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Boom! A Cosmic Impact On Our History?
[Image: source.gif]

Game Changer

RE: Boom! A Cosmic Impact On Our History?

The paradigm is in full shift right now.

I thought this thread would take half a decade to start seeing results.

Prehistoric cave art reveals ancient use of complex astronomy
November 27, 2018, University of Edinburgh

[Image: 3-prehistoricc.jpg]
Some of the world's oldest cave paintings have revealed how ancient people had relatively advanced knowledge of astronomy. Animal symbols represent star constellations in the night sky, and are used to mark dates and events such as comet strikes, analysis from the University of Edinburgh suggests. Credit: Alistair Coombs
Some of the world's oldest cave paintings have revealed how ancient people had relatively advanced knowledge of astronomy.

The artworks, at sites across Europe, are not simply depictions of wild animals, as was previously thought. Instead, the animal symbols represent star constellations in the night sky, and are used to represent dates and mark events such as comet strikes, analysis suggests.

They reveal that, perhaps as far back as 40,000 years ago, humans kept track of timeusing knowledge of how the position of the stars slowly changes over thousands of years.

The findings suggest that ancient people understood an effect caused by the gradual shift of Earth's rotational axis. Discovery of this phenomenon, called precession of the equinoxes, was previously credited to the ancient Greeks.

Around the time that Neanderthals became extinct, and perhaps before mankind settled in Western Europe, people could define dates to within 250 years, the study shows.

The findings indicate that the astronomical insights of ancient people were far greater than previously believed. Their knowledge may have aided navigation of the open seas, with implications for our understanding of prehistoric human migration.

[Image: 4-prehistoricc.jpg]
Some of the world's oldest art has revealed how ancient people had relatively advanced knowledge of astronomy. Animal symbols, such as those used at Gobekli Tepe in modern day Turkey, represent star constellations in the night sky, and are …more
Researchers from the Universities of Edinburgh and Kent studied details of Palaeolithic and Neolithic art featuring animal symbols at sites in Turkey, Spain, France and Germany.

They found all the sites used the same method of date-keeping based on sophisticated astronomy, even though the art was separated in time by tens of thousands of years.

Researchers clarified earlier findings from a study of stone carvings at one of these sites—Gobekli Tepe in modern-day Turkey—which is interpreted as a memorial to a devastating comet strike around 11,000 BC. This strike was thought to have initiated a mini ice-age known as the Younger Dryas period.

They also decoded what is probably the best known ancient artwork—the Lascaux Shaft Scene in France. The work, which features a dying man and several animals, may commemorate another comet strike around 15,200 BC, researchers suggest.

The team confirmed their findings by comparing the age of many examples of cave art—known from chemically dating the paints used—with the positions of stars in ancient times as predicted by sophisticated software.

[Image: 5-prehistoricc.jpg]
Some of the world's oldest art has revealed how ancient people had relatively advanced knowledge of astronomy. Animal symbols, such as the Lion-Man of Hohlenstein-Stadel Cave, represent star constellations in the night sky, and are used to mark dates and events such as comet strikes, analysis from the University of Edinburgh suggests. Credit: Oleg Kuchar Museum Ulm, Germany
The world's oldest sculpture, the Lion-Man of Hohlenstein-Stadel Cave, from 38,000 BC, was also found to conform to this ancient time-keeping system.

This study was published in Athens Journal of History.

Dr. Martin Sweatman, of the University of Edinburgh's School of Engineering, who led the study, said: "Early cave art shows that people had advanced knowledge of the night sky within the last ice age. Intellectually, they were hardly any different to us today.

"These findings support a theory of multiple comet impacts over the course of human development, and will probably revolutionise how prehistoric populations are seen."

[Image: 1x1.gif] Explore further: Ancient stone pillars offer clues of comet strike that changed human history

Provided by: University of Edinburgh

Read more at:

God didn't stone them to death. Naughty

Good Skywatchers selected to only inform an elect group about the impending disaster.

They saw it approaching...calculated itz course and then messengers warned the wholesome and virtuous to leave fast and don't look back.

The good wheat separated out   Sheep  The wicked chaff never got the memo.


at the 10:00 mark in this video you can see how effective these sky-watchers were>>>

Every empire or kingdom had their savants recording the celestial sphere.

In ancient Nineveh they even "clocked it like radar" as it crossed the sky in ~4 and a half minutes

Watch @ 10:00 mark on video where they detail a planisphere in possession of the British Museum.

and don't forget about the other eyes on the skies elsewhere and elsewhen 

I posted about here>>>

Friday, November 16th, 2018, 12:43 am (This post was last modified: Friday, November 16th, 2018, 12:58 am by EA.)

Stairs Ramps Sleds Ropes Poles and Pulleys...

Sum-one watched the skies
Quote: Wrote:Egyptian scribes, known as the "hour-watchers"  [Image: ninja.gif]

The Slaves probably had no clue why they were making man made mountains.  [Image: doh.gif] 

Ancient Egyptians discovered Algol's variability 3,000 years before western astronomers

November 12, 2018, De Gruyter

Sodom and Gomorrah are irrelevant after the post from physorg.

Just another place that took a hit like the people injured in Chelyabinsk Russia.
Read more at:

[/url]Chelyabinsk meteor - Wikipedia

  1. [url=,000+injured+in+Chelyabinsk+Russia.&tbo=1&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjWjLLA6vXeAhVJooMKHeJ1B6sQHzAJegQICRAF]

Jump to Injuries and damage - The blast created by the meteor's air burst produced ... blast being the main cause of the considerable number of injuries.
Non-fatal injuries‎: ‎1,491 non-direct injuries.
Cause‎: ‎Meteor air burst
Property damage‎: ‎Over 7,200 damaged buildi...
Also known as‎: ‎Chelyabinsk meteorite

Prehistoric cave art reveals ancient use of complex astronomy !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
November 27, 2018, University of Edinburgh
Some of the world's oldest cave paintings have revealed how ancient people had relatively advanced knowledge of astronomy. Animal symbols represent star constellations in the night sky, and are used to mark dates and events such as comet strikes, analysis from the University of Edinburgh suggests. Credit: Alistair Coombs

Read more at:

Boom!  LilD There it is.

Paradigm Shift brought to you by an act of improv.
Along the vines of the Vineyard.
With a forked tongue the snake singsss...
Great news!
Though no surprise to me on the capabilities of ancient man,
with complex mathematics and geometry.
The ancient cultural math sciences were a sophisticated art form of -- sacred geometry.
It had deep spiritual connotations.
The movements of astronomical objects were all accounted for in calendar count cycles.
The early evolution of math was generated by the planetary cycles being accounted for. 
Sophisticated understanding of universal constants probably developed quite quickly,
with the use of convergent fractions for pi, phi, and simple square roots.

It did not take ancient man very long from the advent of counting his ten fingers,
to figure out this simple and very usable fraction:

355 / 113 = Pi convergent  3.14159292

Astronomy has been the premier human science since man first gazed into the night sky of stars and planets.
What was also interesting was the documentations of comet strikes, by ancient man.
Good stuff!

a round of applause for ancient men Applause

(12-01-2018, 01:32 AM)Vianova Wrote: ...

Astronomy has been the premier human science since man first gazed into the night sky of stars and planets.
What was also interesting was the documentations of comet strikes, by ancient man.


I'm nearly 52 thatz not so ancient  LilD


Friday, November 21st, 2008, 09:25 am

`approx 6:33 (Saskatchewan time)
*** Note*** the Province of Saskatchewan does not subscribe to daylight savings time.

I had Just left the town of Moosomin Saskatchewan early this evening (but for those members of lower latitudes I can only say trust is VERY VERY dark in the evening skies at this time of the year.
It was near black and the stars were out.

"Bart" and I were just heading West down the Trans-Canada #1 highway and on the far outskirts of town when in full frontal spectacular windsheild view the event transpired.

A lightstreak.
I have seen meteors before and this indeed was a meteor because my mind registered it with known aerial phenoms already in these breif moments.
But the whitish streak distinguished itself in two ways from what I call the 'Norm'

It was a near vertical insertion from our p.o.v. as opposed to an atmospheric skip-stone over the celestial horizon.

Whitish initial onset turned electric blue...sort of like weak lightning but noticeably brighter than the whitish entry-point of the object.

Transitioning from this colour phase it was simultaneously slowing down and an orange brilliance quickly replaces the former and it got spectacular in the breifest amount of appreciable time.

The orange superglow and my eyes adjust and the most incredible meteorite started to lose all semblence of burnout and was trailing....No Fucking shit!!! ---FLAMES!!!

NOW the Sky is lit up and for seconds it is like a Flare overlighting a war-zone...
This thing was making visible flame contrails and I 99.9 percent gaurantee it struck earth and is lying in a field in the prairie awaiting location and extraction.

I have seen meteors several times before including one tha split into a "Y" from the parent body,but this was front-row center shock and awe,
There was not much of ground effects and no ejecta cloud visible so it was likely small...but I am quite certain it made it to the ground.

I am VERY sure it is steaming the last of its vapours in it's crater as we speak.
And I am equally VERY sure I will never see anything as spectacular as that again in my life.
I won't lie...I was afraid at the spectating event.
It was flaming ferchrissakes!!!!
Brilliant Orange rock from space makes land.
Night was nearly day for a moment.

A meteor may have exploded in the air 3,700 years ago, obliterating communities near the Dead Sea
December 5, 2018 by Evan Gough, Universe Today

[Image: ameteormayha.jpg]
This photo shows trees felled from a powerful aerial meteorite explosion. It was taken during Leonid Kulik’s 1929 expedition to the Tunguska impact event in Siberia in 1908. The Tunguska site, the Chelyabinsk site, and the Tall el_Hammam …more
A meteor that exploded in the air near the Dead Sea 3,700 years ago may have wiped out communities, killed tens of thousands of people, and provided the kernel of truth to an old Bible story. The area is in modern-day Jordan, in a 25 km wide circular plain called Middle Ghor. Most of the evidence for this event comes from archaeological evidence excavated at the Bronze Age city of Tall el-Hammam located in that area, which some scholars say is the city of Sodom from the Bible.

Archaeologists have been digging at the Tall el-Hamman site for 13 years, and have unearthed some pretty convincing evidence supporting the air-burst idea. The findings were presented on November 15th at the annual meeting of the American Schools of Oriental Research, by archaeologist Phillip Silvia of Trinity Southwest University. They were also published in a paper by Silvia and co-author and archaeologist Steven Collins called "The Civilization-Ending 3.7KYrBP Event: Archaeological Data, Sample Analyses, and Biblical Implications".

Tall el-Hammam was a thriving city state occupying Middle Ghor. The civilization had occupied the area for over 2,500 years. The city itself held the administrative center of the kingdom, and was protected by a perimeter wall up to 30m (100 ft) thick and up to 15m (50 ft.) high, for a linear distance of over 2.5km. The wall held multiple gates, towers, and likely other defensive features. But all that was obliterated when the meteor pierced the atmosphere and exploded over the area.

Evidence gathered at the Tall el-Hammam site tells the story of the event. When the meteor air-burst occurred, there was an intensely hot and powerful shock wave. The shock wave wiped out all settlements in the area and destroyed an area of 500 sq. km. And the area remained uninhabited for a remarkable 700 years after the event. Several lines of evidence support the likelihood of this event.

Silvia and Collins say in their paper that the destruction and the damage on walls and other structures in the city is directional, supporting the idea of a shock wave. In the past, archaeologist have wondered if an earthquake could have caused the collapse of the region, but an earthquake would not have caused the type of directional damage that the remaining structures and fortifications display.

Archaeologists also wondered if an earthquake that caused burning petro-chemical eruptions could have caused the destruction. This burning would have explained the thick layers of ash at Tall el-Hammam, but doesn't explain the "large-scale absence of tumbled mudbrick that would be typical of earthquake damage," according to the paper. Archaeologists have been studying the area for 13 years to uncover more evidence to explain the sudden event, and according to Silvia and Collins, they found it.

