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Fri, 25 May 2018
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Fireballs

Fireball 4

Exploding meteorite may have sealed fate of the mammoths

Mammoth
© Alamy
Scientists have claimed an exploding meteorite may have sealed the fate of the woolly mammoth.
Researchers have found evidence that a large meteorite broke apart in the atmosphere around 12,800 years ago at around the time when mammoths died out.

Studying deposits at 18 archaeological sites around the world they found tiny spheres of carbon they say are characteristic of multiple impacts and mid-air explosions from meteorite fragments.

They claim that millions of tonnes of dust and ash thrown would have been thrown into the atmosphere by the event, which would have choked the atmosphere and altered the global climate.

Their findings cast doubt on claims that it was human hunting that was responsible for the demise of large ice age animals like woolly mammoths, woolly rhinos and sabre toothed tigers.

Many scientists now believe that it was a combination of changes in the climate and pressure from human hunting that led to the mass extinction of many of these species.

However, the cause of the abrupt change in the climate between 12,800 and 11,500 years ago, known as the Younger Dryas by geologists, has been a controversial topic.

Cloud Precipitation

Geological upheaval - April 2013


Fireball 4

Four unique fireball events fall over U.S. in 24 hour period - wide range reported

In the last 24 hours the AMS has received confirmed reports about 4 unique fireball events all occurring near 4:00 AM UTC time. The most recent event occurred in Arkansas and Missouri on May 19th near 3:37 UTC. At the same time 3:37 UTC 4 witnesses reported a fireball in Arizona. The distance between these two locations would inhibit witnesses from observing the same fireball from both locations. On May 18th two large fireball meteors were also spotted within an hour of each other, one over the central east coast and another in Colorado. -AMS

Google Earth users can download a KMZ file containing the trajectory estimates for these four events (you must unzip the file before opening in Google Earth). If you witnessed any of these fireball events please fill out an official fireball report.
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Fireball 2

Meteorite narrowly misses man in New Zealand


A Whakamarama man has geologists excited after a meteorite soared into his garage moving buckets and narrowly missing his head.

The man, who does not wish to be named, was in his garage talking with his neighbour last Monday when a meteorite soared past his head.

"It must have missed me by a couple of feet. I thought it was a gun shot."

He didn't hear or see the meteorite, but noticed the buckets were moving in the garage. Together with his friend the pair began searching.

Fireball 5

Huge rock crashes into moon, sparks giant explosion

Moon Impact
© NASA
This artist's illustration shows a meteor crashing into the surface of the moon. Scientists say hundreds of space rocks impact the lunar surface every year.
The moon has a new hole on its surface thanks to a boulder that slammed into it in March, creating the biggest explosion scientists have seen on the moon since they started monitoring it.

The meteorite crashed on March 17, slamming into the lunar surface at a mind-boggling 56,000 mph (90,000 kph) and creating a new crater 65 feet wide (20 meters).

The crash sparked a bright flash of light that would have been visible to anyone looking at the moon at the time with the naked eye, NASA scientists say.

"On March 17, 2013, an object about the size of a small boulder hit the lunar surface in Mare Imbrium," Bill Cooke of NASA's Meteoroid Environment Office said in a statement.

"It exploded in a flash nearly 10 times as bright as anything we've ever seen before."
Moon Impact_1
© NASA
This photo shows the bright flash of the light that resulted from a huge boulder slamming into the moon's surface March 17, 2013.
NASA astronomers have been monitoring the moon for lunar meteor impacts for the past eight years, and haven't seen anything this powerful before.

Scientists didn't see the impact occur in real time. It was only when Ron Suggs, an analyst at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., reviewed a video of the bright moon crash recorded by one of the moon monitoring program's 14-inch telescopes that the event was discovered.

"It jumped right out at me, it was so bright," Suggs said.

Scientists deduced the rock had been roughly 1-foot-wide (between 0.3 to 0.4 meters) and weighted about 88 lbs (40 kg).The explosion it created was as powerful as 5 tons of TNT, NASA scientists said.

When researchers looked back at their records from March, they found that the moon meteor might not have been an isolated event.

Comment: It's rather nice of NASA to just now inform us of this though there were rumors of this event and nothing to attach to it at the time from the MSM. Just for fun, take a peek at the large number of meteor sightings here on the BBM around that same time.


Comet

1998 QE2 asteroid as big as 19 Royal Cruise liners

Nasa scientists are getting excited about seeing the QE2 in the hope it will reveal crucial new insights. But it is not Her Majesty's defunct steam liner which is lying in dock in Dubai which has set stargazers in Houston, Texas, agog. The object is an asteroid flying through space which is as big as 19 of the former royal vessel. It measures 1.7 miles in length.
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1998 QE2 is set to come close to our world when it flys past in its orbit of the sun, on May 31. Scientists will use the Near Earth Object (NEO) event to help plan for an audacious bid to land on a lump of space rock in four years time as part of asteroid defence planning. Nasa scientist Lance Benner said: Whenever an asteroid approaches this closely, it provides an important scientific opportunity to study it in detail to understand its size, shape, rotation, surface features, and what they can tell us about its origin.

"We will also use new radar measurements of the asteroid's distance and velocity to improve our calculation of its orbit and compute its motion farther into the future than we could otherwise." Earth's upcoming brush with an extra-terrestial object should not contain the risk of causing chaos for us on earth, like the Russian meteor earlier this year. 1998 QE2 shall fly past earth 3.6m miles above our heads. A Nasa spokesman claimed there is no connection between the asteroid and the British royal cruise ship.

Cloud Precipitation

Video: Strange weather phenomena for the first days of May 2013


Fireball 5

Asteroid 1998 QE2 to sail past earth

Asteroid 1998 QE2
© NASA/JPL-Caltech
Asteroid 1998 QE2 will get no closer than about 3.6 million miles at time of closest approach on May 31 at 1:59 p.m. Pacific (4:59 p.m. Eastern).
On May 31, 2013, asteroid 1998 QE2 will sail serenely past Earth, getting no closer than about 3.6 million miles (5.8 million kilometers), or about 15 times the distance between Earth and the moon. And while QE2 is not of much interest to those astronomers and scientists on the lookout for hazardous asteroids, it is of interest to those who dabble in radar astronomy and have a 230-foot (70-meter) -- or larger -- radar telescope at their disposal.

"Asteroid 1998 QE2 will be an outstanding radar imaging target at Goldstone and Arecibo and we expect to obtain a series of high-resolution images that could reveal a wealth of surface features," said radar astronomer Lance Benner, the principal investigator for the Goldstone radar observations from NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif. "Whenever an asteroid approaches this closely, it provides an important scientific opportunity to study it in detail to understand its size, shape, rotation, surface features, and what they can tell us about its origin. We will also use new radar measurements of the asteroid's distance and velocity to improve our calculation of its orbit and compute its motion farther into the future than we could otherwise."

The closest approach of the asteroid occurs on May 31 at 1:59 p.m. Pacific (4:59 p.m. Eastern / 20:59 UTC). This is the closest approach the asteroid will make to Earth for at least the next two centuries. Asteroid 1998 QE2 was discovered on Aug. 19, 1998, by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Lincoln Near Earth Asteroid Research (LINEAR) program near Socorro, New Mexico.

Fireball 3

Shooting stars seen in Midland County area, Michigan over the weekend

Residents and Midland County sheriff's deputies reported seeing shooting stars over the weekend.

A media log entry states a Greendale Township resident reported seeing a light in the sky with a tail following it at 10:07 p.m. Saturday. Deputies saw several falling stars throughout the night, the entry states.

One of those sightings was reported by a deputy over his radio at 10:14 p.m. Saturday, and was heard over the scanner.

"I just saw a falling star to the north," he said. A dispatcher teased, "I did not realize you were an astronomer," and the jovial deputy replied that he was "just observant."

According to the American Meteor Society, there were 14 reports of a fireball seen over Michigan and Ohio about 1:30 a.m. Sunday.

One of those reports came from a Gorgia F. in Mount Pleasant, who wrote it "looked like a shooting star, just much bigger and beautiful. It was coming down at an angle and looked as if it was heading down toward Rosebush or Clare."

Thirteen of the reports listed on the website are from Michigan, with the majority made from in Detroit area.

Fireball 3

Meteorite strikes mahangu field in Namibia

Onesi - Thousands of people have flocked to the Omusati Region out of curiosity to view a small piece of meteorite that landed in a mahangu field in the village of Oshika, in Onesi Constituency, yesterday morning.

The incident created fear and panic among villagers who suggested the 'strange object' had something to do with the recent commotion over the 12 South African aircraft that were released after days of grounding at Ondangwa Airport. The aircraft of South African origin were grounded for several days and then sent back to South Africa, because they had no permits to use Namibian airspace.

People who came from all over the five northern regions, including the Kunene Region, flocking to Oshika, expressed fears that the tourists may have had something to do with the 'strange' object that fell in the mahangu field of Andreas Kamafo Ningilenimo.

"Maybe those people who came here with so many aircraft are responsible for this. Maybe that object is poisonous, we are scared, we won't even want to get close to it. If it is not taken away, we will not cultivate near it," said Selma Shikongo.

A piece of meteorite, the of a size of a small ball or two human fists put together made such an impact that people within a radius of over 200km were able to hear the explosive impact, feel the resulting tremor and observe the blinding light that followed as it landed.