Near-Earth objects and close calls

Gary

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
A huge fireball lit up night skies over Banggai Regency, Central Sulawesi.
Mar 17, 2021

Meteor in Sulawesi, Indonesia 2021​


A bright meteor has lit up the sky in Sulawesi, Indonesia on 16 March 2021 at 9:20 PM. Videos from the event show a bright fireball streaking across Pagimana District, Banggai Regency, Central Sulawesi lighting the dark sky.

Residents of Gorontalo Province who saw the meteor said that they heard a loud boom sound when the meteor lights up the night sky. Some experts believe that the flying object was a bolide, a very bright meteor.

 

Gary

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
I think what that's showing is the setting up of new observation orgs in recent years (or the setting up by pre-existing orgs of reporting systems like the one the AMS has). It's still interesting data because it shows a major recent uptick in 'official' interest in meteor fireballs.

According to this article published in Nature (published 11th March 2021) there sure has been an uptick in near-Earth asteroid activity over recent years.

Record number of asteroids seen whizzing past Earth in 2020


A 340-metre-wide space rock named Apophis whizzed safely past Earth on 6 March. The next time it returns, in 2029, won't be so uneventful: Apophis will come within 40,000 kilometres of the planet, skimming just above the region where some high-flying satellites orbit. It will be the first time that astronomers will be able to watch such a big asteroid pass so close to us.

Last week's fly-by gave scientists a chance to test the worldwide planetary defence system, in which astronomers quickly assess the chances of an asteroid hitting Earth as they follow its path across the night sky. "It's a fire drill with a real asteroid," says Vishnu Reddy, a planetary scientist at the University of Arizona in Tucson who coordinated the observing campaign.

The Apophis fly-by highlights how much astronomers have learnt about near-Earth asteroids — and how much they still have to learn. Since 1998, when NASA kicked off the biggest search for near-Earth asteroids, scientists have detected more than 25,000 of them. And 2020 turned out to be a record year for discoveries. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic interrupting many of the surveys, astronomers catalogued 2,958 previously unknown near-Earth asteroids over the course of the year (see 'Space rocks').

NASA Center for Near Earth Object Studies graph

Source: NASA Center for Near Earth Object Studies


A large number came from the Catalina Sky Survey, which uses three telescopes in Arizona to hunt for threatening space rocks. Operations closed briefly last spring because of the pandemic, and a wildfire in June caused a longer closure, yet the Catalina survey still discovered 1,548 near-Earth objects. These included a rare 'minimoon' named 2020 CD3, a tiny asteroid less than 3 metres in diameter that had been temporarily captured by Earth's gravity. The minimoon broke away from Earth's pull last April.

Another batch of discoveries last year — 1,152 — came from the Pan-STARRS survey telescopes in Hawaii. The finds included an object named 2020 SO, which turned out to be not an asteroid, but a leftover rocket booster that had been looping around in space since it helped to launch a NASA mission to the Moon in 1966.

Close calls

Some of the asteroids discovered last year came close to Earth — at least 107 of them passed the planet at a distance less than that of the Moon. Last year's close shaves included the tiny asteroid 2020 QG, which skimmed just 2,950 kilometres above the Indian Ocean in August. That made it the closest known approach — a record broken just three months later by another small object, 2020 VT4. That one passed less than 400 kilometres from the planet, and wasn't spotted until 15 hours after it had whizzed by. Had it hit, it would probably have broken apart in Earth's atmosphere.

All of these discoveries are making astronomers more conscious of the billiard-ball nature of the Solar System, where plenty of asteroids ping around in the space near Earth. The recent push to observe Apophis highlights how astronomers around the world can work together to assess the threat posed by asteroids, says Reddy. "It's been a huge international effort," he says, "and a lot of fun." By the time Apophis comes around again, in eight years' time, scientists will have an even more detailed census of threatening space rocks.

Nature 591, 358 (2021)

doi: https://doi.org/10.1038/d41586-021-00641-8


Lest we forget, this was posted on SOTT way back in 2007!

Something Wicked This Way Comes

War, rumors of war, corrupt governments run by psychopaths, phony terrorism, burgeoning police states...but is that all we have to worry about? What if there was something to put it all in context? Or rather, what if there is something else we are missing, something that is beyond the control of even the political and corporate elite; something that is driving them to attempt to herd the global population to an ever finer order of control...

A new sott.net video production:


My emphasis in bold above. Together with increasing signs of an Ice Age upon us, it may explain the global covid-1984 lockdown mania we are witnessing?
 

Niall

Administrator
Administrator
Moderator
FOTCM Member
According to this article published in Nature (published 11th March 2021) there sure has been an uptick in near-Earth asteroid activity over recent years.




Lest we forget, this was posted on SOTT way back in 2007!



My emphasis in bold above. Together with increasing signs of an Ice Age upon us, it may explain the global covid-1984 lockdown mania we are witnessing?
Good man Gary, always on top of 'space weather' on Sott! 👍

That astronomical surveys were hit hard by the lockdowns last year, yet the number of newly discovered asteroids shot to a new high, is surely solid evidence that the number of asteroids in the inner solar system in increasing (and not something that can be attributed to 'increased observation programs').

I've BOWed it:

 

sToRmR1dR

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
- Space Rock Reportedly Hits Cuba, Lights Up Night Sky and Causes Explosions -

From the article:
Hilario Quintana Charlot, an eyewitness in the nearby town of Jamaica, said he was outside when the suspected meteor came down, saying he saw a ball of light in the sky “which lit up everything, and then two or three minutes later, two explosions in a row”.
Maybe the eyewitness speaks about this:

Seaview Gardens, Kingston, Jamaica.
 
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sToRmR1dR

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
Two asteroids will flyby Earth on March 23, 2021.

Posted by Teo Blašković on March 22, 2021


Posted by Teo Blašković on March 22, 2021

 

sToRmR1dR

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
A newly-discovered asteroid made a close approach to Earth on March 20, 2021.

Posted by Teo Blašković on March 24, 2021

 

unkl brws

Jedi Master
From the NASA Meteor Watch FB page -
Bright meteor over the SouthEast last evening around 8:30 PM local
Many eyewitnesses have filed reports with the American Meteor Society (AMS event #1964-2021 – see https://fireball.amsmeteors.org/.../imo_view/event/2021/1964 ) concerning a bright meteor seen over Virginia and North Carolina last night at 8:26 PM Eastern Daylight Time. An analysis of these reports places the first visibility of the fireball at an altitude of 61 miles above the Virginia town of Halifax, moving to the southwest at 91,000 miles per hour. It traveled 83 miles in just over 3 seconds, ablating 44 miles above Greensboro, North Carolina. No videos have surfaced as of this time, despite reports from Kentucky, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, and South and North Carolina. Extensive cloud cover obscured several cameras in the region.
 

Pashalis

Ambassador
Ambassador
FOTCM Member
Next; Data from Japan! Notice that a reliable record only starts in 2007 in this case and as said above, the 2020 data is not published yet.

[...]

We will see how 2020 looks like in a couple of months. Also compare the pattern here with the other data above!

The data from the Japan-Fireball-Network for 2020 has just been published and 2020 was the all-time record year. See below. So we can now say that 2020 was the all-time record year in virtually all departments. I'll update the database and the corresponding post above accordingly.

Here is how it looks now:

15 = Japan Confirmed Meteors (Fireballs).jpg

16 = Japan Current Confirmed Fireballs (02.04.2021).jpg
 
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