By Mike Hankey, American Meteor Society – “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. Below is a table of the events in question.
|AMS ID||UTC DATE AND TIME||ESTIMATED HEADING||STATES WITNESSED|
|1082||2013-05-18 03:47 UTC||South East -> North West||CO|
|1081||2013-05-18 04:26 UTC||South East -> North West||CT, MD, NJ, NY, OH, PA, VA, WV|
|1083||2013-05-19 03:37 UTC||South East -> North West||AR, IL, IN, MI, MO, OH, TN|
|1084||2013-05-19 03:37 UTC||South South East -> North North West||AZ|
Below is a map of the four events, illustrating the common direction of these fireballs.
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.” Source – American Meteor Society.
By Deborah Netburn, Los Angeles Times – “It’s 1.7 miles long. Its surface is covered in a sticky black substance similar to the gunk at the bottom of a barbecue. If it impacted Earth it would probably result in global extinction. Good thing it is just making a flyby.
Asteroid 1998 QE2 will make its closest pass to Earth on May 31 at 1:59 p.m. PDT.
Scientists are not sure where this unusually large space rock, which was discovered 15 years ago, originated from. But the mysterious sooty substance on its surface could indicate it may be the result of a comet that flew too close to the sun, said Amy Mainzer, who tracks near-Earth objects at Jet Propulsion Laboratory in La Cañada Flintridge. It might also have leaked out of the asteroid belt between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter, she said.
We will know more after the asteroid zips closer to Earth and scientists using the Deep Space Network antenna in Goldstone, Calif., and the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico can get a better look at it. Astronomers at both observatories plan to track it closely from May 30 to June 9, according to a JPL release.
At its closest approach the asteroid will still be 3.6 million miles from our planet (about 15 times the distance between the Earth and the moon), but it will be close enough for these powerful radar antennas to see features as small as 12 feet across.” Read more.
On Tuesday, it released the biggest solar flare of 2013 so far, an intense burst associated with a huge eruption of particles.
When these eruptions reach Earth, they can interfere with satellites and communications systems on the ground.
The sunspots that spawned these flares are not directly facing our planet, but some Nasa spacecraft could be in the path of the solar particles.
Increased numbers of flares are expected at the moment because the Sun’s normal 11-year activity cycle is approaching its peak – known as a solar maximum – this year.
Dr Robert Massey, from the UK’s Royal Astronomical Society, told the BBC: “What’s interesting about these events is that you have them in quick succession.
‘It really does say that we’re approaching this 11-year peak. We can’t say exactly when it’s going to happen, you can only work it out retrospectively.’” Read more.
By Tariq Malik, Fox News – “The sun, it seems, is in overdrive. Late Monday night, the sun unleashed its third major solar flare in 24 hours — the biggest and most powerful solar storm of the year, so far.
This latest sun storm erupted Monday (May 13) at 9:11 p.m. EDT (0111 GMT) and registered as an X3.2 solar flare, one of the strongest types of flares the sun can release, space weather officials said. It came on the heels of two other recent X-class solar flares on Sunday night and Monday, all of which were sparked by a highly active sunspot on the sun’s far left side.
Officials at the NOAA Space Weather Prediction Center in Boulder, Colo., appeared amazed at the intense activity from the crackling sunspot.
‘Clearly an extraordinary active region is making its way fully onto the visible disk,’ SWPC officials wrote in a morning update today (May 14). ‘Can it keep up this hectic pace?’
Two of the three recent solar flares have been associated with massive explosions, called coronal mass ejections, which flung super-hot solar material into space at millions of miles per hour. Because the sunspot firing off the flares is not yet facing Earth, the solar eruptions pose no threat to satellites and astronauts in orbit, NASA has said.
‘This marks the 3rd X-class flare in 24 hours,’ officials with NASA’s sun-watching Solar Dynamics Observatory wrote in a statement. ‘Just like the two before this one also happened over the eastern limb of the sun and is not Earth-directed.’
The Solar Dynamics Observatory captured amazing videos of the major solar flares and eruptions.” Read more.
By Tariq Malik, Fox News – “The sun unleashed a colossal Mother’s Day solar flare on Sunday May 12 in what has become the most powerful solar eruption of the year.
The giant solar flare, which registered as one of the largest eruptions the sun can unleash, peaked Sunday night at 10:17 p.m. EDT (0217 GMT) and was captured on camera by NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory. It sparked an hour-long high-frequency radio blackout, according to the Space Weather Prediction Center overseen by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
Sunday’s solar flare registered as an X1.7-class sun eruption — the strongest type of solar flare the sun can fire off, according to the SWPC officials.
