Mon, 02 Mar 2009 21:58 UTC
There's no official confirmation yet of anything unusual in the area
but residents east of Fort St. John report seeing something strange
falling from the sky on Saturday afternoon.
Vincent Miller says he saw it, while travelling north on road 239. [Hear audio]
Mr. Miller says it all happened very quickly but it looked like it came down less than five miles away.
However, he's heard no reports of any sitings of debris on the ground.
He puts his farm about 14 miles straight east of Fort St. John, on the north side of the Beatton River.
Small Asteroid Buzzes Earth
Mon, 02 Mar 2009 10:14 UTC
Newly-discovered asteroid 2009 DD45
is about to fly past Earth only 72,000 km (0.000482 AU) away. That's
about twice the height of a typical geostationary communications
satellite. The 30- to 40-meter wide space rock is similar in size to
the Tunguska impactor of
1908, but this time there is no danger of a collision. At closest
approach on March 2nd, around 1340 UT (5:40 am PST), 2009 DD45 will
speed through the constellation Virgo shining as brightly as an 11th
magnitude star. Experienced amateur astronomers can track the asteroid
using this ephemeris.
Update: Using a 14-inch telescope at the
University of Nariño Observatory in Columbia, Alberto Quijano Vodniza
has photographed the asteroid streaking toward Earth thirteen hours
before closest approach: 1 MB movie.
The University of Arizona
Wed, 25 Feb 2009 01:22 UTC
University of Arizona scientists have uncovered a curious case of missing asteroids.
The main asteroid belt is a zone containing millions of rocky objects
between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter. The scientists find that there
ought to be more asteroids there than researchers observe. The missing
asteroids may be evidence of an event that took place about 4 billion
years ago, when the solar system's giant planets migrated to their
UA planetary sciences graduate student David A. Minton and UA
planetary sciences professor Renu Malhotra say missing asteroids is an
important piece of evidence to support an idea that the early solar
system underwent a violent episode of giant planet migration that might
possibly be responsible for a heavy asteroidal bombardment of the inner
The scientists are reporting on their research in an
article, "A record of planet migration in the Main Asteroid Belt," in
the Feb. 26 issue of Nature.
Minton and Malhotra began by looking at the distribution of asteroids
in the main asteroid belt. Astronomers first discovered a series of
gaps in the asteroid belt, now called the Kirkwood gaps, back in the
1860s when only a handful of asteroids were known. The gaps occur at
distinct regions of the asteroid belt where Jupiter's and Saturn's
gravity strongly perturbs and ejects asteroids. The present-day orbits
of Jupiter and Saturn explain why these unstable regions are devoid of
"What we wanted to know was, how much of the structure of the
asteroid belt could be explained simply by the gravitational effects of
the giant planets, as are the Kirkwood gaps," Minton said.
Minton and Malhotra looked at the distribution of all
asteroids with diameters greater than 50 kilometers, or about 30 miles.
All asteroids of this size have been found, giving the UA researchers
an observationally complete set for their study. Also, almost all
asteroids this large have remained intact since the asteroid belt
formed more than 4 billion years ago, a time record spanning all but
the very beginning of solar system history.
"We ran massive sets of simulations with computer planets
where we filled up the asteroid belt region with a uniform distribution
of computer asteroids," Minton said. The scientists then had the
computers simulate the billions of years of solar system history.
Their simulations ultimately ended with far more asteroids
remaining than are actually observed in the asteroid belt. When the
simulated asteroid belt was compared with the actual asteroid belt,
they discovered a peculiar pattern in the differences. The simulated
asteroid belt matched the real asteroid belt quite well on the
sunward-facing sides of the Kirkwood gaps, but the real asteroid belt
seemed to be depleted in asteroids on the Jupiter-facing sides.
"Then we simulated the migration of the giant planets," Minton
said. "The perturbing effects of the migrating planets sculpted our
simulated asteroid belt. After the migration was over, our simulated
asteroid belt looked much more like the observed asteroid belt."
The UA scientists' research was funded by NASA and by the National Science Foundation.
"Our interpretation is that as Jupiter and Saturn migrated,
their orbital resonances swept through the asteroid belt, ejecting many
more asteroids than is possible with the planets in their current
orbits," Malhotra said. "And the particular pattern of missing
asteroids is characteristic of the pattern of Jupiter's and Saturn's
"Our work explains why there are fewer asteroids on the
Jupiter-facing side of the Kirkwood gaps compared to the sun-facing
side," Minton said. "The patterns of depletion are like the footprints
of wandering giant planets preserved in the asteroid belt."
Their results corroborate other lines of evidence indicating
that the giant planets - Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune - formed
in a more tightly compacted configuration, and then Jupiter moved
slightly closer to the sun, while the other giant planets moved farther
apart from each other and farther away from the sun.
Minton and Malhotra say that their result has implications for
how far and how fast the planets migrated early in solar system
history, and the possibility that planet migration perturbed asteroids
that may have contributed to a heavy bombardment of the inner solar
"Our result doesn't directly answer the question of whether
the timing of this can be tied to inner solar system heavy bombardment
- that's open for debate," Minton said. "But what it does say is that
there was an event that destabilized asteroids over a relatively short
period of time.
"All the asteroids being kicked out of the asteroid belt had
to go somewhere," he added. "The implication of this is that when all
those asteroids were getting kicked out of the main belt, they could
have become projectiles impacting the Earth and the moon, Mars, Venus
The Selma News
Tue, 03 Mar 2009 20:29 UTC
Cami Jo Narron
Shortly after 11 a.m. The Selma News office in Kenly heard a big crashing noise that shook the office windows.