A pottery shard was found in the city that had one side melted to glass. Only extreme heat can do that. Examination revealed zircon crystals inside a bubble in the glass which could only have been formed by temperatures over 4000 Celsius. Additionally, the layer of melted clay that turned to glass is only 1 mm, not the entire depth of the shard. This indicates only a short burst of intense heat, rather than long exposure from something like burning petro-chemical eruptions. The research team concluded that the shard was exposed to temperatures between 8,000°C and 12,000°C for less than a few milliseconds. That certainly supports the idea of an airburst.

Researchers at the site also found what's called a "melt rock" weighing over 600 grams. It's an agglomeration of three different rocks melted together by extreme heat and covered with a layer of glass. This also contained zirconium crystals, and further analysis of the melt rock concluded that it had probably been exposed to 12,000 degree Celsius temperatures for a few seconds.

[Image: 1-ameteormayha.jpg]
The painting “Lot and his Daughters” by Lucan van Leyden (1520) shows the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah being destroyed in the background. Credit: Lucas van Leyden – Web Gallery of Art, Public Domain,
The final piece of evidence concerns what happened to the Tall el-Hammam area after the destruction. This region is considered the best-watered agricultural area in the region, yet after the Tall el-Hammam city-state was destroyed, the area remained unoccupied for about 700 years. What could have caused this, if the extreme heatfrom the air burst lasted only a few seconds?

The answer lies in the soil, according to the researchers. Six samples from above, through, and below the soil layer from the time of the event were analyzed geochemically. The results showed "salt and sulfate levels > 6 percent (60,000 ppm) in the ash layer and > 5 percent (50,000 ppm) in the soil layers immediately above and below the ash layer," according to the paper. The source of these contaminants had to be the Dead Sea, which borders the Middle Ghor area.

The two scientists say that the massive shockwave and heat wave not only destroyed the settlements, but the shock wave deposited a layer of salts onto the top soil, destroying it and making it unable to support agriculture for hundreds of years. It only takes a salt content of 12,800 ppm to prevent wheat from germinating, and a salt content of 17,900 ppm to prevent barley from growing. Those thresholds were easily exceeded.

There is other evidence that supports the air burst theory behind Tall el-Hammam. Meteor air burst sites like Chelyabinsk and Tunguska have the same signatures of meteor air burst that Tall el-Hammam has. These include high levels of platinum, a high incidence of magnetic spherules, and also a high incidence of what are known as scoria-like objects (SLOs).

The researchers concluded that an airburst with a yield equivalent to a 10 mt nuclear warhead occurred about 1 km above northeast corner of the Dead Sea. They say this adequately explains all of the evidence gathered at Tall el-Hammam.

"Then the Lord rained down burning sulfur on Sodom and Gomorrah—from the Lord out of the heavens. 25 Thus he overthrew those cities and the entire plain, destroying all those living in the cities—and also the vegetation in the land." – Genesis 19:24-25

Some scholars think that Tall el-Hamman is the city of Sodom from the Bible. That idea has been around for a long time. It's in the right place, and a meteor air burst would certainly explain the Genesis quote. It's interesting that the Genesis quote mentions sulfur specifically, since a layer of sulfates and salt was deposited on the area by the event, destroying "the vegetation in the land." But not all agree.

Some scholars think that the geography is not correct. Others think the timeline is wrong. But with this new study, both sides will have to reconsider the whole issue.

The Bible is interesting from a historical perspective, because it sometimes interweaves actual events from history with the Christian mythology. Now that it seems reasonable that a meteor airburst did destroy the area that may have contained Sodom, we can lay to rest the idea that the Christian God sent down fireballs to punish homosexuality. It looks like once again, it was a perfectly natural event that led to an apocalyptic, mythological story, and that what people once attributed to Gods and Goddesses is just nature.

[Image: 1x1.gif] Explore further: Study shows people died from body fluid vaporization due to pyroclastic flows from Vesuvius

More information: The Civilization-Ending 3.7KYrBP Event: Archaeological Data, Sample Analyses, and Biblical Implications. … iblical_Implications 

Source: Universe Today

Read more at:
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Biggest mass extinction caused by global warming leaving ocean animals gasping for breath
December 6, 2018, University of Washington

[Image: biggestmasse.jpg]

This illustration shows the percentage of marine animals that went extinct at the end of the Permian era by latitude, from the model (black line) and from the fossil record (blue dots). A greater percentage of marine animals survived in the tropics than at the poles. The color of the water shows the temperature change, with red being most severe warming and yellow less warming. At the top is the supercontinent Pangaea, with massive volcanic eruptions emitting carbon dioxide. The images below the line represent some of the 96 percent of marine species that died during the event. Includes fossil drawings by Ernst Haeckel/Wikimedia; Blue crab photo by Wendy Kaveney/Flickr; Atlantic cod photo by Hans-Petter Fjeld/Wikimedia; Chambered nautilus photo by ©2010 John White/CalPhotos. Credit: Justin Penn and Curtis Deutsch/University of Washington

The largest extinction in Earth's history marked the end of the Permian period, some 252 million years ago. Long before dinosaurs, our planet was populated with plants and animals that were mostly obliterated after a series of massive volcanic eruptions in Siberia.

Fossils in ancient seafloor rocks display a thriving and diverse marine ecosystem, then a swath of corpses. Some 96 percent of marine species were wiped out during the "Great Dying," followed by millions of years when life had to multiply and diversify once more.

What has been debated until now is exactly what made the oceans inhospitable to life—the high acidity of the water, metal and sulfide poisoning, a complete lack of oxygen, or simply higher temperatures.

New research from the University of Washington and Stanford University combines models of ocean conditions and animal metabolism with published lab data and paleoceanographic records to show that the Permian mass extinction in the oceans was caused by global warming that left animals unable to breathe. As temperatures rose and the metabolism of marine animals sped up, the warmer waters could not hold enough oxygen for them to survive.

The study is published in the Dec. 7 issue of Science.

"This is the first time that we have made a mechanistic prediction about what caused the extinction that can be directly tested with the fossil record, which then allows us to make predictions about the causes of extinction in the future," said first author Justin Penn, a UW doctoral student in oceanography.

Researchers ran a climate model with Earth's configuration during the Permian, when the land masses were combined in the supercontinent of Pangaea. Before ongoing volcanic eruptions in Siberia created a greenhouse-gas planet, oceans had temperatures and oxygen levels similar to today's. The researchers then raised greenhouse gases in the model to the level required to make tropical ocean temperatures at the surface some 10 degrees Celsius (20 degrees Fahrenheit) higher, matching conditions at that time.

The model reproduces the resulting dramatic changes in the oceans. Oceans lost about 80 percent of their oxygen. About half the oceans' seafloor, mostly at deeper depths, became completely oxygen-free.

To analyze the effects on marine species, the researchers considered the varying oxygen and temperature sensitivities of 61 modern marine species—including crustaceans, fish, shellfish, corals and sharks—using published lab measurements. The tolerance of modern animals to high temperature and low oxygen is expected to be similar to Permian animals because they had evolved under similar environmental conditions. The researchers then combined the species' traits with the paleoclimate simulations to predict the geography of the extinction.

"Very few marine organisms stayed in the same habitats they were living in—it was either flee or perish," said second author Curtis Deutsch, a UW associate professor of oceanography.

[Image: 1-biggestmasse.jpg]

This roughly 1.5-foot slab of rock from southern China shows the Permian-Triassic boundary. The bottom section is pre-extinction limestone. The upper section is microbial limestone deposited after the extinction. Credit: Jonathan Payne/Stanford University

The model shows the hardest hit were organisms most sensitive to oxygen found far from the tropics. Many species that lived in the tropics also went extinct in the model, but it predicts that high-latitude species, especially those with high oxygen demands, were nearly completely wiped out.

To test this prediction, co-authors Jonathan Payne and Erik Sperling at Stanford analyzed late-Permian fossil distributions from the Paleoceanography Database, a virtual archive of published fossil collections. The fossil record shows where species were before the extinction, and which were wiped out completely or restricted to a fraction of their former habitat.

The fossil record confirms that species far from the equator suffered most during the event.

"The signature of that kill mechanism, climate warming and oxygen loss, is this geographic pattern that's predicted by the model and then discovered in the fossils," Penn said. "The agreement between the two indicates this mechanism of climate warming and oxygen loss was a primary cause of the extinction."

The study builds on previous work led by Deutsch showing that as oceans warm, marine animals' metabolism speeds up, meaning they require more oxygen, while warmer water holds less. That earlier study shows how warmer oceans push animals away from the tropics.

The new study combines the changing ocean conditions with various animals' metabolic needs at different temperatures. Results show that the most severe effects of oxygen deprivation are for species living near the poles.
"Since tropical organisms' metabolisms were already adapted to fairly warm, lower-oxygen conditions, they could move away from the tropics and find the same conditions somewhere else," Deutsch said. "But if an organism was adapted for a cold, oxygen-rich environment, then those conditions ceased to exist in the shallow oceans."

The so-called "dead zones" that are completely devoid of oxygen were mostly below depths where species were living, and played a smaller role in the survival rates."At the end of the day, it turned out that the size of the dead zones really doesn't seem to be the key thing for the extinction," Deutsch said. "We often think about anoxia, the complete lack of oxygen, as the condition you need to get widespread uninhabitability. But when you look at the tolerance for low oxygen, most organisms can be excluded from seawater at oxygen levels that aren't anywhere close to anoxic."

Warming leading to insufficient oxygen explains more than half of the marine diversity losses. The authors say that other changes, such as acidification or shifts in the productivity of photosynthetic organisms, likely acted as additional causes.

The situation in the late Permian—increasing greenhouse gases in the atmosphere that create warmer temperatures on Earth—is similar to today.

"Under a business-as-usual emissions scenarios, by 2100 warming in the upper ocean will have approached 20 percent of warming in the late Permian, and by the year 2300 it will reach between 35 and 50 percent," Penn said.

"This study highlights the potential for a mass extinction arising from a similar mechanism under anthropogenic climate change."

[Image: 1x1.gif] Explore further: Volcanic eruptions once caused mass extinctions in the oceans – could climate change do the same?
More information: J.L. Penn el al., "Temperature-dependent hypoxia explains biogeography and severity of end-Permian marine mass extinction," Science (2018). … 1126/science.aat1327

Journal reference: Science 
 [Image: img-dot.gif]
Provided by: University of Washington


Bob... Ninja Assimilated [url=][/url]
"The Morning Light, No sensation to compare to this, suspended animation, state of bliss, I keep my eyes on the circling sky, tongue tied and twisted just and Earth Bound Martian I" Learning to Fly Pink Floyd [Video:]
Life improvises and adapts to new parameters.
Along the vines of the Vineyard.
With a forked tongue the snake singsss...
Quote:"...spectacular windsheild view the event transpired.

A lightstreak." -EA

What if this was larger and hit a major californian population center.  Cry

Lick Observatory says bright light trail visible over Bay Area was a meteor
By Frances DinkelspielDec. 19, 2018, 6:34 p.m.

Update: 7:49 p.m. The Lick Observatory is saying a meteor caused the light. Writing on Facebook, the University of California-owned observatory, said a “bright meteor was visible in the skies over the Bay Area shortly after sunset this evening, leaving a bright trail that was visible for many minutes in the western sky. ”
Original story: A mysterious light in the sky that popped up over the Bay Area around 5:30 p.m. has people wondering whether it is the trail from a rocket launch, a meteor entering the earth’s atmosphere, space debris, a strange cloud formation, or the reentry of a Russian rocket. Some even jokingly said it was Santa on his sleigh.
Berkeleyside has reached out to NASA for information, but so far no one is responding to inquiries.
One thing it is not is a Delta IV rocket that was scheduled to launch from Vandenberg Air Force Base at 5:44 p.m. The launch was delayed because of a hydrogen leak, according to the San Luis Obispo Tribune.

The Russian Soyuz spacecraft was too far away to account for the light. It was scheduled to undock from the International Space Station at 5:42 p.m. and take three and a half hours to reach the earth’s atmosphere, according to Nasa.