When aimed directly at Earth, X-class solar flares can pose a risk to astronauts and satellites in orbit, as well as interfere with communications and GPS signals on the ground. They can also super-charge Earth’s northern lights displays by bombarding the planet with solar particles, triggering awesome aurora light shows.
But Sunday’s solar flare erupted from an active sunspot on the far side of the sun, so it was not directly facing Earth when it unleashed a wave of super-hot plasma called a coronal mass ejection (CME).” Read more.
Fox News – “On Thursday and Friday, skywatchers in parts of Australia and the Pacific region will be treated to a spectacular ‘ring of fire’ solar eclipse, in which the moon blots out all of the sun except for its outer edge.
Here’s what you need to know about this stunning skywatching event, which is also known as an annular solar eclipse.
What is an annular eclipse?
The orbit of the Earth around the sun is an ellipse, not a circle. This means that sometimes Earth is closer to the sun than at others. The same goes for the moon’s orbit around Earth, which is also elliptical rather than circular. [See Spectacular Photos of a 'Ring of Fire' Solar Eclipse]
We are fortunate to live in a time when the sun and the moon are very close to the same apparent size in our sky. This is an illusion of perspective: The moon is small (2,159 miles wide) and close by (238,855 miles away) while the sun is large (865,278 miles wide) and far away (92,955,808 miles).
Notice that the sun is about 400 times larger than the moon in diameter. It is also about 389 times farther away. This explains why the two appear to be almost the same size in the sky. But ‘almost’ is not exact, which explains why there are different kinds of solar eclipses — partial and total…
On May 10, the moon will appear to be 30 arcminutes in diameter, since it is only a few days away from its farthest retreat from Earth, which occurs on May 13. A 30-arcminute moon doesn’t quite cover a 32-arcminute sun, so the sun peeks out as a ring all around the moon. ‘Annular’ is Latin for ‘ring,’ so the resulting event is called an annular eclipse. [How to Safely Observe the Sun (Infographic)]
Astronomers tend not to get as excited about an annular eclipse as they do about a total eclipse. Because the moon doesn’t cover the sun completely, you don’t see the prominences and outer solar atmosphere, which are the most exciting parts of a total eclipse.” Read more.
Revelation 6:1, “And I saw when the Lamb opened one of the seals, and I heard, as it were the noise of thunder, one of the four beasts saying, Come and see…”
Were John’s apocalyptic snapshots and descriptions of the “Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse” in the Book of Revelation pointing to events that would only take place nearly 2000 years after the visions were first revealed? All too often, many of today’s Christian teachers and Bible prophecy experts have repeated the belief that the entirety of the Book of Revelation, with the exception of the first three chapters, are to be understood in futuristic terms only. I have done this myself in the past. Whether it be the Seven Seals or the Seven Trumpets or the Seven Bowls of wrath, everything contained therein and described by John from Revelation 4:1 onward must be treated as little more than a description of apocalyptic earth-shattering events that we, as Christians, will never witness taking place upon the world in which we live, events that can only begin to come to fruition after an imminent rapture has suddenly removed all followers of Christ from the face of the earth to deliver them from the impending wrath of God and the last-days Beast of Revelation. If we take the time to engage in a careful examination of the text, however, we may begin to see that some of the events often understood as yet to come, are events that are already taking place today.
An Overview Of History: The Islamic Beast Of Revelation – The Past And The Present
After careful study, I have come to the conclusion that, judging from the description of events and their sequence provided for us in Scripture, the “Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse” described in the first four Seals of Revelation 6 are four separate Read more…
By Dr. Tony Phillips, Clarksville Online – “Washington, D.C. – Anticipation is building as Comet ISON plunges into the inner solar system for a close encounter with the sun in November 2013. Blasted at point-blank range by solar radiation, the sungrazer will likely become one of the finest comets in many years.
When NASA’s Swift spacecraft observed the comet in January 2013, it was still near the orbit of Jupiter, but already very active. More than 112,000 pounds of dust were spewing from the comet’s nucleus every minute.
It turns out, some of that dust might end up on Earth.
Veteran meteor researcher Paul Wiegert of the University of Western Ontario has been using a computer to model the trajectory of dust ejected by Comet ISON, and his findings suggest that an unusual meteor shower could be in the offing.
‘For several days around January 12th, 2014, Earth will pass through a stream of fine-grained debris from Comet ISON,’ says Wiegert. ‘The resulting shower could have some interesting properties.
According to Wiegert’s computer models, the debris stream is populated with extremely tiny grains of dust, no more than a few microns wide, pushed toward Earth by the gentle radiation pressure of the sun. They will be hitting at a speed of 56 km/s or 125,000 mph. Because the particles are so small, Earth’s upper atmosphere will rapidly slow them to a stop.