Several people in town were seen stepping outside of office buildings to see what happened.
Calls to Selma Town Hall and neighboring towns of Pine Level, and
Micro, and Wilson's Mills showed that they heard the sound too. Police
officers in several towns are checking into the noise which some say could possibly be a sonic boom, but that it had a different sound from other sonic booms they have heard.
A resident 2 miles east of Kenly towards Fremont said it shook the windows of his house.
Johnston County Emergency Services said they had received a couple call but did not know at this time what could have caused it.
If anyone has any information on the sound please contact the News office at 919-965-4343.
Thu, 05 Mar 2009 00:09 UTC
fist-sized meteorite plummeted to Earth somewhere in southern Savo. At
least three cameras captured the bright streak of the space-rock making
its fiery descent over the weekend.
"The meteorite has probably fallen along the border between Kangasniemi
and Hankasalmi," says Arto Oksanen, from the astronomy organisation
The landing site got quite a bit of snow over the weekend, which makes finding and retrieving the meteorite quite difficult.
The rock shot into Earth's atmosphere at 15.4 metres per second, but it slowed down as it approached the ground.
Both the Ursa Astornomical Association and its local affiliate
Jyväskylän Sirius are requesting that witnesses submit accounts or
pictures of the shooting star.
Wed, 04 Mar 2009 00:45 UTC
Santa Ana - As mysteries go, it might not rank up there with "What
happened to Amelia Earhart?" or "Did Oswald act alone?" but a strange
rattling, shaking, and quaking got people in Orange County all shook up
yesterday evening...and we can tell you this much, it wasn't an Elvis
We are used to earthquakes in the Southland, but this was no quake either! Or a sonic boom.
Yikes! What was it?
Well, uh, we still don't know.
Dave Lopez was on the scene to investigate what made the Earth
move yesterday under his feet and everyone's else's -- around 9:15 p.m.
Windows shook, nerves were rattled, dogs barked and everyone
thought, maybe, we were getting ready for the big one. More than 70
calls were logged into 911 by frightened folks thinking someone was
breaking into their homes.
Experts still don't know what caused the shake and the shimmy.
At least, and this is the good thing, the sky did not come tumbling down.
Silicon Valley Mercury News
Wed, 04 Mar 2009 00:52 UTC
Santa Cruz, California - The shaking felt across the Central Coast this
morning was more than the small earthquakes near Tres Pinos and the Los
Altos Hills. Apparently a sonic boom is to blame.
The mysterious door and window rattling felt about 9:15 a.m. across Santa Cruz and Monterey counties wasn't an earthquake, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.
The sonic boom was so powerful that USGS seismometers on the ground picked up the movement.
A magnitude 2.0 earthquake hit about 8:40 a.m. this morning about a
mile from the Los Altos Hills. Then at 11:12 a.m. a 1.7 movement was
measured in a quarry near Portola Valley. The USGS attributed that to a
probable quarry explosion.
"Our best guess is that it was a sonic boom from a jet of the coast of Monterey Bay," said Leslie Gordon with the USGS.
Steve Bauer, a public affairs officer at Vandenberg Air Force
Base says he has no information about any activity off the coast this
"If anything like that had occurred, we would have been notified," Bauer said.
Robert Diller, who lives on Glen Haven Road in Soquel, said he
heard four loud booms this morning, first before 10 a.m. and then again
around noon, two each time in succession.
"They made our windows rattle," Diller said. "It was like a blast, it sounded like a dynamite blast almost."
Diller said he didn't feel the earth move as others have reported.
Emergency dispatchers at the county's communications center
said they too received calls this morning from concerned residents.
They chalked it up to thunder.
A 1.3 magnitude quake hit just outside Tres Pinos at 5:42 a.m. and a 1.6 magnitude at 7:52 a.m. also outside Tres Pinos.
An Aptos woman she felt "what could have been an earthquake or
sonic boom this morning - it shook our sliding glass window, loudly"
about 9:17 a.m.
"It just happened again, twice in quick succession, at about
12:20 p.m.," said Julie Drysdale. "I was outside and heard two loud
booms. My husband said the house shook quickly, like a truck hit it. Not the typical earthquake shaking, much quicker."
Source: Santa Cruz Sentinel
Wed, 04 Mar 2009 01:04 UTC
Some people in eastern Newfoundland reported seeing strange lights in
the sky last night. A man working at St Clare's Hospital saw a bright
white flash that lit up the skyline above St John's. A woman in
Bonavista saw two bright flashes of white and purple. Another woman
driving on the Trans Canada Highway near Clarenville saw a flash of
light that she described as "like a bomb without the boom." Officials
with Environment Canada, the RCMP and even Newfoundland Power were
baffled. Clayton Power says he was working in St John's when he saw a
flash of light around 9pm. Victoria Squires from Carmanville says she
was driving through Lethbridge when something lit up the sky.
A spokesperson with Environment Canada says the
Canadian Lightning Detection Network has a detection rate for the
Avalon area of 70-90%, but if the phenomena was cloud-to-cloud or
in-cloud lightning their detection is only 5%.
Wed, 04 Mar 2009 01:14 UTC
mysterious door and window rattling that thousands of people felt
across Orange County Tuesday night about 9:15 p.m. was likely caused by
a sonic boom produced by a high speed jet, says Bob Dollar, a
seismologist at the U.S. Geological Survey.
And, in an extraordinary odd coincidence, a similar event occurred at 9:15 a.m. today (Wednesday) in Central California. Click here to read story.