One person is trying to crowdsource the light’s origin. He is asking people to “triangulate” its origins by filling in this survey about where it was spotted.[/size]


Friday’s winter solstice 2018 features a full moon and meteor shower
Along the vines of the Vineyard.
With a forked tongue the snake singsss...
CubeSats joining Hera mission to asteroid system
January 7, 2019, European Space Agency

[Image: cubesatsjoin.jpg]
ESA’s Hera mission concept, currently under study, would be humanity’s first mission to a binary asteroid: the 800 m-diameter Didymos is accompanied by a 170 m-diameter secondary body. Hera will study the aftermath of the impact caused by …more
When ESA's planned Hera mission journeys to its target binary asteroid system, it will not be alone. The spacecraft will carry two tiny CubeSats for deployment around – and eventual landing on – the Didymos asteroids. Each companion spacecraft will be small enough to fit inside a briefcase, as compared to the desk-sized Hera.

CubeSats are nanosatellites based on standardised 10 cm-sized units. Hera has room to deliver two 'six-unit' CubeSat missions to the Didymos asteroid system – a 780 m-diameter mountain-sized main body is orbited by a 160 m moon, informally called 'Didymoon', about the same size as the Great Pyramid of Giza.

The Hera mission received proposals for CubeSats from across Europe, and an evaluation board has now made the final selection.

"We're very happy to have these high-quality CubeSat missions join us to perform additional bonus science alongside their Hera mothership," explains Hera manager Ian Carnelli.

"Carrying added instruments and venturing much closer to our target bodies, they will give different perspectives and complementary investigations on this exotic binary asteroid. They will also give us valuable experience of close proximity operations relayed by the Hera mothercraft in extreme low-gravity conditions. This will be very valuable to many future missions."

Paolo Martino, Hera spacecraft lead engineer adds: "The idea of building CubeSats for deep space is relatively new, but was recently validated by NASA's InSight landing on Mars last November, when a pair of accompanying CubeSats succeeded in relaying the lander's radio signals back to Earth – as well as returning imagery of the Red Planet."

[Image: 1-cubesatsjoin.jpg]
APEX CubeSat. Credit: Swedish Institute of Space Physics
The first CubeSat companion is called the Asteroid Prospection Explorer (or 'APEX'), and was developed by a Swedish/Finnish/Czech/German consortium. It will perform detailed spectral measurements of both asteroids' surfaces – measuring the sunlight reflected by Didymos and breaking down its various colours to discover how these asteroids have interacted with the space environment, pinpointing any differences in composition between the two. In addition, APEX will make magnetic readings that will give insight into their interior structure of these bodies.

Guided by a navigation camera and a 'laser radar' (lidar) instrument, APEX will also make a landing on one of the asteroids, gathering valuable data in the process using inertial sensors, and going on to perform close-up observations of the asteroid's surface material.

The other CubeSat is called Juventas, developed by Danish company GomSpace and GMV in Romania, and will measure the gravity field as well as the internal structure of the smaller of the two Didymos asteroids.

[Image: 2-cubesatsjoin.jpg]
MarCO-B, one of the experimental Mars Cube One (MarCO) CubeSats, took this image of Mars from about 7,600 km away during its flyby of the Red Planet on 26 November 2018. MarCO-B was flying by Mars with its twin, MarCO-A, to attempt to serve …more
In close orbit around Didymoon, Juventas will line up with Hera to perform satellite-to-satellite radio-science experiments and carry out a low-frequency radar survey of the asteroid interior, similar to performing a detailed 'X-ray scan' of Didymoon to unveil its interior. The adventure will end with a landing, using the dynamics of any likely bouncing to capture details of the asteroid's surface material – followed by several days of surface operations.

Hera is set to be humankind's first mission to a binary asteroid system. As well as testing technologies in deep space and gathering crucial science data, Hera is designed to be Europe's contribution to an international planetary defence effort: it would survey the crater and measure orbital deviation of Didymoon caused by the earlier collision of a NASA probe, called DART. This unique experiment will validate the asteroid deflection technique referred to as kinetic impactor, enabling humankind to protect our planet from asteroid impacts.

Next, the two CubeSats will have their designs refined and interfaces with their mothership finalised, in line with continuing design work on the Hera mission itself, which will be presented to ESA's Space19+ meeting towards the end of this year, where Europe's space ministers will take a final decision on flying the mission.

[Image: 3-cubesatsjoin.jpg]
DART mission profile. Credit: NASA

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Hera mission. Credit: European Space Agency
[Image: 1x1.gif] Explore further: Earth's first mission to a binary asteroid, for planetary defence

Provided by: European Space Agency

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[/url]A meteorite just hit Cuba

3:14 p.m.
Giant Meteor 2020 has launched an exploratory committee for president.
Well, not quite. But a meteorite did apparently hit western Cuba on Friday afternoon, according to eyewitness reports. The event sounds like it was pretty dramatic: "We're receiving reports that a meteor was seen in the sky across the Florida Keys," NWS Key West tweeted, adding that the space rock "likely exploded over the province of Pinar del Río." CNN's Havana correspondent, Patrick Oppmann, described the sound of a "large explosion" in the town of Viñales and posted pictures of the fragments:

[Image: DyWEeFHUUAAkU-u?format=jpg&name=360x360][Image: DyWEeFBU0AASpV6?format=jpg&name=small]

Quote:[Image: 559XEShq_normal.jpg]
Patrick Oppmann CNN


Only in Cuba does an apparent meteorite crash and you happen to know the person who’s house was hit.

1:53 PM - Feb 1, 2019

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Hatzel Vela@HatzelVelaWPLG

#BREAKING: Just got this video from a friend in #PinardelRio who says they think the trail in the sky was left by a #meteorite, which shattered windows and made extremely loud sounds. Sounded like two #explosions. #cuba @WPLGLocal10

1:58 PM - Feb 1, 2019 · Cuba 
The good news: No injuries were reported. The bad news: Now you have a new worst fear. [i]Jeva Lange[/i][/size]


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Ancient asteroid impacts played a role in creation of Earth's continents

January 31, 2019, Wits University

[Image: ancientaster.jpg]
Credit: Wits University
The heavy bombardment of terrestrial planets by asteroids from space has contributed to the formation of the early evolved crust on Earth.

The heavy bombardment of terrestrial planets by asteroids from space has contributed to the formation of the early evolved crust on Earth that later gave rise to continents – homes to human civilisation.

More than 3.8 billion years ago, in a time period called the Hadean eon, our planet Earth was constantly bombarded by asteroids, which caused the large-scale melting of its surface rocks. Most of these surface rocks were basalts, and the asteroid impacts produced large pools of superheated impact melt of such composition. These basaltic pools were tens of kilometres thick, and thousands of kilometres in diameter.

"If you want to get an idea of what the surface of Earth looked like at that time, you can just look at the surface of the Moon which is covered by a vast amount of large impact craters," says Professor Rais Latypov from the School of Geosciences of the University of the Witwatersrand in South Africa.

The subsequent fate of these ancient, giant melt sheet remains, however, highly debatable. It has been argued that, on cooling, they may have crystallized back into magmatic bodies of the same, broadly basaltic composition. In this scenario, asteroid impacts are supposed to play no role in the formation of the Earth's early evolved crust.

[Image: 1-ancientaster.jpg]

Credit: Wits University

An alternative model suggests that these sheets may undergo large-scale chemical change to produce layered magmatic intrusions, such as the Bushveld Complex in South Africa.In this scenario, asteroid impacts may have played an important role in producing various igneous rocks in the early Earth's crust and therefore they may have contributedto its chemical evolution.

There is no direct way to rigorously test these two competing scenarios because the ancient Hadean impact melts have been later obliterated by plate tectonics. However, by studying the younger impact melt sheet of the Sudbury Igneous Complex (SIC) in Canada, Latypov and his research team have inferred that ancient asteroid impacts were capable of producing various rock types from the earlier Earth's basaltic crust. Most importantly, these impacts may have made the crust compositionally more evolved, i.e. silica-rich in composition. Their research has been published in a paper in Nature Communications.

The SIC is the largest, best exposed and accessible asteroid impact melt sheet on Earth, which has resulted from a large asteroid impact 1.85 billion years ago. This impact produced a superheated melt sheet of up to 5 km thick. The SIC now shows a remarkable magmatic stratigraphy, with various layers of igneous rocks.

"Our field and geochemical observations – especially the discovery of large discrete bodies of melanorites throughout the entire stratigraphy of the SIC – allowed us to reassess current models for the formation of the SIC and firmly conclude that its conspicuous magmatic stratigraphy is the result of large-scale fractional crystallization," says Latypov.

"An important implication is that more ancient and primitive Hadean impact melt sheets on the early Earth and other terrestrial planets would also have undergone near-surface, large-volume differentiation to produce compositionally stratified bodies. The detachment of dense primitive layers from these bodies and their sinking into the mantle would leave behind substantial volumes of evolved rocks (buoyant crustal blocks) in the Hadean crust. This would make the crust compositionally layered and increasingly more evolved from its base towards the Earth's surface."

"These impacts made the crust compositionally more evolved – in other words, silica-rich in composition," says Latypov. "Traditionally, researchers believe that such silica-rich evolved rocks – which are essentially building buoyantblocks of our continents – can only be generated deep in the Earth, but we now argue that such blocks can be produced at new-surface conditions within impact melt pools."

 Explore further: Meteorite bombardment likely to have created the Earth's oldest rocks

More information: Rais Latypov et al, Evidence for igneous differentiation in Sudbury Igneous Complex and impact-driven evolution of terrestrial planet proto-crusts, Nature Communications (2019). 

Journal reference: Nature Communications

Provided by: Wits University

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NASA finds possible second impact crater under Greenland ice
February 11, 2019 by Maria-José Viñas, NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center

[Image: nasafindspos.jpg]
A NASA glaciologist has discovered a possible second impact crater buried under more than a mile of ice in northwest Greenland. Credit: NASA Goddard

A NASA glaciologist has discovered a possible second impact crater buried under more than a mile of ice in northwest Greenland.

his follows the finding, announced in November 2018, of a 19-mile-wide crater beneath Hiawatha Glacier—the first meteorite impact craterever discovered under Earth's ice sheets. Though the newly found impact sites in northwest Greenland are only 114 miles apart, at present they do not appear to have formed at the same time.

If the second crater, which has a width of over 22 miles, is ultimately confirmed as the result of a meteorite impact, it will be the 22nd largest impact crater found on Earth.

"We've surveyed the Earth in many different ways, from land, air and space—it's exciting that discoveries like these are still possible," said Joe MacGregor, a glaciologist with NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, who participated in both findings.

Before the discovery of the Hiawatha impact crater, scientists generally assumed that most evidence of past impacts in Greenland and Antarctica would have been wiped away by unrelenting erosion by the overlying ice. Following the finding of that first crater, MacGregor checked topographic maps of the rock beneath Greenland's ice for signs of other craters. Using imagery of the ice surface from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer instruments aboard NASA's Terra and Aqua satellites, he soon noticed a circular patternsome 114 miles to the southeast of Hiawatha Glacier. The same circular pattern also showed up in ArcticDEM, a high-resolution digital elevation model of the entire Arctic derived from commercial satellite imagery.

"I began asking myself 'Is this another impact crater? Do the underlying data support that idea?'," MacGregor said. "Helping identify one large impact crater beneath the ice was already very exciting, but now it looked like there could be two of them."

MacGregor reported the discovery of this second possible crater in Geophysical Research Letters on Feb.11.

To confirm his suspicion about the possible presence of a second impact crater, MacGregor studied the raw radar images that are used to map the topography of the bedrock beneath the ice, including those collected by NASA's Operation IceBridge. What he saw under the ice were several distinctive features of a complex impact crater: a flat, bowl-shaped depression in the bedrock that was surrounded by an elevated rim and centrally located peaks, which form when the crater floor equilibrates post-impact. Though the structure isn't as clearly circular as the Hiawatha crater, MacGregor estimated the second crater's diameter at 22.7 miles. Measurements from Operation IceBridge also revealed a negative gravity anomaly over the area, which is characteristic of impact craters.

