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Old 04-24-2012, 07:49 AM   #1
Suzy
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Default Meteor explosion in northern USA

A "minivan-sized" meteor exploded over northern California and Nevada early Sunday morning, apparently not related to the current Lyrid meteor shower.
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Old 04-24-2012, 03:26 PM   #2
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Yep, made the local news here. oddly enough, it was in daylight, and contrails were visible. Lemme see if I can't dig that article up...

---------- Post added at 08:26 ---------- Previous post was at 08:24 ----------

Aha! Here it is...
Looks like it "hit" just before 8am local (1500 GMT). Created quite the stir.
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Old 04-24-2012, 03:28 PM   #3
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We're all gonna die.

Oh, wait. last Sunday?

We have all died.
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Old 04-24-2012, 07:03 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MaverickSawyer View Post
 and contrails were visible.
I'm thinking it's probably not condensation trails...
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Old 04-24-2012, 07:16 PM   #5
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NASA / NASA JPL:
Fireball Over California/Nevada: How Big Was It?

April 24, 2012

A bright ball of light traveling east to west was seen over the skies of central/northern California Sunday morning, April 22. The former space rock-turned-flaming-meteor entered Earth's atmosphere around 8 a.m. PDT. Reports of the fireball have come in from as far north as Sacramento, Calif. and as far east as North Las Vegas, Nev.


A meteor in the sky above Reno, Nevada on April 22, 2012.
Image credit: Lisa Warren


Bill Cooke of the Meteoroid Environments Office at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., estimates the object was about the size of a minivan, weighed in at around 154,300 pounds (70 metric tons) and at the time of disintegration released energy equivalent to a 5-kiloton explosion.

Click on image to enlarge
Red bullseye indicates location where Sunday’s meteor (or bolide) exploded over California’s Central Valley. The yellow triangles mark infrasound arrays which were key in determining the location of the meteor’s explosion. An infrasound array consists of detectors that allow the direction of the incoming wave to be determined by time delay of the arriving sound between the detectors. The two arrays depicted here are part of a worldwide network of infrasonic observatories.
Image credit: WUC/Google Earth


"Most meteors you see in the night's sky are the size of tiny stones or even grains of sand and their trail lasts all of a second or two," said Don Yeomans of NASA's Near-Earth Object Program Office at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif. "Fireballs you can see relatively easily in the daytime and are many times that size - anywhere from a baseball-sized object to something as big as a minivan."

Elizabeth Silber of the Meteor Group at the Western University of Canada, Ontario, estimates the location of its explosion in the upper atmosphere above California's Central Valley.

Eyewitnesses of this fireball join a relatively exclusive club. "An event of this size might happen about once a year," said Yeomans. "But most of them occur over the ocean or an uninhabited area, so getting to see one is something special."

{...}




Universe Today: Fireball Over California Exploded with Force of 5 Kilotons
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Old 04-24-2012, 08:31 PM   #6
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Too bad it didn't hit land. That would have made great fireworks.
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Old 04-24-2012, 09:18 PM   #7
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Well, based on reports, people in the area of Napa to Sacramento might find fragments...
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Old 04-25-2012, 04:51 PM   #8
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NewScientist: Hunt is on for pieces of van-sized California meteor
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Old 04-25-2012, 05:15 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ED_4 View Post
 Too bad it didn't hit land. That would have made great fireworks.
And could really ruin somebody's weekend...
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Old 04-26-2012, 02:41 PM   #11
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Those meteor hunters are like a bunch of gold hunters. Whenever there's one that spikes out in the news. It won't be long before those folks show up.
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Old 04-26-2012, 03:39 PM   #12
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They found the fragments along the flightpath of the meteor, but in a location that means that they broke off well before the main detonaion...

Also, what are the chances that a fragment of the asteroid (since that is likely what the meteor used to be) could have split off long ago and drifted ahead in the orbit, then hit the atmosphere in almost the same spot (geographically) about 6 hours earlier?
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Old 05-02-2012, 01:17 PM   #13
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NewScientist: California meteorite is rare rock laden with organics

Universe Today: Fragments of Meteorite Worth Their Weight in Gold
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Old 05-02-2012, 05:05 PM   #14
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Uh-Oh. Here come the Body Snatchers.
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Old 05-04-2012, 04:53 PM   #15
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latest from the local paper: Scientists Enlist airship in hunt for meteorites. (mind the popups.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Sacramento Bee
 It's not every day that NASA descends on your backyard, hunting for clues to extraterrestrial life.
But that is the drama unfolding this week in and around the community of Lotus, along the south fork of the American River in El Dorado County. Scientists from NASA and the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence Institute are hunting for pieces of a meteorite that plunged to Earth on April 22.
Looks like they are now calling the meteor the Sutter's Mill meteor, due to the proximity of the fragments to the historical sawmill where the California Gold Rush began.

Looks like many of them may be in the river. So, forget gold panning, I'm going meteorite panning!
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