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Bright meteor fireball blazes over Cyprus

Cyprus meteor fireball
© YouTube/AMS event #405-2020 (screen capture)
The American Meteor Society (AMS) has received 121 reports about a meteor fireball seen over Cyprus (Ammochostos, Famagusta, Λάρνακα, Larnaca, Larnaka, Lefkoşa kazası, Limasol, Limassol, Nicosia, North District and Paphos) on Tuesday, January 21st 2020 around 20:08 UT.

Two videos were uploaded to the AMS website:


Info

Yarrabubba is Earth's oldest known impact crater

Yarrabubba Crater
© Google Earth
Evidence that the 70-kilometre wide Yarrabubba crater in outback Western Australia may be the Earth's oldest known meteorite impact structure has been presented in the journal Nature Communications.

Dated at 2.229 billion years, 200 million years older than the next known asteroid strike at Vredefort Dome in South Africa, the impact coincides with the end of a deep freeze known as early Snowball Earth and could have contributed to the ice thawing.

After this time period there are no rock records of large glacial deposits for 400 million years, says lead author Timmons Erickson from NASA Johnson Space Centre, Houston, US.

"Because of this, we were interested in seeing the role that an impact crater could have had during a time of global glaciations and whether an impact could release enough water vapour, a strong greenhouse gas, to significantly warm the planet."

Calculating the impact of the meteorite on an icy continent, they found that it could have sent half a trillion tonnes of water vapour into the atmosphere, thereby contributing to the global ice melt.

This highlights why the timing of "extraterrestrial bombardment" is important, as the authors write, so its effects on the Earth's environment can be understood.

To date, the historical impact record is fragmented, making it hard to understand how meteorites affect the planet - apart from the Chicxulub asteroid that triggered the last mass extinction and could explain the ocean's acidification.

Fireball 5

Meteor fireball filmed over Sarasota, Florida

Did you see the fireball that lit up the Suncoast sky?

Did you see the fireball that lit up the Suncoast sky?
Dozens of people, including ABC7′s Chief Meteorologist Bob Harrigan, saw an apparent meteor last night.

Shortly before midnight on Thursday, January 16, Gail tells ABC7 she saw a huge fireball streak across the sky. She was watching TV, facing her backdoor, when she saw what looked like a comet with a tail going horizontally through the sky. She says, "It was AWESOME!"

ABC7 posted about it on Facebook to see if anyone got video and, as it happens, Jackie Greenough did. When you watch the video, which is timestamped at 11:57pm, you'll see little chaotic streaks - those are bugs flying about - but look in the upper middle of the screen. You'll see the fireball as it moves decisively across the sky. It lasts at least 13 seconds before moving out of frame.

Fireball 5

Hurricanes, earthquakes and now a daytime meteor: Fireball blazes over Puerto Rico in broad daylight

meteor puerto rico
© porlosmares / instagram
The US territory has been jolted by a series of powerful tremors since the beginning of this year. The island has also been recovering from the aftermath of Hurricane Maria that ravaged the territory in 2017.

Citizens of Puerto Rico have taken to social media platforms to share photos and videos of an unusual celestial phenomenon they witnessed on Friday afternoon.

In the media posts, a meteor-like fireball was seen swiftly flashing through a blue cloudless sky before disappearing moments later.
puerto rico meteor
© NOAA
A bright meteor fireball disintegrated in the sky over Puerto Rico on January 17 at 4:30 p.m. EST time Friday. This was the moment it detonated in the atmosphere north of the island

Comment: A "rare" event, eh?...

10 Apr 2019: Bright meteor fireball filmed streaking through Puerto Rico skies
27 Jun 2019: Astronomers spotted a car-size asteroid just hours before it exploded over Puerto Rico
26 Jul 2017: Meteor fireball explodes over Cabo Rojo, Puerto Rico
03 Jun 2016: Bright meteor fireball visible from the entire island of Puerto Rico
03 Apr 2015: Big fireball over Puerto Rico
30 Apr 2014: Meteor fireball blazes over Puerto Rico


Comet 2

New comet discovered by Japanese astronomer

New Comet
© Masayuki Iwamoto
Discovery image taken by Masayuki Iwamoto on 5h 39m JST, Jan. 9, 2020.
A Japanese amateur astronomer has discovered a new comet.