Just 114 miles from the newly-found Hiawatha impact crater under the ice of northwest Greenland, lies a possible second impact crater. The 22-mile wide feature would be the second crater found under an ice sheet, and if confirmed, would be the …more"The only other circular structure that might approach this size would be a collapsed volcanic caldera," MacGregor said. "But the areas of known volcanic activity in Greenland are several hundred miles away. Also, a volcano should have a clear positive magnetic anomaly, and we don't see that at all."

Although the newly found impact craters in northwest Greenland are only 114 miles apart, they do not appear to have been formed at the same time. From the same radar data and ice cores that had been collected nearby, MacGregor and his colleagues determined that the ice in the area was at least 79,000 years old. The layers of ice were smooth, suggesting the ice hadn't been strongly disturbed during that time. This meant that either the impact happened more than 79,000 years ago or—if it took place more recently—any impact-disturbed ice had long ago flowed out of the area and been replaced by ice from farther inland.

The researchers then looked at rates of erosion: they calculated that a crater of that size would have initially been more half a mile deep between its rim and floor, which is an order of magnitude greater than its present depth. Taking into account a range of plausible erosion rates, they calculated that it would have taken anywhere between roughly a hundred thousand years and a hundred million years for the ice to erode the crater to its current shape—the faster the erosion rate, the younger the crater would be within the plausible range, and vice versa.

"The ice layers above this second crater are unambiguously older than those above Hiawatha, and the second crater is about twice as eroded," MacGregor said. "If the two did form at the same time, then likely thicker ice above the second crater would have equilibrated with the crater much faster than for Hiawatha."

To calculate the statistical likelihood that the two craters were created by unrelated impact events, MacGregor's team used recently published estimates that leverage lunar impact rates to better understand Earth's harder-to-detect impact record. By employing computer models that can track the production of large craters on Earth, they found that the abundance of said craters that should naturally form close to one another, without the need for a twin impact, was consistent with Earth's cratering record.

"This does not rule out the possibility that the two new Greenland craters were made in a single event, such as the impact of a well separated binary asteroid, but we cannot make a case for it either," said William Bottke, a planetary scientist with the Southwest Research Institute in Boulder, Colorado, and co-author of both MacGregor's paper and the new lunar impact record study.

Indeed, two pairs of unrelated but geographically close craters have already been found in Ukraine and Canada, but the ages of the craters in the pairs are different from one another.

"The existence of a third pair of unrelated craters is modestly surprising but we don't consider it unlikely," MacGregor said. "On the whole, the evidence we've assembled indicates that this new structure is very likely an impact crater, but presently it looks unlikely to be a twin with Hiawatha."

[Image: 1x1.gif] Explore further: Huge crater discovered in Greenland from impact that rocked Northern Hemisphere

More information: Joseph A. MacGregor et al. A Possible Second Large Subglacial Impact Crater in Northwest Greenland, Geophysical Research Letters (2019). DOI: 10.1029/2018GL078126 

Journal reference: Geophysical Research Letters [Image: img-dot.gif][Image: img-dot.gif]
Provided by: NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center

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Quote:"We were very lucky that at least three relatively reliable videos, including one with an incredible quality, could be available on the Internet in such a short time," explains Zuluaga. "Reconstructing the trajectory of a meteor requires at least three observers on the ground. Although several satellite images were recorded and also available online, without observations from the ground, the precise reconstruction is not feasible."

From Chelyabinsk to Cuba: The meteor connection
February 15, 2019, Universidad de Antioquia

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A cruise ship leaving the Havana Harbor at the exact time of the Cuba meteor. Credit: Rachel Cook
On February 1, 2019 a bright meteor crossed the sky over Cuba in the middle of the day. The phenomenon, which was followed by a smoke trail (a characteristic cloud left by the burn in the atmosphere of a meteoroid) and a sonic boom, was witnessed by thousands of locals and tourists in the region of Pinar del Rio (western side of the island).

Almost at the same time of the impact, a cruise ship was leaving the Havana harbor and on board, Rachel Cook, an American tourist and vlogger, was making a time lapse of the undocking process. Unaware, she accidentally recorded one of the few videos known to date of the falling meteor. Meanwhile, 400 km away, in Ft. Myers beach, Florida, a webcam of the EarthCam network was filming the midday activities in the beach. Luckily, the camera was aimed at the right direction to record the meteor from afar.

Just a couple of minutes after the event, social networks, especially Instagram and Twitter, received a flood of videos and pictures taken from the island, most of them showing the smoke trail left by the meteor. One of those videos was particularly interesting. It was recorded in one of the main streets of the city of Pinar del Rio, and showed tens of people in the street contemplating with awe the remnant cloud (see the video in this link). Although the video does not show the meteor, it was full of details about the place and time when it was recorded.

All these events recalled the incredible experience of the Chelyabinsk meteor in 2013, when a very bright super bolid hit the atmosphere over a populated area in western Russia, becoming the only event of its kind witnessed by humans in almost a century.

Just a couple of days after the Chelyabinsk impact, a team of astronomers of the Institute of Physics in the University of Antioquia led by Professor Jorge I. Zuluaga reconstructed the trajectory of the Chelyabinsk meteor exclusively using videos of the phenomenon posted on YouTube.

[Image: 1-fromchelyabi.jpg]
Credit: Universidad de Antioquia
Although many other teams in Russia, the Czech Reublic, Canada and the U.S. also reconstructed the trajectory using more sophisticated methods and data.

Today, just a week after the event and almost exactly six years after the Chelyabinsk impact, the same Colombian scientific team, again using information available on the internet, applied their methods to reconstruct the trajectory of the Cuban meteor. Their results has been included in a scientific manuscript just submitted to a peer reviewed journal. A preprint of the manuscript is available in the Cornell University arXiv lists.

"We were very lucky that at least three relatively reliable videos, including one with an incredible quality, could be available on the Internet in such a short time," explains Zuluaga. "Reconstructing the trajectory of a meteor requires at least three observers on the ground. Although several satellite images were recorded and also available online, without observations from the ground, the precise reconstruction is not feasible."

According to the reconstruction made by the Colombian astronomers, the object producing the meteor over Cuba starts its trajectory inside the atmosphere at an altitude of about 76.5 km above the caribean sea, over a point 26 km to the southwest of the San Felipe Keys (Cuba).

The speed of the rock at its contact with the atmosphere was 18 km/s (64,800 km/h). With such a velocity, the thin air of the high atmosphere was not enough to stop the object, although it was enough to heat it until the rock became bright.

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Trajectory of the meteor falling over Cuba on February 1, 2019 as reconstructed by a team of Colombian astronomers. Credit: Google Earth
The rock continued its path in an almost straight line until a height of around 27.5 km. It was at about that altitude that the smoke trail, observed by thousands in Cuba and in satellite images, started to develop. Zuluaga and coauthors estimate that the cloud seen in Pinar del Rio corresponds to a small part of the trajectory of the meteor (corresponding to altitudes between 26 and 22.5 km). According to the footage on that city and the reconstruction of the Colombians, the airburst ended at about 22 km.

From there on, hundreds of small fragments that survived the atmospheric ablation fell in many direction without emitting any light (dark flight). Although most of these small rocks probably ended up in the forests of the Viñales Natural Park, some of them hit several houses in the Viñales Valley, close to a touristic landmark, "El Mural de la Prehistoria," six kilometers away from the main path of the object. If a big fragment survived the ablation, it probably landed in the ocean on the northwestern coast of the island.

After reconstructing the trajectory in the atmosphere, the Colombian astronomers played back the impact and found that the culprit, a rock with an estimated size of several meters and a weight of about 360 tons, came from an eccentric orbit around the sun with an average distance of 1.3 astronomical units (1 astronomical-unit = 150 million km). Before impacting the Earth, the rock completed a turn around the sun every 1.32 years. All that came to an end on February 1, 2019, when the rock and the Earth found themselves at the same point in space at the same time.

But reconstructing the trajectory of the meteor was not enough for the Colombian Astronomers. Several groups around the world are probably working right now on their own estimations, some of them using precise satellite data or information from infrasound networks. As the Chelyabinsk impact taught us, this event attracts the attention of many scientists, and it is probable that other works will be published about the impact on the following weeks or months.

More interestingly, the astronomers used their results to test a method that Zuluaga and Mario Sucerquia, who was also a coauthor of this work, developed recently to study asteroid impacts against the Earth and the Moon. The method, called Gravitational Ray Tracing (GRT), applies several doink-head originally devised for the computer graphics industry.

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Prediction of the GRT theoretical method regarding the azimuth or direction from which the asteroids in Chelyabinsk and Cuba should come and its elevation.  Credit: Universidad de Antioquia
In GRT, the Earth is not hit by asteroids but it is a source of them. Many rocks are launched (in a simulated environment) into thousands of directions in the sky and with different speeds, from a certain geographical location (a beach in the northwest of Cuba or a valley on the moon). The rocks that end up in orbits around the sun, similar to already discovered asteroids, are flagged as potential impactors. The rocks with orbits that are not typical of near-Earth objects (NEOs) are flagged as unnatural objects.

Using the rocks that are flagged as potential asteroids, the astronomers were able to create maps in the sky of the directions from which a real asteroid could arrive. Or at least this is what the theory of Zuluaga and Sucerquia states.

The Colombian astronomers found that their theoretical method predicted what Cubans saw: a rock coming from the south in a trajectory inclined around 30 degrees with respect to the horizon.

In order to check if this result was not just the product of chance, they performed a similar calculation on the Chelyabinsk event. Again, the method predicted that at the time and location of the Russian impact, the most probable region in the sky from where an asteroid could arrive was looking toward the northeast, at an elevation of 20 degrees. The actual object appeared almost in the direction of the east and at exactly 20 degrees of elevation.

But still, the coincidence between the predictions of GRT and the actual conditions of the Chelyabinsk and Cuba impact could also be random. However, it could also reveal a deeper truth, namely the fact that the researchers could predict the direction in the sky from which a meteor could arrive into the city (if that impact actually occurs).

[Image: 4-fromchelyabi.jpg]
Prediction of the GRT theoretical method regarding the azimuth or direction from which the asteroids in Chelyabinsk and Cuba should come and its elevation.  Credit: Universidad de Antioquia"Only after the recent digital boom we have realized how frequent and potentially hazardous could the impact of small meteoroids on populated areas," says Mario Sucerquia. He adds, "Sadly we are not yet able to defend our society against this threat; our work suggests that in principle, we could be prepared, at least with some knowledge, for future impacts."

Prof. Pablo Cuartas, co-author of the paper, says, "The relatively small size of meteoroids like those that fell in Chelyabinsk and Cuba made them practically undetectable before the impact. Since detection is almost impossible, the risk that damaging events like this will happen over very populated areas is high; our results suggest that we can predict in advance at least from which direction they will come."

Finally, he says, "We should be prepared for the next projectile."

Mario Sucerquia is even more direct: "We should check impact probabilities all the time at least in populated areas; doing this as part, for instance, of a public protocol, may help us to take preventive measures in the face of impact threats."

[Image: 1x1.gif] Explore further: Astronomers calculate orbit and origins of Russian fireball

More information: Data and software developed for the work:

Can we predict the impact conditions of meter-sized meteoroids?

Jorge I Zuluaga et al. Towards a theoretical determination of the geographical probability distribution of meteoroid impacts on Earth, Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society (2018). DOI: 10.1093/mnras/sty702 

Journal reference: Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society [Image: img-dot.gif] [Image: img-dot.gif]
Provided by: Universidad de Antioquia

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Asteroids are stronger, harder to destroy than previously thought  Gangup
March 4, 2019, Johns Hopkins University

[Image: asteroidsare.jpg]
Frame-by-frame showing how gravity causes asteroid fragments to reaccumulate in the hours following impact. Credit: Charles El Mir/Johns Hopkins University
A popular theme in the movies is that of an incoming asteroid that could extinguish life on the planet, and our heroes are launched into space to blow it up. But incoming asteroids may be harder to break than scientists previously thought, finds a Johns Hopkins study that used a new understanding of rock fracture and a new computer modeling method to simulate asteroid collisions.

The findings, to be published in the March 15 print issue of Icarus, can aid in the creation of asteroid impact and deflection strategies, increase understanding of solar system formation and help design asteroid mining efforts.