"This morning Kate Hutton (of Caltech) reviewed seismograms
from the event last night in Orange County," Dollar said in an email.
"These data are consistent with a sonic event coming onshore near Dana
Point and traveling northward inland.
"The energy traveled across our seismic sensor network
at the velocity of a compressional wave in air rather than the velocity
of a similar wave through the ground, which is""much faster. There was
no S phase.
"Additionally, the felt descriptions (doors & windows
being rattled but no building shaking) is consistent with a
compressional wave such as a sonic but with no shear wave which one
would expect in an earthquake."
The F/A 18 Super Hornet fighter jets used in Southern
California by the Navy and Marines are capable of breaking the sound
barrier and producing a sonic boom felt on the ground. The same thing
happens locally when the space shuttle lands at Edwards Air Force Base.
There are currently no shuttles in flight.
The weirdness of the event was captured by a simple message
from Sherry Jacobs of Cypress who wrote, "I felt strong rattling of my
patio door. I looked outside to check for strong winds and was
surprised to find my wind chimes still."
A reader named Jill added: "I was sitting on my bed watching
tv when my doorknob started rattling. My heart started racing because
I'm home alone with my 1 year old and I didn't know what it was. It was
more nerve-wrecking because besides the sound of the doorknob, I heard
nothing and FELT nothing. I live pretty close to John Wayne airport so
a lot of times when planes go by they rattle my windows and such so I
tend to not notice the rattling anymore. But this was definitely weird
and creeped me out pretty bad!"
Tracy Austin of Huntington Beach emailed to say, "We're fairly
used to a quake every so often, this one was very strange, our whole
house rumbled. Felt like someone was shaking our front door. Our dogs
definitely felt it coming."
Note: Sciencedude is on jury duty in
Santa Ana today. But I have temporary net access and I'm reading your
emails. I am having trouble getting quick, clear info from Camp
Pendleton about Tuesday's high explosives work. We simply don't know if
explosives were going off in the mid-area of the base, behind the
foothills, at the time of the mysterious shaking.
is amazing, isn't it? How, even though it is known, meteorites
exploding in the atmosphere, or crashing into the ocean also makes a
"sonic boom" reverberation and are never mentioned as a cause of these
Is it simply denial or do they know about something else but don't want you to know.
The Mercury News
Fri, 06 Mar 2009 20:49 UTC
Santa Cruz - The search for the cause of the sonic boom, or booms, many
Central Coast residents felt Wednesday morning looks to be a bust.
Thursday, a Federal Aviation Administration official said the
search for the source of the mysterious morning rattle has turned up
"We reviewed all the radar data for flights in the airspace in
Northern California around the time that people reported this boom,"
said Ian Gregor, FAA spokesman for the Western-Pacific Region. "There
were several military aircraft operating but they were slow. None of
these aircraft were going supersonic."
Of course, just because officials can't trace the boom
-- which was reported across the Central Coast and almost exactly 12
hours earlier in Orange County -- doesn't mean people imagined the
shaking around 9:15 a.m. Wednesday. Some reported other booms in the
hours after that.
To create a sonic boom -- shock waves that rock buildings and
produce a thunder-like crack -- a jet must travel faster than the speed
of sound, which is 767 mph.
Gregor said that because air traffic controllers handle so
much traffic it's possible a speeding jet in their midst didn't
register as unusual.
The mystery has spurred its share of conspiracy theories. On
the Sentinel Web site, readers suggested the boom was E.T.'s return, an
intercontinental missile from North Korea or test runs of new, secret
U.S. Navy jets.
"It was a chemtrail weather-modification program jet making rain for you," one poster stated.
A few suggested it was the sound of their retirement accounts crashing.
Orange County residents had similar theories after thousands of
doors and windows across that county rattled and vibrated. Some blamed
jets from nearby Camp Pendleton or suggested a passing asteroid was the source of the shaking, according to an Orange County Register story. The asteroid passed Monday night.
A U.S. Geological Survey spokesman, meanwhile, said Wednesday's shaking
was not caused by an earthquake, though several people called 911 to
report a possible rattler after the boom.
The National Weather Service, meanwhile, said there were no thunderstorms in the region.
Gregor said he doesn't know if they will ever know what caused to boom.
"Obviously something happened, but I don't know," he said.
Comment: It is utterly amazing that even with someone who is a reader of the Orange County Register
mentioning that it could have been an asteroid, none of the government,
military or scientific authorities will "go there." At least not
The fact that THE asteroid went by on Monday does not signify
that there couldn't have been other asteroid/meteors trailing along in
it's wake and it is these that were heard, and felt, exploding in the
atmosphere over the Pacific Ocean.
The fact that one sonic boom was heard on March 4th at 9:15pm and the other on March 5 at 9:15 am
is a little different, but it doesn't negate the fact that these could
have been meteorites exploding in the atmosphere.. There could have
been quite a trail of these things that either burnt up over
uninhabited places or weren't heard.
The strangest fact of all is, as mentioned above, that
government and military and scientific personnel do not want to go
there - at least publicly.
Sat, 07 Mar 2009 08:50 UTC
Dodged the bullet again - or rather, dodged the asteroid. It really is
time for the advanced nations to organize an anti-asteroid defense.
The asteroid - named 2009 DD45
- passed Earth early Monday (2 March 2009) 48,800 miles above Tahiti.
It measured between 69 feet and 154 feet across, about as big as the
one that crashed near Tunguska, Siberia, in 1908 and leveled 830 square
miles of forest. That's a 32-mile wide circle.