Masayuki Iwamoto of Tokushima Prefecture discovered a new celestial object low in the eastern sky in the dawn on January 9, 2020 (JST) and communicated it to the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan's window for reports of new astronomical objects. On January 13 (UTC), this object was independently discovered by Gennady Borisov in Crimea. Through analysis of confirmation observations by other observers, this object was determined to be a comet.

Fireball

Meteor fireball illuminates night sky in Pozan, Poland

Fireball over Poland
© Panorama Poznan Online/MSN
A bright light, believed to be a meteor, has been captured flashing across the sky in the city of Poznan, Poland:


Video source: Panorama Poznan Online

Fireball 4

'Green flash' seen in Fort Collins, Colorado night sky likely a meteor

Fireball over Ft Collins, CO
© Fort Collins Coloradoan (file photo)
Did you see something unusual streaking across the night sky Friday night?

No, I'm not talking about a drone. At least, I don't think I am.

Regardless, there's no need to have a "let's storm Area 51" moment just yet. Any unusual sightings were likely activity from a Quadrantid meteor shower that peaked late Friday night over Northern Colorado.

Coloradoan reader Krista Vance tipped us off to a bright green ball of light she said she and her 15-year-old daughter Olivia saw streak across the sky while driving north on Taft Hill Road near the Cathy Fromme Prairie area around 9 p.m. Friday.

"It was only visible for two snaps of your fingers, then ... poof ... gone," Vance told the Coloradoan, adding that the sight of the quick green flash gave her goosebumps.

Fireball 4

Meteor fireball spotted over Ottawa - Gatineau, Canada

Fireball over Ottawa-Gatineau
© Sandy MacPherson
Several people say they spotted what's been described as a bright ball of light whizzing across the sky over Ottawa-Gatineau late Sunday night.

Jason Jones and his wife were driving alongside the Gatineau River near Cantley, Que., just north of Gatineau, when they spotted the object.

"The two big things were the diameter and the brightness," Jones said Monday morning. "It was clearly as bright as Venus or the moon ... and instead of a pinpoint of light with a tail, it was a sphere with a tail."

Christopher Cordick was driving northbound along Eagleson Road in Ottawa's west end when he saw what he described as a "very vibrant light in the sky descending rapidly." Cordick said the time was around 10:10 p.m.

Fireball 5

Rooftop cameras capture another meteor fireball over Madison, Wisconsin

Rooftop cameras in Madison, Wis. have captured yet another meteor
Rooftop cameras in Madison, Wis. have captured yet another meteor soaring through the nighttime sky.


Info

Ancient impact crater discovered in Southern Laos

Impact Crater
© Shutterstock
An ancient impact scattered bits of glassy debris from Asia to Antarctica, but the resulting crater has long eluded detection.
About 790,000 years ago, a meteor slammed into Earth with such force that the explosion blanketed about 10% of the planet with shiny black lumps of rocky debris. Known as tektites, these glassy blobs of melted terrestrial rock were strewn from Indochina to eastern Antarctica and from the Indian Ocean to the western Pacific. For more than a century, scientists searched for evidence of the impact that created these pitted blobs.

But the crater's location eluded detection — until now.

Geochemical analysis and local gravity readings told researchers that the crater lay in southern Laos on the Bolaven Plateau; the ancient impact was concealed under a field of cooled volcanic lava spanning nearly 2,000 square miles (5,000 square kilometers), the scientists reported in a new study.

When a meteor hits Earth, terrestrial rocks at the impact site can liquefy from the intense heat and then cool into glassy tektites, according to the Jackson School Museum of Earth History at The University of Texas. Scientists can look at the abundance and locations of tektites to help locate an impact, even if the original crater is eroded or concealed, the study authors wrote.

In this case, there were plenty of tektites — so where was the crater?