‘Instead of burning up in a flash of light, they will drift gently down to the Earth below,’ he says.
Don’t expect to notice. The invisible rain of comet dust, if it occurs, would be very slow. It can take months or even years for fine dust to settle out of the high atmosphere.
While the dust is ‘up there,’ it could produce noctilucent clouds (NLCs).
NLCs are icy clouds that glow electric-blue as they float more than 80 km above Earth’s poles.” Read more.
Larry Beck, of Williams Court in Wolcott, called police at 10:20 a.m. on Saturday and said a rock crashed through the roof of his house on Friday night and damaged the roof and copper piping, and cracked the ceiling in his kitchen.
‘All the sheet rock had broken apart and it was on the floor,’ Beck said.
That was around the time that people from several towns along the shoreline called police and reported a loud boom that rattled windows.
Beck told police that he’d heard a loud crash and thought that a joist or rafter had broken.
When he checked the attic on Saturday morning, he found a hole in his roof, damage to the pipes and rock broke in half in the attic, police said.
‘As I’m crawling across, I say ‘honey, I can see some daylight coming through the roof,’ Beck said.
At first, police thought the rock was a broken piece of airport runway concrete that had dropped from a plane when landing gear was being lowered, because Beck said that there is a lot of overhead airline traffic at all and Bradley Airport and Oxford Airports are nearby, police said.
Officials contacted the New England Regional Office of the Federal Aviation Administration and arrangements were made to have someone from the FAA view the rock.
Beck also contacted a local meteorolgist about the rock that crashed through his roof. John Bagioni, who owns Fax-Alert Weather Service, LLC in Burlington, immediately thought the rock might be a meteorite. The description of the rock, coupled with reports of a loud boom across the state around the time the rock struck the home, lead Bagioni to his conclusion.” Read more.
By Dan Vergano, USA Today – “A comet headed for a starring role in the nighttime sky later this year has gotten a sneak peek from NASA’s Hubble space telescope.
Too dim to see with the naked eye for now, Comet ISON may bloom brighter than the full moon in November, according to the space agency. But this early view from the Hubble telescope offers a glimpse of the comet ahead of schedule.
About as far from the sun as the planet Jupiter, the comet is now headed toward the sun at 47,000 mph, its 3- to 4-mile-wide core heated by the sun to produce a tail. When it returns from its zip around the sun later this year, it will be much brighter in the nighttime sky, perhaps earning a ‘comet of the century’ title, the space agency suggests.” Source – USA Today.
The fireball lit up the night in north and central Argentina at about 3:30 a.m. local time, according to accounts from Argentine news outlets. ‘The sky lit up completely for a couple of seconds and interrupted the calm in this area of Argentina,’ BarrioOeste.com reported. Witnesses in Catamarca, Tucuman and Santiago del Estero reported sightings.
Twitter users were buzzing over the fireball: A widely shared amateur video showed the green streak and flash in the background of a concert setting. Britain’s ITV network reported that the footage was captured in Salta as the folk music band Los Tekis performed at an outdoor venue.” Read more.
Brilliant Ball Of Fire ‘So Bright It Could Be Seen Across The Entire Country’ Lights Up Skies Above Spain
RT – “A brilliant ball of flame streaked across the sky above the Spanish capital Madrid, dazzling stargazers and astronomers alike. The celestial display was so bright it could be seen across the entire country.
The eye-popping moment was caught on camera by the Hita Observatory at the University of Huelva at around 11:45pm local time (2145 GMT). The object struck the atmosphere above the Villamuelas district in the province of Toledo, southwest of Madrid.
‘The impact was so abrupt that the object immediately caught fire, creating a ball of flame around 100 kilometers above the Earth,’ Jose Maria Madiedo of the University of Huelva told the Huffington Post. The meteor then shot towards Madrid at over 75,000 kilometers an hour before disintegrating completely at an altitude of 70 kilometers.
The Spanish Institution for the Study of Meteors and Meteorites, which tracked the fireball, classified the meteorite as a piece of a comet that was flying by Earth.
The explosion on impact was so bright that it could be viewed as far away as the southern Spanish cities of Seville, Granada and Murcia.
‘I was looking up at the sky when there was a flash that in a matter of seconds began to grow,’ astronomer Leonor Ana Hernandez said to the Huffington Post. ‘When the explosion happened, everything around us turned white for a few seconds,’ and several green and blue followed the initial explosion, she added.
The explosion as the fireball entered the atmosphere sparked comparisons with the 500-kiloton explosion caused by the meteorite that fell over the Russian city of Chelyabinsk in February.” Read more.