Wednesday, October 8, 2008

QUICK UPDATE: More detections of the predicted bolide - from space and by webcam

There is now a Meteosat image of the airburst over Sudan which "was visible in all 12 of the satellite's spectral channels, covering wavelengths from 0.5 to 14 microns" - and a webcam in Egypt showed how the ground was illuminated by the fairly distant explosion low on the horizon. (A website with screenshots is currently down.) Plus there is a cryptic notice by JPL about direct observations of the airburst that may refer to data from an early warning satellite (those are regularly detecting such bursts but rarely are the actual measurements shown).

The case of 2008 TC3 is now being analyzed widely: What if this had been a bigger body which would have impacted the ground? This blog has already learned of a plan to set up an "official" website where the whole world can be watching how the impact probability ellipse on Earth will shrink and move as more astrometry comes in (and the response by observers this time has been huge). More video clips in sunlight are here, here and here: Some show a variation in brightness that may reveal the state of rotation of 2008 TC3 just hours before its demise.

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