Encounters with asteroids are rare, and the bigger the
asteroid, the more rare it is. Most of our planet is open space (70
percent is ocean), so a collision with a small object is unlikely to do
much damage. Small objects explode high in the atmosphere several times
But larger objects can reach the ground. The Planetary
Society, which is beating the drums for an asteroid defense, estimates
that a "Tunguska Event" could cause at least some human casualties
roughly every 300 years. A troubling scenario.
Space-capable nations should agree to maintain suitable
rockets on standby for quick launch against intruders like 2009 DD45.
It wouldn't cost much, and might be one of those rare instances where
we can work with partners, such as Russia, on a mutually beneficial
Comment: Have a look at this footage of 2009 DD45 recorded in Canberra on 2 March 2009
The Journal News
Sun, 08 Mar 2009 19:08 UTC
People in Yonkers, Mount Vernon, Eastchester, Scarsdale, Tuckahoe and
Bronxville heard a loud noise they say sounded like an explosion early
But what the noise was remained a mystery.
Tuckahoe police said several residents called about the loud
noise, but that checks with the Yonkers, Eastchester and Bronxville
departments yielded no answers.
A Mount Vernon man said his clock read 12:34 a.m. when he heard the boom.
Tuckahoe resident Margaret Belles was among those who heard it.
"We don't know what it was," she said. "From my house, you know, it was definitely a loud house-shaker."
The television show Law and Order was filming a car
explosion Friday on Van Cortlandt Park Avenue in Yonkers, according to
entertainment industry Web sites, but how late they were at work was
There was no seismic activity in the region, according to the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory's Web site.
It's possible the noise was a sonic boom, but the Federal
Aviation Administration could not be reached last night. The National
Weather Service said there was no weather condition that would have
caused such a sound.
California had a similar boom mystery two days earlier. Here's the Santa Cruz Sentinel story.
Anyone with information can call The Journal News at 914-694-5077.
The Journal News
Mon, 09 Mar 2009 22:04 UTC
loud boom heard throughout southern Westchester early yesterday morning
might have been a meteor crashing through the atmosphere at thousands
of miles per hour.
What people said sounded like an explosion, thunderclap or a
sonic boom was heard around 12:24 a.m. People from Scarsdale, Mount
Vernon, Yonkers, Tuckahoe, Eastchester and Bronxville contacted The Journal News or police.
Though many people heard the window-rattling boom, solid explanations have been harder to come by.
But Liz Holland, who lives atop a ridge in Mount Kisco, said she
happened to be looking out a south window around 12:30 a.m. and saw on
the horizon a brilliant yellow object streaking through the sky in a
"It was pretty bright," she said. "It wasn't huge, but bigger than a shooting star, like a thick piece of string."
She said she made a wish, and had been telling friends about it since.
Bill Thys of the Rockland Astronomy Club wasn't watching the skies at the time.
"Damnit, I wish I was," he said today, adding that the description sounded like a meteor.
"Yellow's fairly typical," he said of a fireball, with different colors following in the train.
He said there was a very good chance it could account for the sonic boom because, "certainly, it was traveling fast enough."
A sonic boom occurs when a something passes above the speed of
sound - 761 mph. Thys said a meteorite's relative speed hitting Earth's
atmosphere - at that time of night with a tangential trajectory - would
have measured in the thousands of miles per hour.
If you saw anything unusual that night, please call The Journal News at 914... or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Read more about this story tomorrow in The Journal News.
Jorge Fitz-Gibbon and Danielle DeSouza
Tue, 10 Mar 2009 20:06 UTC
A second loud boom may have rattled windows in parts of Rockland County
yesterday - and its origin remains as mysterious as the explosive noise
that blew through southern Westchester County over the weekend.
"It was about 5:15 a.m., and it woke up the whole house," said
Nanuet resident Keith Wallenstein. "The house was shaking. It sounded
like someone had flown an F-16 over the house."
"If it was thunder, it had to be right on the house,"
Wallenstein said. "And I know a bunch of people who heard it within 3
to 4 or 5 miles away. So I don't know if it was thunder."
Spokesmen at several Rockland police departments said they were not aware of any reports of loud booms early Monday morning.
An earlier unexplained "boom" shook homes in parts of southern
Westchester early Saturday. That noise, and the one that reportedly
woke up parts of Rockland yesterday, was unlikely to be an earthquake,
weather pattern, falling space debris or a civilian aircraft, officials
from local, state and federal agencies said yesterday.
"It's against regulations to be in supersonic speed or
subsonic speed that would create the sonic boom," said Jim Peters, a
spokesman for the Federal Aviation Administration. "And the only
aircraft that are really equipped to make a sonic boom or can possibly
make it are military aircraft. And I don't know what military missions,
if any, were flown over the Hudson Valley that would've created that
noise. You're looking for a needle in a haystack."
Officials at Westchester County Airport and Stewart
International Airport said they had no knowledge of aircraft from their
facilities causing the disturbance.
Officials at NASA said yesterday that they had no knowledge of
the boom nor any explanations for it. They referred calls to the U.S.
Air Force Space Command.
Calls to Space Command headquarters in Colorado seeking comment were not returned.
And no U.S. Coast Guard operations in the area could have generated such a loud noise, Petty Officer Barbara Patton said.
Andy Mussoline, a meteorologist with AccuWeather, said
thunderstorms in the Rockland County area early yesterday morning could
be a possible explanation for the reports.
However, Mussoline said, the weather during the earlier Westchester incidents was clear.
According to Lower Hudson Valley police reports and numerous callers to The Journal News,
the earlier loud boom was heard throughout parts of Yonkers,
Eastchester, Bronxville, Tuckahoe and Scarsdale at 12:24 a.m. Saturday.
