subjected to extremely high temperatures upon entering Earth's atmosphere. Based on the color and structure, the researchers were able to divide the fragments into three types: light, dark and intermediate. The lighter fragments were the ones that were most commonly found, but the dark fragments were found in increasing numbers along the meteorites trajectory, with the greatest number found close to where it hit Earth.

Fireball 4

Mystery 'meteor' flashes over Canary Islands

A green light "brighter than the day" and lasting three seconds was reported by pilots and witnesses on the ground. The official Twitter account of Spain's Air Traffic Control (@controladores) was the first to break the news, according to The Huffington Post.

"Various aircraft over the north of the Canary Islands just reported a bright light, lasting 3 seconds, as if it was daytime," it tweeted.

It then added: "From the descriptions given by pilots it was probably a meteorite. Even so, protocols oblige that the military be informed" Witnesses described the phenomenon as "a white light coming down, with a long tail, falling."

Javier Licandro, of the Canaries Institute of Astrophysics (IAC), told the press that it was most likely a meteoroid of the kind that broke up in the atmosphere, rather than a meteorite which survives contact with the ground.

Nevertheless, he did not discount the possibility that it was the remains of an old satellite. Licandro said that he would check the data recorded by the observatories on La Palma and Tenerife to see if they had registered the phenomenon.

Twitter was soon full of people describing what they had seen.

@German_Herrera1 wrote: "I saw it from my house in La Laguna, a green light lasting three seconds. Impressive!"

There has so far been no official explanation given.


A loud clap of thunder on a cloudless night? Australian Air Force claims it was 'undertaking essential night-time intercept training'

A loud noise heard all around the eastern Darling Downs had southern Queenslanders scratching their heads, until the Air Force put up their hand.

"F/A-18F Super Hornets were undertaking essential 'intercept' training in the 'western airspace' of RAAF Base Amberley, which incorporates the Toowoomba region," a Defence spokesperson says.

"Regrettably the training was louder than anticipated, and some residents experienced more aircraft noise than usually occurs, when Air Force uses the western airspace...our pilots and crews need experience in a range of environments. This includes day and night flying, high and low altitude flying (below 500 feet or 150 metres) and bombing and strafing practice."

The Airforce is investigating the "disruption".

Comment: Interesting, less than two months ago, another fireball exploded over the same region:

Bright meteor lights up Eastern coast of Australia

Fireball 2

Two large meteor events: Loud booms over Memphis Tennessee and great video from Canberra Australia

Two very large fireball events occurred over Memphis, Tennessee, USA and Canberra, Australia. However, nothing or not much was said about these two sky phenomena either on the news or by authorities. We are lucky this was not another Russian situation!

Large Metor during daytime in Memphis, TN on August 14 2013

A loud boom accompagnying this meteor was reported in Missouri. According to this same witness, the booms broke her windows. Look at this link for more information.

Amazing Meteor Video Over Canberra Australia on August 13 2013

This report was submitted on this website. It occurred at 9:36pm local time (Australia), and the fireball was flying in the SSW direction with a magnitude between -10 and -15

Fireball 3

Newly discovered asteroid whizzes past Earth today

Some more confirmation that asteroids go around in pairs. Discovered just 48 hours ago, asteroid 2013 PS13 is whizzing by Earth today at only 0.5 Lunar Distances from Earth alongside asteroid 2005 WK4, which is only 8.1 Lunar Distances away from Earth! Slooh tracked both asteroids this morning from the Canary Islands observatory - come check out the spectacular results along with Paul Cox.
Asteroid Flyby
© Tallbloke's Talkshop


RT presenter: 'They can spy on all of us all of the time, but they can't tell us when one of these asteroids are gonna hit us?'

The panic and havoc seen in the Russian Urals last winter when a meteor the size of a house exploded in the skies, may be set for a repeat. Scientists say the huge rock might not have been flying solo as first thought, but rather as part of a group of asteroids which still pose a threat to Earth.

Comment: Yes, it does boggle the mind, doesn't it? All these years they have poured money into ways of controlling people rather than looking after their well-being and future... and now we are left completely exposed to civilization-destroying cometary catastrophe.

