Welcome to Sott.net
Tue, 21 Aug 2018
The World for People who Think


Fireball 4

White ball with green halo over France

green fireball
© Yang Sutie
question asked on 22-03-2018 by Kodiak, de Gujan mestras

Good evening. This evening Wednesday 21st March around midnight 15, I saw a white ball with a green halo falling vertically above my neighbour's house in Gujan Mestras in Gironde. It didn't look like a shooting star that I've seen several times. Thank you for your explanations


Mysterious rumble shakes homes in San Diego, California

Mystery boom in San Diego, CA
© NBC News
Several residents in San Diego County reported witnessing a strong rumble that shook their homes Monday morning.

NBC 7 first heard calls from locals wondering what it could be just after 9 a.m. Other San Diego County residents have written on the NBC 7 Facebook page that they also noticed the strange occurrence.

"My front door started rattling with no discernible wind," commented Pilar Shepard. "I thought maybe we'd had a small earthquake."


Scholz's star disturbed prehistory solar system comets

Scholz's Star
© José A. Peñas/SINC
At a time when modern humans were beginning to leave Africa and the Neanderthals were living on our planet, Scholz's star approached less than a light-year.
About 70,000 years ago, during human occupation of the planet, a small, reddish star approached our solar system and gravitationally disturbed comets and asteroids. Astronomers from the Complutense University of Madrid and the University of Cambridge have verified that the movement of some of these objects is still marked by that stellar encounter.

At a time when modern humans were beginning to leave Africa and the Neanderthals still thrived, Scholz's star-named after the German astronomer who discovered it-approached less than a light-year from the sun. Today, it is almost 20 light-years away, but 70,000 years ago, it entered the Oort cloud, a reservoir of trans-Neptunian objects located at the confines of the solar system.

This discovery was made public in 2015 by a team of astronomers led by Professor Eric Mamajek of the University of Rochester (USA). The details of that stellar flyby, the closest documented so far, were presented in The Astrophysical Journal Letters.

Now, two astronomers from the Complutense University of Madrid, the brothers Carlos and Raúl de la Fuente Marcos, together with the researcher Sverre J. Aarseth of the University of Cambridge (United Kingdom), have analyzed for the first time nearly 340 solar system objects with hyperbolic orbits (very open V-shaped, rather than elliptical) They have concluded that the trajectories of some of these were influenced by the passage of Scholz's star.

Comet 2

New Comet: C/2018 E1 (ATLAS)

CBET nr. 4494, issued on 2018, March 16, announces the discovery of an apparently asteroidal object (magnitude ~17) in the course of the "Asteroid Terrestrial-impact Last Alert System" (ATLAS) search program on CCD images obtained with a 0.5-m f/2 Schmidt reflector at Haleakala, Hawaii. Posted on the Minor Planet Center's PCCP webpage, it has been reported as showing cometary activity by CCD astrometrists elsewhere. The new comet has been designated C/2018 E1 (ATLAS).

I performed follow-up measurements of this object, while it was still on the PCCP webpage. Stacking of 5 unfiltered exposures, 60 seconds each, obtained remotely on 2018, March 12.4 from Q62 (iTelescope network) through a 0.70-m f/6.6 reflector + CCD, shows that this object is a comet with a diffuse coma about 5 arcsec in diameter. The FWHM of this object was measured about 20% wider than that of nearby field stars of similar brightness.

My confirmation image (click on it for a bigger version)
Comet C/2018 E1 Atlas
© Remanzacco Blogspot
"Pre-discovery" Panstarrs observations (2015 & 2016) were identified by R. Weryk. M.P.E.C. 2018-F10 assigns the following elliptical orbital elements to comet C/2018 E1: T 2018 Apr. 17.3; e= 0.95; Peri. = 299.47; q = 2.70; Incl.= 72.48


Scientists in Russia testing lasers to blow up deadly asteroids

© Pixabay
Remember last week, when we learned that NASA has official plans to blow up deadly asteroids with nuclear bombs? Well, we've got more good news: Russian scientists from ROSATOM (aka, the Rosatom State Nuclear Energy Corporation) and MIPT (the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology) have been building tiny, scale-model asteroids and blowing them up with lasers in order to figure out how to destroy real-life asteroids. They've even figured out how much energy we'd need to demolish a 200-meter wide, non-metallic asteroid: the equivalent of about 3 megatons of TNT.

The experiments are based on miniature asteroids about 8 to 10 millimeters wide that have been carefully manufactured to reflect the density, rigidity and shape of real asteroids-even the chemical compositions and porosity are realistic. To reflect the diversity of asteroid shapes, spherical, ellipsoidal, and cubical models were created, too. From there, the scientists shot them with a laser and measured the effects, including how much energy per gram of mass was needed to destroy the model. One of the more interesting discoveries they made was that asteroids have weak points-targeting a cavity on a model asteroid required less energy for the whole thing to blow up, meaning that if we ever want to blow an asteroid out of the sky, we'd probably target the cavities.

Fireball 2

Fragmenting meteor fireball observed over Tucumán, Argentina (VIDEOS)

Argentina meteor fireball
© YouTube/Noticias Formosa (screen capture)
On 9th March 2018 at 02.30 thousands of people in Tucumán, a small province in northwest Argentina, witnessed a fragmenting meteor fireball overhead according to La Gaceta Tucumán.

The phenomenon was captured on video.

Fireball 2

Meteor fireball reported in the sky over Western Washington - UPDATE


File photo
Numerous people along the Washington coast and as far inland as Montesano on Wednesday night reported a loud boom and a flash in the sky, Grays Harbor Emergency Management said.

"Some report their home shaking," the agency said.