Police in those communities had no new leads yesterday.
Tuckahoe police said officers went out after the reports came in, but found no obvious cause for the window-rattling noise.
Liz Holland, a Mount Kisco resident, told The Journal News
over the weekend that she saw a bright yellow object streaking through
the sky in a downward arc. Holland said "it wasn't huge, but bigger
than a shooting star."
That prompted speculation that the boom might have been caused by a meteor that sailed over the Lower Hudson Valley.
But Mark Taylor, coordinator of the planetarium at the Hudson River Museum in Yonkers, called the likelihood of it "very rare."
"When people say bigger, they usually mean brighter," Taylor
said. "It is possible that something in the atmosphere can do that, but
it is very rare. But her seeing it moving in a downward arc would be an
optical illusion. You would not be able to see that."
There also have been no confirmed reports of seismic activity over the weekend.
Then yesterday, Wallenstein and two other Rockland readers reported hearing a boom there.
On Wednesday, the Santa Cruz Sentinel also reported a similar noise in California's Central Valley - and another one 12 hours earlier in Orange County, Calif.
Both of the incidents remain unsolved, but officials there have discounted supersonic aircraft as the cause of the noise.
Source: The Journal News
Comment: With all of the meteor/fireball sightings there have been, and even recorded, you would think that comments like the one above:
Taylor said. "It is possible that something in theThere have been a lot of "sonic booms" or "loud noises"
atmosphere can do that, but it is very rare. But her seeing it moving
in a downward arc would be an optical illusion. You would not be able
to see that.
reported over the last couple of years, and very, very few have had
anyone even whisper that it might be a meteor exploding in the
atmosphere, or creating a sonic boom as it streaks through the skies.
However, there was this very recent article that someone did finally admit that the Hudson Valley "sonic boom" could have been a meteor.
It's as if it is forbidden to even think that meteors could be to blame for these "sonic booms". Amazing, isn't it?
Tue, 10 Mar 2009 17:49 UTC
The loud boom many southern Westchester residents heard Saturday
morning might have been caused by a meteor traveling through the
Bill Thys of the Rockland Astronomy Club said there was a very
good chance a meteor could have caused the sonic boom, lohud.com
Residents from Bronxville, Yonkers and Scarsdale
reported the loud noise around 12:25 a.m. on Saturday. Some reported
seeing a yellow object streaking across the sky.
Several police departments received calls about the noise, but
they were unable to locate the source. The National Weather Service
said there were no weather conditions at the time to account for such a
A sonic boom occurs when something moves faster than the speed
of sound, which is 761 mpg. Meteors entering Earth's atmosphere
typically move at over 1,000 mph, according to Thys.
Wed, 11 Mar 2009 20:43 UTC
A strange ball of light has been seen in the skies above Shropshire.
The white and orange ball was seen at 10pm yesterday and people in
Shrewsbury said it appeared to drop to the ground near the Royal
Darren Perks was driving home when he saw it and said as it fell he saw what looked like a metallic ball inside the light.
All News Web
Thu, 12 Mar 2009 19:58 UTC
of the town of Campo Maior in the Alentejo region of Portugal have
reported seeing a low flying UFO that at one stage hovered just above a
At 7.30pm on February the 17th an elderly woman was in her
backyard when she saw a glowing object illuminate the entire area. The
woman was alone but her daughter who lived nearby also saw the
In another part of town the same object was seen by an amazed
couple who managed to capture the event (photos at left) in spite of
their initial stunned surprised. Another witness reported seeing the
object hover above a nearby church.
Campo Maior is an ancient Roman site: continuing the trend of UFO sightings in areas of some historical significance.
It appears that recent photographs of UFOs have been getting clearer
and the contours of the flying craft often can be seen, in contrast to
past photo's often showing light spots. Is this part of an Alien plan
to slowly condition humans to their presence? Are visitors from space
unilaterally planning to openly announce their presence here soon
without getting consulting earthly governments?
Thu, 12 Mar 2009 21:43 UTC
News 5 has received reports from Spanish Fort to the Mississippi state
line about a big boom that shook their homes. We've done some digging,
but so far, no one has an answer for us.
The National Weather Service had no reports and suggested we check with the US Geological Survey.
The USGS is not showing any signs of seismic activity in our
area. In fact, the closest earthquake to Mobile within the past week
was 718 miles away in Sullivan, Missouri on Saturday night.
Eglin Air Force Base says they are not doing any training flights this afternoon which could've caused a sonic boom.
And both the Mobile County Sheriff's Office and EMA report nothing unusual.
But something definitely happened and it caused a lot of concern.
Especially for a West Mobile woman who says dishes fell out of her
cabinets and broke on the floor.
We'll keep looking into the mystery and let you know what we find out.
Fri, 13 Mar 2009 18:24 UTC
The moon has been hiding the scars of its violent, asteroid-filled
past. Most surveys of lunar impact craters have used photos, but
Herbert Frey of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt,
Maryland, wanted to know if there were any old craters buried beneath
younger ones. So he studied elevation mapping data from the Clementine
mission in the 1990s. He also used simulations to identify impact
signatures, such as a roughly circular crater with a thin crust and a
thicker rim. This approach uncovered 150 craters more than 300
kilometres wide instead of 45.
Frey is now trying to work out the age of the newly found
craters. If they are the same age as the others, this would support the
idea that asteroids bombarded the inner solar system for a particularly
intense period about 4 billion years ago. Some researchers think that
life may have existed before this bombardment, but if so, its survival
now seems less likely, says Andrew Valley of the University of
Wisconsin, Madison. "The probability that early primitive life, if it
existed, could find refuge, even in sediments beneath the ocean would
be reduced," he says.
Frey, who will present the work at the Lunar and
Planetary Science Conference in Woodlands, Texas, later this month,
expects more subtle features to be discovered when the Asian lunar
probes release further data and NASA's Lunar Rover Orbiter launches in
HBCC UFO Research
Sat, 14 Mar 2009 19:51 UTC
Posted: March 14, 2009
Date: March 3, 2009
Time Approx: 9:30 p.m.
I have also seen this light and since have tried to contact some
experts/researched about electricity in the atmosphere because of what
I've seen, that's what I gathered from it. No thunder. No Noise. Just a
big "bang" of light that flickered for a few seconds as lightning
I live in St.Philip's Newfoundland a couple minute
drive from St.John's. I was sitting over my dad as he was on the
computer and a window is to my right. Out of the corner of my eye I
seen a big flash of light, almost turning the outdoors into day but
with a hue of blue. Lasted only for a few seconds. I asked my father
did he see it, but he was too into the computer to even respond. So I
passed it off as maybe some lightning..as odd and random as it was.
It wasn't until the next morning when my boyfriend from
Bonavista asked me "did you see the flash of light" that I started to
get really interested. He and many others could see it as far out as
there!? Over three hour drive away. I thought that was a little
My research turned up with out answers only "assumptions" of
what it may have been. My mother reported from some co-workers that it
was a blue light/flash, there were a number of reports saying that the
blue light also faded to pink. I would love to know what it actually
was, I'm very curious about it but that is all of the info I have.
Comment: There are two previous reports of the light in the sky of March 3rd.
You can find them here and here.
Mon, 16 Mar 2009 16:37 UTC
astronauts raced to the international space station aboard space
shuttle Discovery on Monday, while NASA debated whether the orbiting
outpost will need to move aside to dodge part of an old Soviet
Space station astronauts had a close call last week with a
small piece of orbiting junk, and NASA said Monday that debris from a
satellite that broke apart in 1981 could come within about half a mile
of the station early Tuesday.
NASA will decide later Monday whether to fire the space station's engines to nudge the complex out of the path of the debris.
The three space station residents had to move into their emergency getaway capsule last week for about 10 minutes because another piece of space junk came too close for comfort.
NASA has moved the space station out of the way of debris eight
times in the past, most recently in August, according to NASA records.
A NASA spokesman said if the space station has to move, the
shuttle will have to adjust its course slightly to be in position for
docking on Tuesday.
The debris is from a satellite called Kosmos 1275, said NASA spokesman Bill Jeffs, who did not know the size of the piece.
Kosmos 1275 broke up somewhat mysteriously, said NASA orbital
debris scientist Mark Matney. It may have crashed with another object
that wasn't tracked and it made a cloud of 310 pieces of debris that
are slowly falling into a lower orbit, he said.
The shuttle launch Sunday followed five delays that caused
Discovery's mission to be shortened by a day and canceled a planned
After a "first, quick look," Bill Gerstenmaier, NASA's
associate administrator for space operations, said no apparent debris
came off the external fuel tank during the launch. Debris has been a
concern for NASA since a piece flew off the fuel tank and caused a
breach in the wing of Columbia in 2003, dooming the shuttle and its
seven crew members.
As insurance, Discovery's crew planned to spend a good part of
Monday examining the shuttle's thermal protection system with cameras
and sensors attached to a boom which is hooked to the shuttle's robotic
Mission managers said Sunday that despite shortening
Discovery's stay by a day, they would still be able to complete most of
the tasks planned. The canceled spacewalk chores will be tackled by the
space station crew after Discovery leaves.
"It's not a major setback to us," said Gerstenmaier. "We're able to accomplish everything we want."
That includes dropping off the space station's newest crew
member: Japanese astronaut Koichi Wakata, who is replacing U.S.
astronaut Sandra Magnus. From Tokyo, Japan's Chief Cabinet Secretary
Takeo Kawamura said he was relieved by the successful launch after the
Other tasks during the 13-day mission include installing the
station's last pair of solar wings so the orbiting outpost can operate
at full power. The crew will also deliver a replacement for a broken
machine that turns urine into drinking water.
Problems with hydrogen valves kept the shuttle grounded for
weeks in February and then a hydrogen leak during fueling prevented
launch Wednesday. The valves worked as they should have and there were
no leaks during fueling Sunday.
Discovery's crew also included pilot Tony Antonelli and
astronauts Joseph Acaba, Steve Swanson, Richard Arnold and John
Philips. Acaba and Arnold are former teachers.
Associated Press Writer Mike Schneider in Cape Canaveral and AP
Science Writer Seth Borenstein in Washington D.C. contributed to this
Comment: Last month we were told that two satellites collided over Siberia. A few days later, fireballs were caught on video over Texas. Now in a week time we have heard twice of astronauts having to dodge 'space junk'.
Is there something we are not being told about what is going on in our atmosphere?
Asian News International
Sat, 14 Mar 2009 03:40 UTC
London - A scientist is analyzing the age of craters found on the Moon
in the 1990s to find out if they are the same age as the others, which
would support the idea that asteroids bombarded the inner solar system
about 4 billion years ago.
Most surveys of lunar impact craters have used photos, but
Herbert Frey of NASAs Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt,
Maryland, wanted to know if there were any old craters buried beneath
So, he studied elevation mapping data from the Clementine mission in the 1990s.
He also used simulations to identify impact signatures, such as a roughly circular crater with a thin crust and a thicker rim.
This approach uncovered 150 craters more than 300 kilometres wide instead of 45.
Frey is now trying to work out the age of the newly found craters. If
they are the same age as the others, this would support the idea that
asteroids bombarded the inner solar system for a particularly intense
period about 4 billion years ago.
Some researchers think that life may have existed before this
bombardment, but if so, its survival now seems less likely, said Andrew
Valley of the University of Wisconsin, Madison.
The probability that early primitive life, if it existed,
could find refuge, even in sediments beneath the ocean would be
reduced, he added.
Other researchers, however, disagree, arguing that life could have survived the barrage of impacts deep underground.
Frey, who will present the work at the Lunar and Planetary
Science Conference in Woodlands, Texas, later this month, expects more
subtle features to be discovered when the Asian lunar probes release
further data and NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter launches in May.
Thu, 12 Mar 2009 03:55 UTC
Many scientists believe the dinosaurs were snuffed out by comet collision
Some stars have a high level of comet activity around them, and that
could spell doom for any life trying to take root on any local planets.
Ongoing research is trying to determine what fraction of stellar
systems may be uninhabitable due to comet impacts.
Many of our own solar system's comets are found in the Kuiper
Belt, a debris-filled disk that extends from Neptune's orbit (30 AU)
out to almost twice that distance. Other stars have been shown to have
similar debris disks.
"The debris is dust and larger fragments produced by the
break-up of comets or asteroids as they collide amongst themselves,"
says Jane Greaves of the University of St. Andrews in Scotland.
Roughly 20 percent of nearby sun-like stars have
debris disks that are more substantial than our Kuiper Belt, according
to data from the Spitzer space telescope. More debris means more
comets, but does this also mean more killer impacts for any Earth-like
planets that might be orbiting these stars?
The answer depends on whether there are any gas giant planets around.
Jupiter is known to shield Earth from some comets by deflecting
them out of the solar system. However, scientists showed in 2007 that
Jupiter also injects other comets into Earth-crossing orbits. In fact,
if Jupiter were Saturn's size, the number of impacts on Earth would
have been much higher.
Greaves has been modeling how comets are generally affected by
gas giants. Her early results indicate that comets will be a major
problem around a few percent of sun-like stars.
Early in our solar system's history, there were plenty of
remnants left over from planet formation. All this debris led to a
heavy bombardment of comets and asteroids on the inner planets, as
evident in the crater record of the moon (on Earth, most of these scars
have eroded away with time or have disappeared due to tectonic
The number of impacts eventually tapered off around 3.8 billion years ago, 700 million years after the solar system formed.
The cause of this decrease may have been a shift in the orbits
of the gas giants that cleared away many of the comets. Jupiter and
Saturn appear to have migrated outwards, pushing out on the orbits of
Uranus and Neptune. This in turn perturbed the Kuiper Belt and ejected
many of the comets into interstellar space, Greaves says.
"This might be a very peculiar event, or it might happen in
other star systems - we don't know yet, because we have limited
information about their giant planets," she says.
Still, our planet has not been completely immune to deadly impacts.
Many scientists believe the dinosaurs were snuffed out by a
4-20 kilometer-wide comet or asteroid that struck 65 million years ago
at a point on the Yucatan peninsula. The impact led to a global
firestorm and the eventual extinction of more than half of the planet's
A 100-kilometer impactor would have left no survivors. Such a
"catastrophic impact" would destroy the entire crust of the Earth and
eject the atmosphere into space.
The Earth likely experienced a few of these catastrophic impacts very early on, before life as we know it had even begun.
"While 'dinosaur-killer' class impacts occur about every 100
million years [on Earth], we would be unlikely to experience another
100-km class event in the lifetime of the sun," Greaves says.
How much higher would the impact rate on a planet need to be to prevent life from ever forming?
Greaves thinks that life could not evolve on a planet where
10-100 kilometer-size impactors hit every 20 million years. This kind
of bombardment doesn't allow organisms enough time to recover between
blows. The level of biodiversity remains low, so there's less
probability that any species will survive the next devastating impact.
In previous work, Greaves and her colleagues speculated that
Tau Ceti - a nearby sun-like star that has been a favorite target of
SETI searches - is uninhabitable due to the large number of comets that
appear to be buzzing around it (although this assessment may have been
overly pessimistic, she now says).
Her team is currently looking at the general threat posed by
comets. They have modeled various representative planetary systems
(both with and without gas giants). From this, they estimate that at
least a few percent of stars are going to be too comet-stricken to be
in the running as possible hosts for life.
Tue, 17 Mar 2009 21:22 UTC
Newly-discovered asteroid 2009 FH is flying past Earth tonight only
85,000 km away. That's about twice the altitude of a geosynchronous
communications satellite. Advanced amateur astronomers in North America
can photograph the 20-meter-wide space rock racing through the
constellation Gemini after sunset on March 17th. It should be about as
bright as a 14th magnitude star. [ephemeris] [3D orbit]
Staten Island Advance
Tue, 17 Mar 2009 20:21 UTC
It was the boom heard round Staten Island.
An "explosion" rattled windows and nerves in homes from Huguenot to New
Dorp last night, but the cause of the blast remained a mystery today.
About two dozen people called the Advance and dozens more
posted on silive.com in search of an answer in what had become a
guessing game late last night.
Police and firefighters responded to numerous 911 calls but came up empty.
What appears to be fact is that a loud "boom" at about 7:55 p.m. could be heard for miles.
But what was it?
Callers and posters to silive.com, the Advance's home on the Web, had their own ideas.
Which meant everything from a mortar to a meteor to a sonic boom, to an
exploding meth lab to, as authorities believe, one heck of a king-sized
"As of now we have no idea," said a police contact. "Nothing
exploded in anyone's home or anything like that, and we checked all the
power lines. ... We think it's probably fireworks."
The first of a flurry of 911 and other calls came from Clarke
Avenue in Richmond and reported there had been a massive explosion in
the neighborhood, followed by others who reported hearing the blast in
Oakwood, Bay Terrace, New Dorp, Annadale, Eltingville and Huguenot.
The FDNY's Ladder Co. 85 in New Dorp was also dispatched but
found nothing, and power company Consolidated Edison reported no
outages or transformer explosions.
That didn't stop posters at silive.com, from weighing in fast and furiously.
"If this was heard and felt across this many areas it was NOT a
firework. If it was, it was several blockbusters condensed/improvised,"
opined ITLBS1. "I would say possibly a transformer but I am sure people
would have lost power if that was the case." After nearly four hours of
speculation, the discussion had moved on to a possible sonic boom
created by a spy plane.
The last sensory mystery around these parts took nearly four years to solve.
Last month, Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced that the city had
pinpointed the source of a maple syrup smell that had occasionally
wafted over the Island since 2005. The scent, Bloomberg said, was "the
result of the manufacturing of fragrances and food flavors" in a New
Phil Helsel is a news reporter for the Advance. He may be reached at email@example.com.
Wed, 18 Mar 2009 19:47 UTC
Paranormal investigators are looking into reports of a mysterious UFO seen flying over Pitsea.
A woman and her son witnessed the "burning fireball" whizzing across the sky at the speed of an aeroplane.
The 40-year-old was driving in Ashlyns, Pitsea, with her son, aged 20,
when she spied the spectacle on the horizon at 8.30pm on Friday.
The woman, from Pitsea, said: "We couldn't believe it. We
actually pulled over to watch it. It seemed to be near to the Barstable
"It was like a burning fireball - a bit like a massive
firework - but it kept going up and all over the place at such great
"It definitely wasn't a firework.
"It was almost white it was burning so brightly. I'm not an
idiot, I know what I saw and it wasn't a plane or a balloon or anything
"This is the first time I've ever seen anything like this. My son and I have been talking about it ever since."
The incident comes just a few weeks after another eerie
sighting was made in South Woodham Ferrers. Witnesses reported seeing
six strange red lights hovering in the sky.
Paul Joslin, from Crays Hill, near Billericay, is a budding UFO tracker.
Together with his group, the Unknown Phenomena Investigations
Association, he looks into mysterious sightings across the district.
He said: "This sounds really interesting. We'll be looking into it.
"It could have been a UFO balloon, which people deliberately
launch to try to trick others into believing they're seeing a UFO, but
it doesn't sound like it to be honest.
"I would urge anyone else who saw it to come forward as well,
so we can get as much information as possible about what it looked
Did you see the strange lights on Friday, or have you made a UFO sighting recently? Call the Echo on 01268 469308.
Wed, 18 Mar 2009 22:30 UTC
Pasadena, California - Scientists say a newly discovered asteroid whizzed harmlessly past Earth on Wednesday, the second close encounter in a month.
The small space rock dubbed 2009 FH flew within 49,000 miles of the Earth's surface at 8:17 a.m. EDT.
Don Yeomans, who heads NASA's Near-Earth Object Program, says there was never any chance of an impact.
The asteroid, measuring 43 feet and 95 feet across, was spotted Monday night by the NASA-funded Catalina Sky Survey in Arizona.
An asteroid this size usually comes this close to Earth every few months.
Wednesday's flyby was farther away than another asteroid close call
earlier this month. That asteroid was about the size of one that
blasted Siberia a century ago came within 41,000 miles of Earth.
US: Morning boom probably meteor, University of South Carolina-Aiken astronomer says
Fri, 20 Mar 2009 19:27 UTC
You weren't imagining things if you heard a loud boom between 2 and 3 a.m. this morning.
Dr. Gary Senn, director of the Dupont Planetarium in the Ruth Patrick
Science Education Center at USC Aiken, says it was a large meteor,
technically called a bolide.
"We've had a couple of calls this morning from people," he
said. "It seems like a few people were outside and actually saw the
thing itself. Others reported hearing the sound."
He said people have reported the sound to be like a clap of thunder. Sightings were of a large fireball in the sky.
About the same time as the boom was heard, a brief power outage
occurred at the Medical College of Georgia Hospital at 2:41 a.m.,
according to hospital officials. However, spokeswoman Deborah Humphrey
said there is no evidence it had anything to do with the boom.
"It appears to be coincidental," she said.
Dr. Senn said it's possible the meteor could have struck the
ground somewhere in the area, but it all depends on whether it exploded
upon entering the atmosphere - which could have caused the loud boom -
or whether it hit at an angle that left it intact.
If it stayed intact, he said the loud sound people heard could have been that of a sonic boom.
"It's very rare, but occasionally if a large enough bolide enters at the right angle it can create a sonic boom," he said.
Dr. Senn said sightings of large fireballs in the sky are somewhat rare, but have occurred before in the Augusta area.
He said those who saw or heard this morning's fireball are
asked to visit the Web site www.amsmeteors.org and file a fireball
sighting report. From there, the American Meteor Society will use the
information to help it determine where the meteor might have collided,
should it have survived the entry into the atmosphere. The report can
be found on the site by clicking on "fireball sightings" and then
scrolling to the bottom to the link "fireball reporting form."
Sun, 22 Mar 2009 19:56 UTC