"We used to believe that the larger the object, the more easily it would break, because bigger objects are more likely to have flaws. Our findings, however, show that asteroids are stronger than we used to think and require more energy to be completely shattered," says Charles El Mir, a recent Ph.D graduate from the Johns Hopkins University's Department of Mechanical Engineering and the paper's first author.

Researchers understand physical materials like rocks at a laboratory scale (about the size of your fist), but it has been difficult to translate this understanding to city-size objects like asteroids. In the early 2000s, a different research team created a computer model into which they input various factors such as mass, temperature, and material brittleness, and simulated an asteroid about a kilometer in diameter striking head-on into a 25-kilometer diameter target asteroid at an impact velocity of five kilometers per second. Their results suggested that the target asteroid would be completely destroyed by the impact.

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The first phase of a new asteroid collision model, which shows the processes that begin immediately after an asteroid is hit -- processes that occur within fractions of a second. Credit: Charles El Mir/Johns Hopkins University
In the new study, El Mir and his colleagues, K.T. Ramesh, director of the Hopkins Extreme Materials Institute and Derek Richardson, professor of astronomy at the University of Maryland, entered the same scenario into a new computer model called the Tonge-Ramesh model, which accounts for the more detailed, smaller-scale processes that occur during an asteroid collision. Previous models did not properly account for the limited speed of cracks in the asteroids.

"Our question was, how much energy does it take to actually destroy an asteroid and break it into pieces?" says El Mir.

The simulation was separated into two phases: a short-timescale fragmentation phase and a long-timescale gravitational reaccumulation phase. The first phase considered the processes that begin immediately after an asteroid is hit, processes that occur within fractions of a second. The second, long-timescale phase considers the effect of gravity on the pieces that fly off the asteroid's surface after the impact, with gravitational reaccumulation occurring over many hours after impact.

In the first phase, after the asteroid was hit, millions of cracks formed and rippled throughout the asteroid, parts of the asteroid flowed like sand, and a crater was created. This phase of the model examined the individual cracks and predicted overall patterns of how those cracks propagate. The new model showed that the entire asteroid is not broken by the impact, unlike what was previously thought. Instead, the impacted asteroid had a large damaged core that then exerted a strong gravitational pull on the fragments in the second phase of the simulation.

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The second phase of a new asteroid collision model, which shows the effect gravity has on the pieces that fly off an asteroid's surface after impact. This phase occurs over many hours. Credit: Charles El Mir/Johns Hopkins University
The research team found that the end result of the impact was not just a "rubble pile—a collection of weak fragments loosely held together by gravity. Instead, the impacted asteroid retained significant strength because it had not cracked completely, indicating that more energy would be needed to destroy asteroids. Meanwhile, the damaged fragments were now redistributed over the large core, providing guidance to those who might want to mine asteroids during future space ventures.

"It may sound like science fiction but a great deal of research considers asteroid collisions. For example, if there's an asteroid coming at earth, are we better off breaking it into small pieces, or nudging it to go a different direction? And if the latter, how much force should we hit it with to move it away without causing it to break? These are actual questions under consideration," adds El Mir.

"We are impacted fairly often by small asteroids, such as in the Chelyabinsk event a few years ago," says Ramesh. "It is only a matter of time before these questions go from being academic to defining our response to a major threat. We need to have a good idea of what we should do when that time comes—and scientific efforts like this one are critical to help us make those decisions."

[Image: 1x1.gif] Explore further: Asteroid-deflection mission passes key development milestone

More information: Charles El Mir et al, A new hybrid framework for simulating hypervelocity asteroid impacts and gravitational reaccumulation, Icarus (2018). DOI: 10.1016/j.icarus.2018.12.032 

Journal reference: Icarus [Image: img-dot.gif] [Image: img-dot.gif]
Provided by: Johns Hopkins University

Along the vines of the Vineyard.
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Quote:Previous models did not properly account  Slap2 for the limited speed of cracks in the asteroids.


Quote:Meanwhile, the damaged fragments were now redistributed over the large core, 
providing guidance Kickbut
to those who might want to mine asteroids during future space ventures

Or .. provided guidance ... to previous occupants ... 
Interesting mining concept.
But then all the asteroids are all cracked up from impacts.
Asteroids must have a process of infilling cracks over time,
and to resolidify around the central core they mention.

Quote:For example,
if there's an asteroid coming at earth, 
are we better off breaking it into small pieces,  Naughty
or nudging it Whip
to go a different direction? 

And if the latter, 
how much force should we hit it with to move it away without causing it to break? 
These are actual questions under consideration," adds El Mir.

 It really depends on how much time you have with the existing technology to be able to work.
The premise of eliminating an asteroid threat is based upon a limited time frame of action.
A nudge may not need to much of a persuasive impact to alter the course of travel.
Blowing it to smithereens ...  well you know the story, too much or too little, a little too late.

There might be a way in the future to pull or tow an asteroid even if it is spinning and moving.

If you nuke the asteroid ... it might send fragments of radioactive material to Earth.
So I assume the "nudge",
might be a nuclear impact very close by to the speeding asteroid,
that pushes that asteroid off in a new direction?

Atombomb Atombomb Atombomb

Geologic evidence supports theory that major cosmic impact event occurred approximately 12,800 years ago
March 13, 2019 by Sonia Fernandez, University of California - Santa Barbara

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The researchers found evidence of cosmic impact at  the Pilauco dig site in a suburb of the Osorno province in Chile Credit: Courtesy image
When UC Santa Barbara geology professor emeritus James Kennett and colleagues set out years ago to examine signs of a major cosmic impact that occurred toward the end of the Pleistocene epoch, little did they know just how far-reaching the projected climatic effect would be.

"It's much more extreme than I ever thought when I started this work," Kennett noted. "The more work that has been done, the more extreme it seems."

He's talking about the Younger Dryas Impact Hypothesis, which postulates that a fragmented comet slammed into the Earth close to 12,800 years ago, causing rapid climatic changes, megafaunal extinctions, sudden human population decrease and cultural shifts and widespread wildfires (biomass burning). The hypothesis suggests a possible triggering mechanism for the abrupt changes in climate at that time, in particular a rapid cooling in the Northern Hemisphere, called the Younger Dryas, amid a general global trend of natural warming and ice sheet melting evidenced by changes in the fossil and sediment record.

Controversial from the time it was proposed, the hypothesis even now continues to be contested by those who prefer to attribute the end-Pleistocene reversal in warming entirely to terrestrial causes. But Kennett and fellow stalwarts of the Younger Dryas Boundary (YDB) Impact Hypothesis, as it is also known, have recently received a major boost: the discovery of a very young, 31-kilometer-wide impact crater beneath the Greenland ice sheet, which they believe may have been one of the many comet fragments that impacted Earth at the onset of the Younger Dryas.

Now, in a paper published in the journal Nature Scientific Reports, Kennett and colleagues, led by Chilean paleontologist Mario Pino, present further evidence of a cosmic impact, this time far south of the equator, that likely lead to biomass burning, climate change and megafaunal extinctions nearly 13,000 years ago.

"We have identified the YDB layer at high latitudes in the Southern Hemisphere at near 41 degrees south, close to the tip of South America," Kennett said. This is a major expansion of the extent of the YDB event." The vast majority of evidence to date, he added, has been found in the Northern Hemisphere.

This discovery began several years ago, according to Kennett, when a group of Chilean scientists studying sediment layers at a well-known Quaternary paleontological and archaeological site, Pilauco Bajo, recognized changes known to be associated with YDB impact event. They included a "black mat" layer, 12,800 years in age, that coincided with the disappearance of South American Pleistocene megafauna fossils, an abrupt shift in regional vegetation and a disappearance of human artifacts.

"Because the sequencing of these events looked like what had already been described in the YDB papers for North America and Western Europe, the group decided to run analyses of impact-related proxies in search of the YDB layer," Kennett said. This yielded the presence of microscopic spherules interpreted to have been formed by melting due to the extremely high temperatures associated with impact. The layer containing these spherules also show peak concentrations of platinum and gold, and native iron particles rarely found in nature.

"Among the most important spherules are those that are chromium-rich," Kennett explained. The Pilauco site spherules contain an unusual level of chromium, an element not found in Northern Hemisphere YDB impact spherules, but in South America. "It turns out that volcanic rocks in the southern Andes can be rich in chromium, and these rocks provided a local source for this chromium," he added. "Thus, the cometary objects must have hit South America as well."

Other evidence, which, Kennett noted, is consistent with previous and ongoing documentation of the region by Chilean scientists, pointed to a "very large environmental disruption at about 40 degrees south." These included a large biomass burning event evidenced by, among other things, micro-charcoal and signs of burning in pollen samples collected at the impact layer. "It's by far the biggest burn event in this region we see in the record that spans thousands of years," Kennett said. Furthermore, he went on, the burning coincides with the timing of major YDB-related burning events in North America and western Europe.

The sedimentary layers at Pilauco contain a valuable record of pollen and seeds that show change in character of regional vegetation—evidence of a shifting climate. However, in contrast to the Northern Hemisphere, where conditions became colder and wetter at the onset of the Younger Dryas, the opposite occurred in the Southern Hemisphere.

"The plant assemblages indicate that there was an abrupt and major shift in the vegetation from wet, cold conditions at Pilauco to warm, dry conditions," Kennett said. According to him, the atmospheric zonal climatic belts shifted "like a seesaw," with a synergistic mechanism, bringing warming to the Southern Hemisphere even as the Northern Hemisphere experienced cooling and expanding sea ice. The rapidity—within a few years—with which the climate shifted is best attributed to impact-related shifts in atmospheric systems, rather than to the slower oceanic processes, Kennett said.

Meanwhile, the impact with its associated major environmental effects, including burning, is thought to have contributed to the extinction of local South American Pleistocene megafauna—including giant ground sloths, sabretooth cats, mammoths and elephant-like gomphotheres—as well as the termination of the culture similar to the Clovis culture in the north, he added. The amount of bones, artifacts and megafauna-associated fungi that were relatively abundant in the soil at the Pilauco site declined precipitously at the impact layer, indicating a major local disruption.

The distance of this recently identified YDB site—about 6,000 kilometers from the closest well-studied site in South America—and its correlation with the many Northern Hemispheric sites "greatly expands the extent of the YDB impact event," Kennett said. The sedimentary and paleo-vegetative evidence gathered at the Pilauco site is in line with previous, separate studies conducted by Chilean scientists that indicate a widespread burn and sudden major climate shifts in the region at about YDB onset. This new study further bolsters the hypothesis that a cosmic impact triggered the atmospheric and oceanic conditions of the Younger Dryas, he said.

"This is further evidence that the Younger Dryas climatic onset is an extreme global event, with major consequences on the animal life and the human life at the time," Kennett said. "And this Pilauco section is consistent with that."

[Image: 1x1.gif] Explore further: A cataclysmic event of a certain age

More information: Mario Pino et al, Sedimentary record from Patagonia, southern Chile supports cosmic-impact triggering of biomass burning, climate change, and megafaunal extinctions at 12.8 ka, Scientific Reports (2019).DOI: 10.1038/s41598-018-38089-y 

Journal reference: Scientific Reports [Image: img-dot.gif] [Image: img-dot.gif]
Provided by: University of California - Santa Barbara

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Along the vines of the Vineyard.
With a forked tongue the snake singsss...
The powerful meteor that no one saw (except satellites)
March 19, 2019 by Ivan Couronne With Pascale Mollard In Paris

[Image: ameteorstrea.jpg]
A meteor streaking through the night sky over Myanmar during the Geminid meteor shower on December 14 2018.

At precisely 11:48 am on December 18, 2018, a large space rock heading straight for Earth at a speed of 19 miles per second exploded into a vast ball of fire as it entered the atmosphere, 15.9 miles above the Bering Sea.

From below, the only witnesses to this fiery event may have been the fish that inhabit the frigid waters between Russia and Alaska, as no human eye caught sight of it.

A meteor is the luminous phenomenon that results when an asteroid or other celestial body enters the Earth's atmosphere. It is commonly called a shooting star. If it does not fully vaporize and some part of it hits the Earth's surface, it is called a meteorite.