"Grays Harbor Emergency Management has contacted the National Weather Service in Seattle about our incident and was told we were not having a severe weather event at the time of the reported ground shaking, loud boom and flash of light in the sky," the agency said.

"The WA State Duty Officer contacted the FAA and the Western Air Defense Sector and was told they had no problems. There was NO earthquake. There are no reports of explosions or crashes on the ground. We will continue our investigation of the incident and will forward any information we receive."

Comment: Dr. Marc Fries with the NASA Johnson Space Center reports this particular bolide was the size of a minivan and one of the largest in 20 years.
This was one of the largest bolides produced in the past 20 years, Fries said. It came into the atmosphere as one rock, roughly the size of a minivan. Made up of rock and ice, it quickly broke down into smaller pieces, with the largest pieces - about the size of a brick - hitting the ocean.
Update - 15 March, 2018:

KGW8 reports:
The meteor explosion off Washington's coast shortly after 7 p.m. on Wednesday, March 7 is considered the biggest over the continental U.S. in nearly two decades, according to the American Meteor Society.

A Doppler radar image from Marc Fries with NASA and NOAA, shows the giant dust cloud as the bolide meteor exploded 20 miles off the coast.

Each level is another radar sweep, and Mike Hankey with the American Meteor Society said via email it likely dropped hundreds, if not thousands, of meteorites.

While meteor and space fans have expressed disappointment that there are no meteors to find on the ground. The last explosion in this size range was on March 26, 2003, when a bolide meteor exploded over a southern Chicago suburb of Park Forest, Illinois, damaging homes and cars. There were no reported injuries or fatalities.

WA bolide doppler image
© Marc Fries NASA/NOAA
A doppler radar image shows the giant dust cloud as the bolide meteor exploded 20 miles off the coast.

Fireball 3

Bolide? Mysterious loud boom shakes Oklahoma, locals report green and orange flashes

A meteor shower
© Navesh Chitrakar / Reuters
FILE PHOTO: A meteor shower
Residents across Oklahoma and Texas were jostled from their daily routines after hearing a loud boom Tuesday afternoon. Many were left scratching their heads and watching the skies for the source of the explosive phenomenon.

While the US Geological Survey has not reported any earthquakes in the region, the National Weather Services in Norman, Oklahoma has said it is possible that the deafening boom was the result of "a 'bolide' or the breaking up of a meteor."

A flurry of baffled residents shared their comments online, trying to make sense of the afternoon shocker. One nearby resident offered his account of the mysterious heavenly "green light" he spotted that afternoon.

"Meteor flew over Oklahoma City today at about 16:20, with a sonic boom and some shaking in nearby Norman! Was beautiful green and orange streak in the daylight," he tweeted.

Comment: See also: BOOM! Mysterious blasts rattling the skies are on the increase around the world - UPDATE at least 64 documented events (VIDEO) and Michigan Meteor Event: Fireball Numbers Increased Again in 2017

Fireball 2

Spectacular meteor fireball spotted over New Zealand

© iStock
Dairy farmer Brent White says the meteor he saw on early Saturday morning was "spectacular".
A Manawatu farmer has discovered the importance of carrying a cellphone after he saw a spectacular fiery meteor display but couldn't get a photo.

Dairy farmer Brent White saw the "spectacular" meteorite fly right in front of him at around 4:30am on Saturday when he was bringing cows into the dairy shed.

"I'm hoping someone else saw it... I didn't have my phone on me unfortunately."

Mr White says he ran back to the shed to see if the milk tankers at the shed had seen the meteor, but they were busy working and missed it.

"It was spectacular. It was surreal. It was such a clear morning... and all of a sudden at about 4:35, out of my left eye I saw a bright light.

"It was definitely a meteor; it was a ball-like formation with a vortex."

Fireball 3

Dazzling meteor fireball turns night into day over Russian Urals (VIDEOS)

Meteor fireball over Russian Urals
© Ivan Abilev / YouTube
Residents of the Russian Urals have reported a colorful fireball lighting up the night sky before hearing loud booms. The meteor is said to have emitted red, yellow and orange light as it was falling.

The glowing object was clearly visible from the city of Ekaterinburg in the Sverdlovsk region, as well as near-by towns and communities on Tuesday night, local media reported.

Several videos now being shared online show a bright flash, followed by a brief moment of daylight. "I thought it was a star, but it wasn't! As it fell it glowed red and yellow, and behind it there was a small trail that glittered from lilac to red, yellow and orange," eyewitness Aleksandr Bortstev said in describing the dazzling phenomenon to local news website E1. He said the flash lasted for about 6 or 7 seconds. Some witnesses claimed that they heard what sounded like explosions.

Comment: The other meteor fireball within the past week over the Russian Urals is reported here: Fast moving meteor fireball captured on dashcam over Russian city A few weeks ago another meteor fireball was filmed over Ekaterinburg, Russia.

It was recently the fifth anniversary of the Chelyabinsk meteor which NASA Planetary Defense Officer Lindley Johnson referred to as "a cosmic wake-up call." See: Five Years after the Chelyabinsk Meteor: NASA's efforts in planetary defense.

Recently NASA created a 'Planetary Defense Coordination Office' with a view to track meteors headed toward Earth, and "redirect" potentially dangerous asteroids as part of a long-term planetary defense goal.

However, asteroid 'redirection' or 'deflection' remains just theoretical. A more accurate way of looking at it is that NASA is funding deflection and redirection of the topic of space threats by 'getting the message out' that 'everything is just fine'.

As Fireball Numbers Increased Again in 2017 it is well worth remembering what can come out of the sky, without any warning at all: