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Sun, 21 Jul 2019
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Bizarro Earth

Mysterious booms reported in the Tucson, Arizona area

Msyterious booms in Tuson,  AZ
Something is shaking the southwest and it's been baffling southern Arizona residents for years.

The latest struck this morning, Tuesday, Feb 5, at 8:39 a.m. I felt it myself on the northwest side of town not far from Ina and I-10. I posted it on Facebook and the responses were immediate.

Faye DeHoff wrote, "first it was a major rattle...like a huge truck about to plow into my home...then the boom..that shook my windows...I was sure some of them were broken but they didn't...my dog jumped up! I'm at River & Campbell."

Ray C. Merrill wrote, "Oracle and Roger, it was shaking pretty good, and long enough for me to watch the blinds dance around, then get up and walk to the doorway, and it was still shaking."

There was a similar sensation last week on Thursday, Jan 31 at 8:51 a.m. The same phenomenon; a rumble causing homes to shake and windows to rattle. I felt this one too on the northwest side and once again, so did so many others on Facebook all across Tucson and surrounding areas.

Comment: On February 6th, KVOA provided an update to the story. They spoke with Susan Beck from the University of Arizona's Department of Geosciences. The interview and a summary of her comments are below:
It doesn't look like anyhing from the ground though, I don't think anyone would feel it, My guess is that it was an atmosphereric disturance of some sort - a sonic boom or an airplane flying that shakes things...


What could go wrong? - NASA and ESA team to knock asteroid out of orbit to test Earth defense system

Asteroid Break up
© News Bangla
You know what? We're going to spare you the "Armageddon" reference that we had planned and just jump straight to the lede on this one.

NASA has teamed up with the European Space Agency (ESA) to in what many are calling the first planetary defense test: an attempt to alter the orbit of an asteroid. The much-beleaguered Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART), which we first reported on in 2015, involves a visit to a double asteroid system consisting of the relatively tiny asteroid Didymos and its even tinier moon, informally called "Didymoon." Rather than bringing a nice bottle of wine and an asteroid rover, however, DART will be attempting to crash an impactor spacecraft into Didymoon to knock the asteroid out of orbit, assuming, of course, that Elon Musk's Tesla doesn't get there first.

Once the space rocks are sent hurtling out of control to become some other planet's problem, ESA's part of the project, dubbed Hera, will follow-up with a visit to the Didymoon to survey the effects of the DART spacecraft's impact and assess the feasibility and efficacy of redirection.


Home surveillance camera captures mysterious boom in New Orleans, Louisiana

Mystery boom in LA
The mystery surrounding the strange explosion-like sounds heard by residents in the metro area continues to grow. Late Monday night, several were heard in Lakeview, one of which was caught on camera by Eyewitness News.

A story that began in Mid-City, has taken crews to Harahan, River Ridge and Wagaman. Now we go to Lakeview, where late Monday night, the mysterious 'booms' were heard again.

"Loud boom, woke up startled, I thought a train car exploded," said Mariah Sandoval.

The surveillance video shows a flash of light, followed by the loud bang.

"If it was some kind of transformer, you would think Entergy would be out here," said Sandoval.

Fireball 2

Amazing meteor fireball over the Mediterranean Sea on 6th Feb

Fireball - stock image
This stunning meteor was recorded over the Mediterranean Sea on 2019 February 6 at 1:33 local time (equivalent to 0:33 universal time). It was generated by a rock from an asteroid that hit the atmosphere at about 72,000 km/h. It began over at an altitude of about116 km over the sea, and ended at a height of around 58 km. The event was brighter than the Full Moon.

The event was recorded in the framework of the SMART project (University of Huelva), operated by the Southwestern Europe Meteor Network (SWEMN), from the meteor-observing stations located at La Hita (Toledo), Calar Alto (Almeria), La Sagra (Granada), Sierra Nevada (Granada) and Sevilla.


Mysterious booms rock two counties in eastern North Carolina

Mysterious booms in eastern NC
© CBS17
It rattles windows and wakes people up at night. Neighbors along the Wake and Franklin counties line contacted CBS 17 saying they've been hearing loud blasts late at night or early in the morning.

"It almost felt like an earthquake," Elizabeth Elliott said.

Neighbors have been taking to Facebook and Nextdoor to write about the loud booming sounds or blasts.

One said they lost power briefly, another said their lights flickered.

Neighbors said they thought the blasts could be coming from a North Carolina Department of Transportation project, widening 401.