One of the first researchers to detect the event was Peter Brown, a meteor scientist at the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Western Ontario.

On March 8, he was poring over December data from the system used by the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty Organization to detect atmospheric explosions caused by nuclear tests.

The system is comprised of seismic and acoustic sensors capable of picking up infrasound, inaudible to the human ear, at a distance of tens of thousands of miles.

"Many of them detected the sound waves from this explosion," he told AFP. "If you were directly under it, it would have been deafening."

10 meters in diameter

US military satellites spotted the explosion immediately.

But it was not until March 8 that the Air Force officially informed NASA, which logged the event in the database of fireballs it has kept since 1988, according to Lindley Johnson, NASA's Planetary Defense Officer.

"It was almost immediately published on our website, within 10 minutes, I would say," he told AFP.

NASA's Center for Near Earth Object Studies calculated the energy released by the explosion to be 173 kilotons, more than 10 times as destructive as the 15-kiloton atomic bomb that leveled Hiroshima in 1945.

It was the most powerful explosion in the atmosphere since the fireball that burst over the Russian town of Chelyabinsk in 2013. That was 440 kilotons, and left 1,500 people injured, mostly from glass flying out of smashed windows.

The event was described on Monday by scientists at the 50th Lunar and Planetary Science Conference in Texas.

When he read a report on the subject on the BBC, Simon Proud, a meteorologist and specialist in satellite dataat Oxford University, decided to check the archive of images collected by a Japanese weather satellite, Himawari, which his center permanently monitors.

Bingo: the satellite was in the right place at the right time, he told AFP.

Proud published the image on his Twitter account: what looks like an orange ball of fire above the clouds and sea, but which is in fact a cloud of dust from the meteor caught in the sunlight, Brown said.

As it turns out, NASA's MODIS satellite also photographed the dust cloud, the agency's Kurtis Thome told AFP Tuesday.

"It doesn't surprise me," said Patrick Michel, research director and asteroid specialist at the observatory of the Cote d'Azur in southern France.

"It is a good reminder that there are a bunch of these things that pass over our heads and that it would be good to be more concerned about them," he told AFP.

"It should remind us that even if it is the least likely natural risk we face, it is a still a risk that exists and will in the long term become a reality," he said.

The rock was roughly 10 meters (33 feet) in diameter: the most dangerous celestial bodies for the Earth are those in excess of 150 meters.

"Nothing very unusual," said Rudiger Jehn, head of planetary defense at the European Space Agency (ESA).

"We were lucky it was over the ocean. It can happen again, and someday there will be a bigger one," he said, noting that the ESA plans to ask member states for a budget to create a better protection system against asteroids during a ministerial meeting in November.

"That meteor explosion is a perfect promotion for our program. And it is free," he said.

[Image: 1x1.gif] Explore further: Science Says: That Michigan meteor could have been meatier

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Along the vines of the Vineyard.
With a forked tongue the snake singsss...
Quote:NASA's Center for Near Earth Object Studies 
calculated the energy released by the explosion to be 173 kilotons, 
more than 10 times as destructive as the 15-kiloton atomic bomb that leveled Hiroshima in 1945.

They say it exploded 15.9 miles above the Bering Sea.
What is the safe distance from a 173 kiloton explosion?
How does that affect a jet directly below within 10 miles altitude of that?

It doesn't just vaporize either.
There could be a debris fallout over several miles. 
We are, and always have been sitting ducks.
... there goes another global civilization ...
Thatz why we need the moon mars and ceres.
Along the vines of the Vineyard.
With a forked tongue the snake singsss...
APRIL 30, 2019
The space rock that hit the moon at 61,000 kilometers an hour
by Royal Astronomical Society
[Image: thespacerock.jpg]The flash from the impact of the meteorite on the eclipsed Moon, seen as the dot at top left, as recorded by two of the telescopes operating in the framework of the MIDAS Survey from Sevilla (Spain) on 2019 January 21. Credit: J. M. Madiedo / MIDAS
Observers watching January's total eclipse of the Moon saw a rare event, a short-lived flash as a meteorite hit the lunar surface. Spanish astronomers now think the space rock collided with the Moon at 61,000 kilometres an hour, excavating a crater 10 to 15 metres across. Prof Jose Maria Madiedo of the University of Huelva, and Dr. Jose L. Ortiz of the Institute of Astrophysics of Andalusia, publish their results in a new paper in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.

Total lunar eclipses take place when the Moon moves completely into the shadow of the Earth. The Moon takes on a red colour—the result of scattered sunlight refracted through the Earth's atmosphere—but is much darker than normal. These spectacular events are regularly observed by astronomers and the wider public alike.
The most recent lunar eclipse took place on 21 January 2019, with observers in North and South America and Western Europe enjoying the best view. At 0441 GMT, just after the total phase of the eclipse began, a flash was seen on the lunar surface. Widespread reports from amateur astronomers indicated the flash—attributed to a meteorite impact—was bright enough to be seen with the naked eye.
Madiedo and Ortiz operate the Moon Impacts Detection and Analysis System (MIDAS), using eight telescopes in south of Spain to monitor the lunar surface. Video footage from MIDAS recorded the moment of impact.
The impact flash lasted 0.28 seconds and is the first ever filmed during a lunar eclipse, despite a number of earlier attempts.

[Image: 1-thespacerock.jpg]

The flash from the impact of the meteorite on the eclipsed Moon, seen as the dot at top left (indicated by the arrow in the image), as recorded by two of the telescopes operating in the framework of the MIDAS Survey from Sevilla (Spain) on 2019 January 21. Credit: J. M. Madiedo / MIDAS
"Something inside of me told me that this time would be the time", said Madiedo, who was impressed when he observed the event, as it was brighter than most of the events regularly detected by the survey.
Unlike the Earth, the Moon has no atmosphere to protect it and so even small rocks can hit its surface. Since these impacts take place at huge speeds, the rocks are instantaneously vaporised at the impact site, producing an expanding plume of debris whose glow can be detected from our planet as short-duration flashes.
MIDAS telescopes observed the impact flash at multiple wavelengths (different colours of light), improving the analysis of the event. Madiedo and Ortiz conclude that the incoming rock had a mass of 45kg, measured 30 to 60 centimetres across, and hit the surface at 61,000 kilometres an hour. The impact site is close to the crater Lagrange H, near the west-south-west portion of the lunar limb.
The two scientists assess the impact energy as equivalent to 1.5 tonnes of TNT, enough to create a crater up to 15 metres across, or about the size of two double decker buses side by side. The debris ejected is estimated to have reached a peak temperature of 5400 degrees Celsius, roughly the same as the surface of the Sun.

Madiedo comments: "It would be impossible to reproduce these high-speed collisions in a lab on Earth. Observing flashes is a great way to test our ideas on exactly what happens when a meteorite collides with the Moon."
The team plan to continue monitoring meteorite impacts on the lunar surface, not least to understand the risk they present to astronauts, set to return to the Moon in the next decade.[/size]


Explore further
Astronomers spot record-breaking lunar impact[/size]

More information: "Multiwavelength observations of a bright impact flash during the January 2019 total lunar eclipse", J. M. Madiedo, J. L. Ortiz, N. Morales and P. Santos-Sanz, Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, Oxford University Press, in press. , … adiedo%20et%20al.pdf
Journal information: Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society [/url]

Provided by [url=]Royal Astronomical Society


APRIL 30, 2019

What if an asteroid was about to hit Earth? Scientists ponder question
by Ivan Couronne
[Image: anasamosaici.jpg]A Nasamosaic image of asteroid Bennu, composed of 12 PolyCam images
Here's a hypothetical: a telescope detects an asteroid between 100 and 300 meters in diameter racing through our solar system at 14 kilometers per second, 57 million kilometers from Earth.

Astronomers estimate a one percent risk the space rock will collide with our planet on April 27, 2027. What should we do?
It's this potentially catastrophic scenario that 300 astronomers, scientists, engineers and emergency experts are applying their collective minds to this week in a Washington suburb, the fourth such international effort since 2013.
"We have to make sure people understand this is not about Hollywood," said NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine as he opened the sixth International Planetary Defense Conference at the University of Maryland's campus in College Park.
Countries represented include China, France, Germany, Israel, Italy, Russia and the United States.
The idea that the planet Earth may one day have to defend itself against an asteroid used to elicit what experts call a "giggle factor."
But a meteor that blew up in the atmosphere over Russia on February 15, 2013, helped put an end to the sneers.
On that morning, a 65-foot (20-meter) asteroid appear out of nowhere over the southern Urals, exploding 14 miles (23 kilometers) above the town of Chelyabinsk with such force that it shattered the windows of thousands of buildings.
A thousand people were injured by the shards.
But "the positive aspect of Chelyabinsk is that it made the public aware, it made the political decision makers aware," Detlef Koschny, co-manager of the Planetary Defence Office of the European Space Agency (ESA) told AFP.
[Image: ameteoritetr.jpg]

A meteorite trail is seen above a residential apartment block in the Urals city of Chelyabinsk, on February 15, 2013
How many?
Only those asteroids whose orbit around our Sun brings them within 31 million miles of our planet—defined as "near Earth"—are of interest.
Astronomers are finding new ones each day: more than 700 so far this year, for a total of 20,001, said Lindley Johnson of NASA's Planetary Defense Coordination Office, which was created in 2016.
Among the most risky is a rock named 2000SG344: 165 feet in diameter, with a one in 2,096 chance in striking the Earth within a hundred years, according to the ESA.
The majority are very small, but 942 are more than 0.6 miles across, estimates astronomer Alan Harris.

The scientist told an audience that some large ones are probably still out there: "A fair fraction of the biggest ones are hiding... basically parked behind the Sun."
They are found mainly by two US telescopes, one in Arizona and the other in Hawaii.
The ESA has built a telescope for this purpose in Spain and is planning others in Chile and Sicily.
Many astronomers are demanding a space telescope because terrestrial telescopes are unable to detect objects on the other side of the Sun.
[Image: aviewofthefa.jpg][/size]

A view of the facade of a local paint and varnish plant damaged by a shockwave from a meteor in the Urals city of Chelyabinsk on February 15, 2013
Deflecting an asteroid
This week's exercise seeks to simulate global response to a catastrophic meteorite. The first step is aiming telescopes at the threat to precisely calculate its speed and trajectory, following rough initial estimates.
Then it boils down to two choices: try to deflect the object, or evacuate.
If it is less than 165 feet, the international consensus is to evacuate the threatened region. According to Koschny, it is possible to predict the country it will strike two weeks ahead. Days away from impact, it can be narrowed down to within hundreds of kilometers.
What about bigger objects? Trying to nuke them to smithereens like in the movie Armageddon would be bad idea, because it could just create smaller but still dangerous pieces.
The plan, instead, is to launch a device toward the asteroid to divert its trajectory—like a cosmic bumper car.
NASA plans to test this idea out on a real asteroid 492 feet across, in 2022, with the Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) mission.
One issue that remains is politics, says Romana Kofler, of the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs.
"Who would be the decision making authority?" she asked. "The consensus was to leave this aspect out."
The United Nations Security Council would likely be convened, but it's an open question as to whether rich countries would finance an operation if they themselves weren't in the sights of 2000SG344 or another celestial rock.[/size]


Explore further
The day the asteroid might hit[/size]

Along the vines of the Vineyard.
With a forked tongue the snake singsss...
MAY 23, 2019
Study investigates potential risk of Taurid meteor swarm
by Jeff Renaud, University of Western Ontario
[Image: 2-studyinvesti.jpg]Illustration of the entire Taurid swarm. Credit: Western University
A new study from Western University posits proof to the possibility that an oncoming swarm of meteors—likened to the Loch Ness Monster and Bigfoot by some extraterrestrial experts—may indeed pose an existential risk for Earth and its inhabitants. (That's us.)

