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Fri, 25 May 2018
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Fireballs

Fireball

Incoming: Massive house-sized asteroid will fly close to Earth next week

Asteroid
© YouTube
Unlike that false alarm in Hawaii, this potentially cataclysmic piece of news is real: an asteroid between 22 and 68 meters in diameter is going to swing past Earth on January 23 at around 12,300 miles an hour (around Mach 16). It's going to come within 1.1 million miles of Earth, but it's unclear whether its trajectory will cause it to hit Earth or fly past harmlessly.

The asteroid, named 2018 AJ, is just one of several asteroids that have suddenly popped up on NASA's radar without warning-the last one was 2017 YD7, which was spotted December 28 and flew past Earth on January 3.

The scary thing about these rocks is that once we spotted them, there's very little we can do to stop them: according to NASA's Planetary Defense Coordination Office, we'd need a few decades of advance warning to deal with an asteroid 100 meters in size or larger. From there, a couple options open up, including knocking the asteroid off course with a "kinetic impactor" or using a "gravity tractor" to change its trajectory.

Fireball 3

Meteor fireball seen over Northland, New Zealand

Fireball - stock image

Fireball - stock image
Residents of a Far North holiday hotspot were treated to a flashy display of space fireworks late last night.

Cable Bay resident Sheryl Day was out on her deck at about 10.45pm when she saw what she described as a "large, intense yellow fireball, tinged with green".

"Out of the corner of my eye, I saw something bright, and as I turned, this great thing, almost like a fireball, just whizzed by.

"While Day frequently sees meteors when gazing at the night sky, these were typically distant and fleeting.

But this object, she said, seemed much closer as it "wooshed down and then just disappeared".

Comet 2

Dynamic space: Rotation of Comet 41P makes inexplicably slows down

Comet 41P
© Chris Schur/Schurs Astrophotography
Comet 41P/Tuttle-Giacobini-Kresák glides beneath the galaxy NGC 3198 on March 14, 2017, two weeks before the object's closest approach to Earth.
National Harbor, Md. - A small comet broke a rotation-speed record in a big way: New work reveals that an icy rock known as 41P dramatically slowed its spin at an unprecedented rate in 2017, spinning down at about 10 times the pace of the next-ranked comet.

This comet, whose full name is 41P/Tuttle-Giacobini-Kresák, experienced "the largest but also the fastest change that has ever been seen in a comet rotation," said Dennis Bodewits, an associate research scientist at the University of Maryland (UMD) in College Park.

Bodewits presented his team's findings Wednesday (Jan. 10) during a press conference held here at the 231st meeting of the American Astronomical Society.

Comment: What could have acted on it? It need not have been something it came close to. And they used to say space was 'stable'...


Fireball 3

Astronomer attributes flash of light, sonic boom in Dallas/Ft. Worth neighborhood to exploding meteorite

Flash of light and boom in DFW, Texas
© YouTube/CBS DFW
A mysterious "boom" rattled a North Texas neighborhood and residents have no idea what exactly it was or what it could mean.

Residents in North Oak Cliff said they heard an explosive noise around 8:34 p.m. on Wednesday night. Some reported seeing a flash first, then the load noise.

Resident Isaac Martinez managed to capture a short video of the event from his security cameras.

"Out of nowhere, just this pow!" said Phillip Washington, who heard the noise from his Kings Highway apartment. "Just this huge explosion."

Washington was one of many who reported hearing the noise.


Fireball 4

'Green comet' spotted in Dubai skies

Dubai UAE skies
© Rustam Azmi/Getty Images
What was the "green comet" that graced the skies over Dubai last night? Image for illustrative purposes.
Confusion abounds over a strange light seen flashing through the Dubai sky on Sunday night.

UAE residents took to social media at around 7pm, asking the public for clues on what some have dubbed a "green comet", and others called a "low-flying flare" or firework.
Anyone see a green light flashing over Dubai / Abu Dhabi. Did you see anything?
- Emma Brain (@EmmaPinkyB) January 7, 2018
Erwin Viado was stuck in slow moving traffic in Al Wasl when his colleague pointed out the object in the sky.

Fireball 2

Very bright bolide turns night into day over vast area of Russia

Bolide lights up sky over Russia January 2018
© The Siberian Times
A mysterious bright flash turned night into day over a huge area of Russia. This was the scene in the region of Tatarstan as the sky turned blue in the middle of the night.
According to The Siberian Times a very bright flash turned night into day over vast swathes of Russia on January 7, 2018 around 00:22 local time. The phenomenon, which was seen over thousands of kilometers, was accompanied by a ground-shaking explosion and occurred near the Ural Mountains and the three republics of Bashkortostan, Udmurtia, and Tatarstan.

Ilnaz Shaykhraziev said:
'I saw the flash, while in Menzelinsk. There was also the sound of an explosion and then a vibration, I felt it.'
Another witness, Denis Rozenfeld, said:
'A meteor burned out, not reaching the lower layers of the atmosphere. Before this it exploded and split into many small pieces. That is why there was such a sound, which came to us in a few seconds. It's a funny coincidence that such a rare phenomenon for our region has happened right on Christmas.'
An astronomer from Kazan Federal University agreed with this assessment. Dr Sergey Golovkin, of the university's Physics Institute said:
'This was a bolide that burnt in the dense layers of the atmosphere which is why it was seen over such a big territory. We didn't register the flash because there was strong blizzard on this night.'

Fireball 4

Bright green meteor fireball startles viewers in northeastern Pennsylvania

Fireball - stock image

Fireball - stock image
This was no early New Year's firework.

Four months after a spectacular fireball was seen over Northeast Pennsylvania and witnessed by people attending a home football game at Wallenpaupack Area High School, another was seen on December 29th, over Lake Wallenpaupack.

Fireballs are extraordinarily bright examples of meteors, still commonly referred to as "shooting stars." Actually small bits of rock and often left over debris from a comet, meteors become visible when they are captured by Earth's gravity, and they vaporize high in the atmosphere.

Typically seen 40 to 60 miles above the ground, this fireball was by no means limited in view from the northern Poconos.

Comment: Just three days before, another fireball was seen over the Northeast U.S. and as far away as Montreal, Canada.

Meteor fireball lights up night sky over New England



Fireball 2

Brilliant blue-green meteor fireball lights up sky in Manitoba, northwestern Ontario

Brisbane, Australia fireball (2006)
© Stephen Hughes
Many Manitobans, as well as people in Ontario and several U.S. states, report seeing a blue-green light in the sky, similar to this one seen above Brisbane, Australia, in May 2006.
A brief and brilliant flash of blue-green ignited the dark sky over Manitoba and northwestern Ontario on Wednesday night.

It also lit up social media with people asking on Facebook and Twitter what it was.
Meteor in Manitoba Facebook post
© (Meanwhile in Selkirk/Facebook
"We're starting to get the sense that there was a bright fireball, which is basically the bigger cousin of a shooting star," said Scott Young, manager of the Manitoba Museum's planetarium and science gallery.

Comment: See also: Several reports of a bright flash of light in the skies of North Dakota, Minnesota


Fireball 2

Mysterious blazing object lights up the night sky over Ocaña, Colombia

This is the moment a mysterious fireball (pictured) snaked its way across the night sky

This is the moment a mysterious fireball (pictured) snaked its way across the night sky
This is the moment a mysterious fireball snaked its way across the night sky, sparking fears that the earth is being targeted by alien invaders.

Footage captured by residents in Colombia shows a large ball of light looming overhead for several minutes.

Slowly, the ominous orange glow fades into the distance and eventually disappears.

The strange sighting took place in the town of Ocana in Norte de Santander, Colombia.

Witnesses say the glow faded from view close to the neighbouring town of Aguas Claras.

Many residents captured the bizarre phenomenon and several videos have gone viral across social media.


Fireball 5

Several reports of a bright flash of light in the skies of North Dakota, Minnesota

Meteor flash over northern Minnesota
© Melanie Boe
We're getting several reports of people seeing a bright flash in the sky, and it sparked our interest here at Valley News Live as well.

Our Chief Meteorologist Hutch Johnson says that this is the peak time of the year for the Quadrantid meteor shower, and he believes that could be behind the mysterious flash.

We've gotten reports from north of the Fargo area all the way up to northern Minnesota in the Lake of the Woods area.


Comment: Update: The TwinCities Pioneer Press reports that an officer with the Bemidji, Minnesota Police Department caught a meteor with his dash cam the same day:
In a video posted Thursday afternoon to the Bemidji Police Department's Facebook page, a meteor can be seen on the officer's dash-cam video plummeting towards the Earth's surface before quickly fizzling out. The video was taken Wednesday night.