Fireball 3

Meteor fireball flies over Arizona, California, Nevada and New Mexico

Fireball over Arizona, California, Nevada and New Mexico
© YouTube/AMS/T. Harkins
The American Meteor Society posted two videos of a fireball flying over southern California. The meteor was also reportedly seen in Arizona, Nevada and New Mexico.

The first clip was recorded in Corona, California; the second in Pasadena, California:

Fireball 2

Meteor fireball seen over England, Northern Ireland and Scotland

Fireball over England, Northern Ireland and Scotland
© YouTube/AMS/D. Morton
On January 30, 2019, the American Meteor Society published footage of a fireball event on their YouTube channel. The meteor was reportedly seen over England, Northern Ireland and Scotland:

Comet 2

Comet Iwamoto fast approaching Earth

Comet C/2018 Y1 (Iwamoto)
© Emilio Lepeley
Emilio Lepeley in Elqui Valley, Vicuna, Chile, caught comet C/2018 Y1 (Iwamoto) – the green fuzzball at bottom center – on February 3, 2019, in the same field of view as the famous Sombrero Galaxy. Thank you, Emilio!
A new celestial visitor - a comet - was discovered by Japanese astronomer Masayuki Iwamoto in late 2018. It'll provide nice opportunities for astrophotographers, as it will pass close to a couple of Messier objects in February 2019. It's a fast-moving comet that will be closest to Earth on February 12, 2019, at around 2:57 p.m. ET (19:57 UTC; translate to your time zone). The celestial visitor will safely pass by Earth at some 28 million miles (45 million km). The comet has been designated C/2018 Y1 (Iwamoto).

This comet is fast! Comet C/2018 Y1 (Iwamoto) is traveling through space at the amazing speed of 147,948 miles per hour (238,099 km/h) or 66 km per second, relative to Earth.

The best nights for observing the comet (with binoculars and small telescopes) should be on February 11 and 12. Preliminary estimates suggest the newly found comet might reach a brightness or magnitude between 7 and 7.8 , which means it should be easily seen with small telescopes and binoculars. It will not be visible to the eye alone.

Comet 2

Oumuamua a debris of disintegrated interstellar comet says latest study

© Universe Today
Since it was first detected hurling through our Solar System, the interstellar object known as 'Oumuamua has been a source of immense scientific interest. Aside from being extrasolar in origin, the fact that it has managed to defy classification time and again has led to some pretty interesting theories. While some have suggested that it is a comet or an asteroid, there has even been the suggestion that it might be an interstellar spacecraft.

However, a recent study may offer a synthesis to all the conflicting data and finally reveal the true nature of 'Oumuamua. The study comes from famed astronomer Dr. Zdenek Sekanina of the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, who suggests that 'Oumuamua is the remnant of an interstellar comet that shattered before making its closest pass to the Sun (perihelion), leaving behind a cigar-shaped rocky fragment.

Having worked with the JPL for almost 40 years - where he specializes in the study of meteors, comets and interstellar dust - Dr. Sekanina is no stranger to celestial objects. In fact, his work includes groundbreaking studies on Halley's comet, the Tunguska event, and the break-up and impact of Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 on Jupiter.

His latest study, titled "1I/'Oumuamua As Debris of Dwarf Interstellar Comet That Disintegrated Before Perihelion", recently appeared online. In it, Sekanina addresses the possibility that the observations that began in October of 2017 by the Panoramic Survey Telescope and Rapid Response System-1 (Pan-STARRS-1) was actually a fragment of the original object that entered our system in early 2017.

Fireball 2

Meteor EXPLODES, shatters windows in Pinar del Río, Cuba - after streaking over Florida Keys

meteorite Cuba
© @rolandoteseSur/Twitter
Meteor spotted over Florida and Cuba
Residents in western Cuba reported on Friday that a small meteorite struck the island, triggering the sounds of a large explosion. No injuries have been reported.

Cubans quickly took to social media, sharing photos and video footage of the aftermath. Some have likened the explosion to the sounds of a plane. Early social media reports also suggested that the sounds might have been caused by a satellite explosion.

Comment: Maybe there's something to this concept of 'February Fireballs'? Earth passes through no particularly significant meteor streams - known ones anyway - in February, and yet we keep getting smacked by big 'uns in this month. Not only that, but Cuba in particular was hit almost 6 years to the day!

Flashback: Meteor explodes above Cuba, shockwave shakes homes - 13 Feb 2013, same day as Chelyabinsk blast in Russia