When considering catalysts for catastrophic collision, there are two main sources Near Earth Objects (NEOs) like asteroids and meteoroids and interlopers from the outer solar system, which are typically comets. Over the past few decades, a great deal of effort has been expended in cataloging more than 90 percent of the potentially hazardous NEOs, and work is ongoing to detect, catalog and track greater numbers and smaller sizes of these objects. Interlopers from the outer solar system are much harder to chart but again, much work is underway.
The Taurid swarm is a third potential source of risk that changes the probabilities of possible catastrophic impacts. The Tunguska (Russia) explosion of 1908 is considered a one-in-1000-year event, assuming a random distribution of events over time. But the Taurid swarm, a dense cluster within the Taurid meteoroid stream, and through which the Earth periodically passes, changes the odds significantly and gives a possible reason for the unlikely occurrence that a once per 1000-year event occurred just over a century ago. If the hypothesized might of the Taurid swarm is successfully proven, this also heightens the possibility of a cluster of large impacts over a short period of time.

Credit: Western University
For the study, published by arXiv and accepted for publication in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, David Clark from Western's Department of Earth Sciences, and Paul Wiegert and Peter Brown from Western's Department of Physics & Astronomy simulated a large collection of 100-meter diameter meteoroids (like the one that triggered the 1908 Tunguska event) with orbits similar to the Taurid swarm and calculated their positions forward for 1,000 years. By analyzing, each object's position and motion over time, the astronomers calculated two optimal viewing times and telescope pointing locations for the Taurid swarm to properly investigate its overall risk potential.
  • [Image: 6-studyinvesti.jpg]
    Historic photo of Tunguska damage (1929)
  • [Image: 3-studyinvesti.jpg]
    Illustration of the Taurid swarm core. Credit: Western University
  • [Image: 4-studyinvesti.jpg]
    Single illustration of Taurid swarm core passing below the Earth. Credit: Western University
  • [Image: 5-studyinvesti.jpg]
    Taurid Fireball Observations in 2015 - Detailed view of the two brightest Taurids far over Poland recorded by the AFO (analog camera) at station Polom. (Spurný et al. 2017 Fig 8). Credit: Western University
  • [Image: 6-studyinvesti.jpg]
    Historic photo of Tunguska damage (1929)
    Illustration of the Taurid swarm core. Credit: Western University

According to Western Meteor Physics Group data analysis, the Earth will approach within 30,000,000 km of the center of the Taurid swarm this summer, the closest such encounter since 1975. The calculations also show that this will be the best viewing time of the Taurid swarm until the early 2030s.
"There has been great interest in the space community since we shared our results at the recent Planetary Defense Conference in Washington, DC," says David Clark, a Western graduate student and first author of the study. "There is strong meteoric and NEO evidence supporting the Taurid swarm and its potential existential risks but this summer brings a unique opportunity to observe and quantify these objects."[/size]

Along the vines of the Vineyard.
With a forked tongue the snake singsss...

here is the rabbit hole

Quote:"There has been great interest in the space community, 
since we shared our results Naughty
at the recent Planetary Defense Conference in Washington, DC," 

the rabbit hole links,  follow sub links
6th IAA Planetary Defense Conference
Planetary Defense
Planetary Defense Conference Exercise - 2019

Then look who shows up.
Dr. P. himself.
In the video, 
only his first 2 or 3 statements are worth hearing, then the rest is dead dry techno babble.
Scientific coalition for UAP studies

Presentation Title:
A Generalized Optimization Analysis for Interstellar Propulsion Systems

conley powell -- one author of Planetary Defense book with Travis Taylor --- busy bees at BAE

Presentation Abstract:
We present a generalized optimization analysis for interstellar propulsion systems
There is an optimum exhaust velocity and an optimum initial acceleration for a given mission. 
The optimum exhaust velocity increases with increasing distance and propulsion system power/mass ratio, 
but for flight between neighboring stars, 
it does not exceed values 
that can be delivered by thermonuclear propulsion systems unless power/mass ratios exceed ~ 0.5 Mw/kg. 

The penalty for lower-than-optimum exhaust velocity is relatively small, 
and there is a point beyond which increasing the power/mass ratio for a fixed exhaust velocity 
does not do much good. 
Trip times around 40 years should be attainable.

 We do not speculate about propulsion systems outside the limits of clearly-foreseeable technology. 
Only a fool would doubt that technologies that we cannot imagine,
will be developed in the ages to come, 
and that older races possess such technologies 
(although many distinguished fools have done just that), 
but it is our purpose here to ascertain what we are sure can be done.

Conley Powell holds a B.A. in physics from Berea College, an M.S. in engineering science from the University of Tennessee Space Institute, and a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from the University of Kentucky. He is a member of the technical staff at 4M Research in Huntsville, Alabama. He has been a faculty member at the Space Institute, and has worked at Arnold Engineering Development Center, near Tullahoma, Tennessee; Teledyne Brown Engineering, in Huntsville; BAE Systems, in Huntsville; Analytical Services, in Huntsville; and Davidson Technologies, in Huntsville. He has taught graduate courses in subjects ranging from astrophysics to nuclear engineering. His specialties are space trajectories, attitude dynamics, space propulsion, and numerical analysis, but he has worked in areas as diverse as hypersonic aircraft, gravitational fields, ion beams, nuclear fusion, and interstellar flight. He is writing three textbooks: one on orbital mechanics, one on nuclear rockets, and one on numerical analysis.

Quote:Two events!!!
May 20th and May 22nd. 

............................Cry   Sheep   Cry 

MAY 24, 2019
What caused the fireballs that lit up the sky over Australia?
by Jonti Horner, The Conversation
[Image: whatcausedth.jpg]One of the fireballs (highlighted by the red circle) captured over the Northern Territory. Credit: NT Emergency Services
Over the past few days a pair of spectacular fireballs have graced Australia's skies.

The first, in the early hours of Monday, May 20, flashed across the Northern Territory, and was seen from both Tennant Creek and Alice Springs, more than 500km apart.
The second came two days later, streaking over South Australia and Victoria.
Such fireballs are not rare events, and serve as yet another reminder that Earth sits in a celestial shooting gallery. In addition to their spectacle, they hold the key to understanding the solar system's formation and history.
Crash, bang, boom!
On any clear night, if you gaze skyward long enough, you will see meteors. These flashes of light are the result of objects impacting on our planet's atmosphere.
Specks of debris vaporise harmlessly in the atmosphere, 80-100km above our heads, all the time—about 100 tons of the stuff per day.
The larger the object, the more spectacular the flash. Where your typical meteor is caused by an object the size of a grain of dust (or, for a particularly bright one, a grain of rice), fireballs like those seen this week are caused by much larger bodies—the size of a grapefruit, a melon or even a car.

Such impacts are rarer than their tiny siblings because there are many more small objects in the solar system than larger bodies.
Moving to still larger objects, you get truly spectacular but rare events like the incredible Chelyabinsk fireball in February 2013.
That was probably the largest impact on Earth for 100 years, and caused plenty of damage and injuries. It was the result of the explosion of an object 10,000 tonnes in mass, around 20 meters in diameter.
On longer timescales, the largest impacts are truly enormous. Some 66 million years ago, a comet or asteroid around 10km in diameter plowed into what is now the Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico. The result? A crater some 200km across, and a mass extinction that included the dinosaurs.

Even that is not the largest impact Earth has experienced. Back in our planet's youth, it was victim to a truly cataclysmic event, when it collided with an object the size of Mars.

When the dust and debris cleared, our once solitary planet was accompanied by the moon.
Impacts that could threaten life on Earth are, thankfully, very rare. While scientists are actively searching to make sure no extinction-level impacts are coming in the near future, it really isn't something we should lose too much sleep about.
Smaller impacts, like those seen earlier this week, come far more frequently—indeed, footage of another fireball was reported earlier this month over Illinois in the United States.
In other words, it is not that unusual to have two bright fireballs in the space of a couple of days over a country as vast as Australia.

Pristine relics of planet formation
These bright fireballs can be an incredible boon to our understanding of the formation and evolution of the solar system. When an object is large enough, it is possible for fragments (or the whole thing) to penetrate the atmosphere intact, delivering a new meteorite to our planet's surface.
Meteorites are incredibly valuable to scientists. They are celestial time capsules—relatively pristine fragments of asteroids and comets that formed when the solar system was young.
[Image: 1-whatcausedth.jpg]

NASA’s record on the location marked in the Great Australian Bight of one of the fireballs over Australia this week. Credit: NASA
Most meteorites we find have lain on Earth for long periods of time before their discovery. These are termed "finds" and while still valuable, are often degraded and weathered, chemically altered by our planet's wet, warm environment.
By contrast, "falls" (meteorites whose fall has been observed and that are recovered within hours or days of the event) are far more precious. When we study their composition, we can be confident we are studying something ancient and pristine, rather than worrying that we're seeing the effect of Earth's influence.

The story behind the formation of the moon.
Tracking the fireballs
For this reason, the Australian Desert Fireball Network has set up an enormous network of cameras across our vast continent. These cameras are designed to scour the skies, all night, every night, watching for fireballs like those seen earlier this week.
If we can observe such a fireball from multiple directions, we can triangulate its path, calculate its motion through the atmosphere, and work out whether it is likely to have dropped a meteorite. Using that data, we can even work out where to look.
In addition to these cameras, the project can make use of any data provided by people who saw the event. For that reason, the Fireballs team developed a free app, Fireballs in the Sky.

A successful meteorite search by the Australian Desert Fireball Network.
It contains great information about fireballs and meteor showers, and has links to experiments tied into the national curriculum. More importantly, it also allows its users to submit their own fireball reports.
As for this week's fireball over southern Australia, NASA says it was probably caused by an object the size of a small car. As for finding any remains, they are now likely lost in the waters of the Great Australian Bight.[/size]


Explore further
Meteorite search about to begin[/size]

Provided by The Conversation [/url]
This article is republished from [url=]The Conversation
 under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.[Image: count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-advanced]
Along the vines of the Vineyard.
With a forked tongue the snake singsss...
I get jittery  Alien2 about this summer and the meteoroids swarm we're going to flying bare-ass naked through MANY MILLIONS of pieces of rocks. ice, boulders, mountains ... Angel 

We needed to be already on Mars, which I think and hope the "Smoker" is an underground vent.

Bob... Ninja Assimilated
"The Morning Light, No sensation to compare to this, suspended animation, state of bliss, I keep my eyes on the circling sky, tongue tied and twisted just and Earth Bound Martian I" Learning to Fly Pink Floyd [Video:]
(05-27-2019, 10:25 PM)rhw007 Wrote: I get jittery  Alien2  about this summer and the meteoroids swarm we're going to flying bare-ass naked through MANY MILLIONS of pieces of rocks. ice, boulders, mountains ... Angel 
Cry Arrow
Giant rocks go whizzing by our planet on a continual basis, and much of the time we do not even see them until they have already passed us
Michael Snyder | End of The American Dream - JUNE 17, 2019 Comments 



Over the next several weeks, our planet will have a close encounter with the Taurid meteor swarm.
It will be the closest that we have been to the center of the meteor swarm since 1975, and we won’t have an encounter this close again until 2032.  So for astronomers, this is a really big deal.  And hopefully there will be no danger to Earth during this pass, but some scientists are absolutely convinced that the Tunguska explosion of 1908 which flattened 80 million trees in Russia was caused by an object from the Taurid meteor swarm.  As you will see below, the last week of June will mark the point when we are the closest to the center of the meteor swarm, and so that will be when the risk is the greatest.  According to CBS News, our planet “will approach within 30,000,000 km of the center of the Taurid swarm” by the end of this month…

Quote:This summer, Earth will approach within 30,000,000 km of the center of the Taurid swarm, the study says. That would be Earth’s closest encounter with the swarm since 1975 and the best viewing opportunity we’ll have until the early 2030s.
30 million kilometers may sound like a great distance, but in astronomical terms that is not very far at all, and it is important to remember that distance is measured from the exact center of the meteor swarm.
And there are some scientists that are convinced that giant rocks from this meteor swarm have been responsible for multiple “once-per-1,000-years catastrophic events on Earth” in the past.  The following comes from Forbes[/size]

