Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Spectacular fireball over Netherlands this evening not the only one in recent days

It happened near 17:00 UTC today over the Netherlands but was also seen - low in the sky - from Northern Germany: a bright fireball at dusk of which also a dramatic photograph exists. Soon more reports came in, like here, here, here, here, here, here, here and here (the latter with great pics of the smoke trail dispersing): The bolide split in mid-flight into half a dozen fragments, and a trail in the sky remained for many minutes. • There were also bright fireballs over New Mexico on Oct. 9 and Canada on Sep. 25 (a possible meteorite-dropper, also mentioned last time and also here, here, here and here). • Also an update on the Pacific bolide and an unusual bolide report from a soccer fan forum! • An all-too-often quoted prediction for the 2009 Leonids had them peak at a max. ZHR of 500 - but this calculation (never supported by other dust trail theorists) has now been retracted, with a max. ZHR of 200 instead. Still impressive perhaps, but only on a par with e.g. this year's Perseids. • More insights about the asteroid-turned-bolide-turned-meteorites 2008 TC3 have been published (alt., alt., more, more and more). And the impact risk for Apophis is all but gone as discussed in detail here.

In other news the La Sagra Sky Survey - just recently successful for the first time - has discovered its 2nd comet, with perihelion next January. • Recent studies deal with the rotation of the nuclei of comets Tempel 2 and Lulin (also discussed here). • Nice pictures of the tails of Garradd and 217P/LINEAR on Oct. 4. • Of the current morning sky show with various conjunctions of planets nice views of Oct. 13 (Saturn close to Venus) and Oct. 9 (Saturn close to Mercury), plus a Moon/M 45 conjunction on Oct. 7 (also a - controversial - composite attempt). • Meanwhile on Jupiter a dark spot on Sep. 19 (rotating), the surface of Callisto and a mutual event on Oct. 3 (another and yet another report). • Hi-res pics of the Moon. • An analysis and Oct. 3 report on Eps Aur's fade - and TT Ari is fading, too. • Finally Earth weather leaking into space, problems with Pan-STARRS, the sociology of Galaxy Zoo volunteers and a fine ISS in front of moon (not its shadow, of course).