Fireball 5

Probable comet fragment or meteor burns bright across Australian sky

© Willem Bruinsma
Willem Bruinsma snapped this burning light in the sky at Noosa National Park.
Experts believe a mysterious bright light in the sky north of Noosa was probably caused by the sun's light on a jet's contrail.

The phenomenon appeared to be soaring across the sky for at least 20 minutes, just after sunset on Sunday.

Owen Bennedick, of Wappa Falls Observatory, said it was likely to be an atmospheric event, as a meteor usually lasted a maximum five seconds.

He added that the presence of any comets at the time would have been well documented.

Owen Bennedick, of Wappa Falls Observatory, said it was likely to be an atmospheric event, as a meteor usually lasted a maximum five seconds.
Presumably they meant to write 'unlikely'. Mr Bennedick ought to study the behaviour of fireballs and meteors - they can remain visible in the sky for hours.
He added that the presence of any comets at the time would have been well documented.
Comets, fireballs, and meteors, far from being 'well-documented', are largely ignored.

Fireball 3

Reports of bright 'fireball' in sky over Tennessee, Alabama

There were reports of a bright fireball late on Sunday night and Monday in Tennessee, Alabama, and Mississippi. A number of unconfirmed reports were posted on the American Meteor Society website.

"This was so very exciting for me. The colors were beautiful," wrote one user, Liz W., from Nashville, Tenn.

Another person from Oakland, Tenn., wrote that the fireball was "low moving, passed behind cloud bank and glow could be seen through clouds."

"The fire trail was a slender taper going from origin to point within the spacing of nine of the original diameter ... the [colors] were sharp:white core, moss green outside it, traces of blue.," wrote another.

"It almost looked like this fireball was going to make impact," another wrote.

The fireball sighting coincide with the Perseid meteor shower, which starts in mid-July to late August each year. It is unclear if the "fireballs" that people saw in the southeastern U.S. had to do with the Perseids.

"It was larger than any meteor I have ever seen," wrote one person.

On Twitter, at least one person said they heard a "loud boom."

"Widespread reports tonight of bright fireball in the sky over TN, AL some hearing loud boom," wrote NewsBreaker.

Fireball 2

Meteor streaks across the sky over Northeastern Pennsylvania

La Plume - A fireball seen streaking over Northeastern Pennsylvania early Friday was a meteor, according John Sabia, an assistant at Keystone College's Thomas G. Cupillari Observatory.

The meteor, which was seen Friday about 12:52 a.m., was photographed by an observatory sky camera traveling across the night sky for 17 seconds.

He described the meteor as slow moving and one of the brightest the camera has photographed.

Fireball 2

Russian meteor may have gangmates in tow

Russian Meteor
The Chelyabinsk meteor caused a fireball in the sky over Russia in February.

The house-sized rock that exploded spectacularly in the skies near Chelyabinsk, Russia, in February may have been a member of a gang of asteroids that still poses a threat to Earth, a new study says. The evidence is circumstantial, but future observations could help to settle the question.

On 15 February, an 11,000-tonne space rock slammed into the atmosphere above Russia, producing the most powerful impact since the Tunguska explosion in 1908 - which may also have been caused by an asteroid - and generating a shock wave that damaged buildings and injured more than 1,000 people. The 18-metre-wide object could not be seen as it approached the planet because it was obscured by the Sun's glare, but observations made while it was in the atmosphere have enabled several groups of researchers to estimate its orbit2.

However, the estimates varied so much that there was no clear orbit that researchers could use to hunt for sibling asteroids on a similar path, say Carlos and Raúl de la Fuente Marcos, orbital dynamicist brothers at the Complutense University of Madrid.

They decided to tackle the problem with brute computational force, running simulations of billions of possible orbits to find the ones most likely to have led to a collision. They then used the average of the ten best orbits to search a NASA asteroid catalogue for known objects on similar paths. They found about 20, ranging in size from 5 to 200 metres across, they report in an article to be published in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society: Letters1.