Quote:The remnants of a comet. As Earth orbits the Sun, its orbital path often goes through dust and debris left by comets, with matter no bigger than a grain of sand busting into Earth’s atmosphere and burning up as “shooting stars”. Mostly, they’re harmless, but the Taurid swam is an exceptionally large cloud of debris, probably from Comet 2P/Encke, that scientists think may be responsible for some once-per-1,000-years catastrophic events on Earth. The Taurid complex-giant comet hypothesis proposes that a giant comet fragmented in the inner solar system, producing dust and small Near-Earth Objects (NEOs), including 2P/Encke and other asteroids, still present today. Among the observational evidence is increased “fireball” shooting star activity when Earth gets close to the “Taurid Swarm”, and increased impacts on the Moon.
In particular, it is now widely believed that the enormous object that exploded over Russia on June 30th, 1908 was from the Taurid meteor swarm.
If you are not familiar with the Tunguska event, here is some excellent information about it from Wikipedia[/size]

Quote:Early estimates of the energy of the air burst range from 10–15 megatons of TNT (42–63 petajoules) to 30 megatons of TNT (130 PJ),[7] depending on the exact height of burst estimated when the scaling-laws from the effects of nuclear weapons are employed.[7][8] However, modern supercomputer calculations that include the effect of the object’s momentum find that more of the energy was focused downward than would be the case from a nuclear explosion and estimate that the airburst had an energy range from 3 to 5 megatons of TNT (13 to 21 PJ).[8]

The 15-megaton (Mt) estimate represents an energy about 1,000 times greater than that of the atomic bombdropped on Hiroshima, Japan—roughly equal to that of the United States’ Castle Bravo (15.2 Mt) ground-based thermonuclear detonation on 1 March 1954, and about one-third that of the Soviet Union‘s Tsar Bombaexplosion on 30 October 1961 (which, at 50 Mt, is the largest nuclear weapon ever detonated).[9]
It is estimated that the Tunguska explosion knocked down some 80 million trees over an area of 2,150 km2(830 sq mi), and that the shock wave from the blast would have measured 5.0 on the Richter magnitude scale.
It is interesting to note that the Tunguska event happened during the last week of June in 1908, and right now researchers are telling us that the last week of June this year “will be the next occasion with a high probability for Tunguska-like collisions or near-misses”[/size]

Quote:Researchers from the Universities of New Mexico and Western Ontario warn we could be in for a similarly catastrophic event.
“If the Tunguska object was a member of a Beta Taurid stream, then the last week in June 2019 will be the next occasion with a high probability for Tunguska-like collisions or near-misses,” the researchers wrote in a recent paper.
Of course nobody is saying that something will happen during that time.
It is simply a time when there is a heightened risk, and we should all be hoping that absolutely nothing happens.
However, we should not completely dismiss this threat either.  A couple of years ago, scientists discovered a “new branch” of the meteor swarm that contains “asteroids up to 1,000 feet wide”[/size]

Quote:Scientists have discovered a new branch of the Taurids meteor stream that could pose a major risk to Earth, with asteroids up to 1,000 feet wide flying past us every few years.
If a 1,000 foot asteroid hit our planet tomorrow, we would be talking about the sort of civilization-changing event that I have been warning about for a very long time.
But once again, it is probably not likely that something will happen over the next few weeks.
In fact, scientists tell us that it is far more likely that there will be some sort of impact in 2032[/size]

Quote:In November 2032, Earth will pass through the Taurid Swarm, a cloud of debris from Comet 2P/Encke that makes brilliant fireballs when its gravelly particles occasionally hit Earth’s atmosphere. Previous encounters with the Swarm in 2005 and 2015 produced showers of bright meteors observed around the world; in 1975 the Swarm contacted the Moon, making Apollo seismic sensors ring with evidence of objects hitting the lunar surface. If forecasters are correct, we’re in for similar activity 13 years from now.
In the end, we simply do not know when the next catastrophic meteor impact will happen, but scientists assure us that they will keep on happening.
Giant rocks go whizzing by our planet on a continual basis, and much of the time we do not even see them until they have already passed us.
So we may get some advance warning before a civilization-killing rock hits us someday, but then again, we might not.

Quote:We needed to be already on Mars, which I think and hope the "Smoker" is an underground vent.

Bob... Ninja Assimilated
Cry Arrow 
Bam! Fresh Crater Spied on Mars — and It Looks Spectacular
By Elizabeth Howell 3 hours ago Science & Astronomy 
The crater is about 50 feet wide.

[Image: missing-image.svg]
Mars got whacked.
A small space rock crashed into the Red Planet's surface recently, producing a fresh crater that researchers estimate is 49 feet to 53 feet (15 to 16 meters) wide.
The dramatic feature is clearly visible in a newly released image from NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO). The spacecraft has been imaging the Red Planet up close for more than 13 years using its High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera and photographing larger swaths of terrain with its lower-resolution Context Camera (CTX).
Related: Latest Photos from NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter

A new crater on Mars, which appeared sometime between September 2016 and February 2019, shows up as a dark smudge on the landscape in this high-resolution photo. 
[Image: RAeUhyS64SomeDaDiozbtR-650-80.jpg]
(Image: © NASA/JPL/University of Arizona)
color image from HiRISE, posted June 6 and taken in April, shows a large black-and-blue bruise on the landscape amid an otherwise flat area of red Martian dirt.
Because MRO cannot look everywhere at once, it's unclear exactly when the new crater formed; the best estimate is somewhere between September 2016 and February 2019, scientists said. 
While MRO captures hundreds of these new dark smudges a year, said HiRISE team member and University of Arizona staff scientist Veronica Bray, this new crater is on the larger side of the ones that she has ever seen. That means the impact that created it was a fairly rare event, at least as far as we know from 13 years of MRO's continuous observing. 
Bray estimated that the impactor responsible was about 5 feet (1.5 m) wide — so small that it would either have burst into pieces or eroded away completely had it come through Earth's much thicker atmosphere. The impactor might have been a more solid rock than usual, she added, because other rocks coming into Mars' atmosphere often shatter high in the air and create chains of craters as broken-up pieces smack into the terrain below.
"It is a reminder of what's out there," Bray, a HiRISE targeting specialist who imaged this new crater, told She said that Mars is a dynamic place, complete with shifting sand dunes and whirling dust devils, but she finds craters the most interesting Red Planet surface features. 
"It's a gorgeous [crater]. I'm glad I got it in the color strip," she said.

Quote:KABOOM! Before and after images of a meteorite forming a brand new impact crater on Mars. Sometime between 18 Feb 2017 and 20 March 2019. 12, 2019
Bray added that the color of this particular crater fascinates her, because she can see the impact wave clearly — a dark zone where dust was shifted off the surface. Beneath is likely basaltic rock, based on what we know of Mars geology and the colors showing in the image. There also are zones with a bluish tint, which may or may not be exposed ice. While the crater was blasted in the Valles Marineris region, near the relatively warm Martian equator, it's possible there could be a little ice underneath the dust, Bray said.
She noted, however, that no recent spectroscopy of the area is available (as far as she knows) through another MRO instrument called CRISM (Compact Reconnaissance Imaging Spectrometer for Mars). 
Even if CRISM does image the area, there will be some barriers to learning more about what minerals are in the region, Bray said. The 13-year-old instrument, which is operating well past its design lifetime, ran out of coolant long ago and has poorer resolution than when it first began. In a best-case scenario, the crater might take up one pixel of the CRISM image. (CRISM has a resolution of about 52 feet, or 16 m, per pixel, while that of HiRISE is 0.8 feet, or 25 centimeters, per pixel.)

'This kind of blew me away'
Mars researcher Peter Grindrod, an ExoMars program researcher and planetary scientist at London's Natural History Museum, posted a GIF on Twitter Wednesday (June 12) showing lower-resolution "before" and "after" photos from CTX, as well as a height map showing the crater in relation to the flat terrain around it. (He generated the height map by running HiRISE photos through a commercial software program.)
Grindrod said he regularly posts Mars photos on his feed just out of interest, often when he is about to give a public or scientific talk on the Red Planet. In this case, the crater really got his attention: 
"This kind of blew me away," he told, referring to the size of the fresh crater. "I'd never seen anything like that."
Related: 7 Biggest Mysteries of Mars
He added that this work is only possible because HiRISE provides so much of its data openly, allowing for re-publication and modification of the imagery for scientists or interested members of the public who want to learn more about Mars. 
"Everything we do is open data, and we give away as many of these as we can," he said about space researchers, adding that participating mission scientists often have a brief period with exclusive access to the data so they can publish their own discoveries first.
While Grindrod is not a member of the HiRISE team, he regularly contributes to the Digital Terrain Model archive on the HiRISE website because he enjoys generating height maps, he said. These show Martian features in the context of the surrounding terrain, helping to give geological context to features such as dust devils or craters.
Preparing for more Mars work

Spacecraft continue to join the venerable MRO at and around the Red Planet. Grindrod has several affiliations with ExoMars, the two-phase British-Russian robotic exploration program. 
For example, he's is a guest investigator with ExoMars' Trace Gas Orbiter, which arrived at the Red Planet in 2016. Grindrod is studying "active processes" such as dust devils and dunes. Before-and-after pictures are great for investigating these temporary phenomena, he explained, which is why he was inspired to make the GIF for the new crater.
TGO is the core of ExoMars' first phase. The second phase centers on a rover named Rosalind Franklin, which is scheduled to launch in July 2020 and land in February 2021. Grindrod's team generated height maps for dozens of proposed ExoMars rover landing sites as scientists debated where to go. He then provided these maps to the HiRISE group to post on their website. 

"We gave them away to everyone who wanted them," he said. These height maps helped show researchers potential sites for water, an important item for looking for habitable environments, he explained.

Additionally, Grindrod participated in several ExoMars rover field trials between 2018 and 2019. A test rover was put through its paces in Utah, Spain and the Atacama Desert in Chile during three separate trials, with each attempt getting more complex and closer to what the real deal will be like on Mars. 
Grindrod is also a member of Rosalind Franklin's panoramic camera team, which will provide geological context as the rover hunts for signs of previous life on the Red Planet. Since life as we know it requires liquid water, researchers on the search for habitable environments generally tend to look for formations (like clay) or minerals (like hematite) that usually form in the presence of water. [/size]
Along the vines of the Vineyard.
With a forked tongue the snake singsss...
Quote:I get jittery  [Image: alien2.gif] about this summer and the meteoroids swarm we're going to flying bare-ass naked through MANY MILLIONS of pieces of rocks. ice, boulders, mountains ... [Image: angel.png] 

We needed to be already on Mars, which I think and hope the "Smoker" is an underground vent.

Bob... [Image: ninja.gif] [Image: assimilated.gif]
Hartwick explained that about two to three tons of space debris crash into Mars every day on average. And as those meteors rip apart in the planet's atmosphere, they inject a huge volume of dust into the air.
Mars gets whacked a lot but We still need Two Worlds!>>>
JUNE 17, 2019
Meteors help Martian clouds form
by University of Colorado at Boulder
[Image: mars.jpg]Credit: CC0 Public Domain
How did the Red Planet get all of its clouds? CU Boulder researchers may have discovered the secret: just add meteors.

Astronomers have long observed clouds in Mars' middle atmosphere, which begins about 18 miles (30 kilometers) above the surface, but have struggled to explain how they formed.
Now, a new study, which will be published on June 17 in the journal Nature Geoscience, examines those wispy accumulations and suggests that they owe their existence to a phenomenon called "meteoric smoke"—essentially, the icy dust created by space debris slamming into the planet's atmosphere.
The findings are a good reminder that planets and their weather patterns aren't isolated from the solar systems around them.
"We're used to thinking of Earth, Mars and other bodies as these really self-contained planets that determine their own climates," said Victoria Hartwick, a graduate student in the Department of Atmospheric and Ocean Sciences (ATOC) and lead author of the new study. "But climate isn't independent of the surrounding solar system."
The research, which included co-authors Brian Toon at CU Boulder and Nicholas Heavens at Hampton University in Virginia, hangs on a basic fact about clouds: They don't come out of nowhere.
"Clouds don't just form on their own," said Hartwick, also of the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics at CU Boulder. "They need something that they can condense onto."
On Earth, for example, low-lying clouds begin life as tiny grains of sea salt or dust blown high into the air. Water molecules clump around these particles, becoming bigger and bigger until they form the large puffs that you can see from the ground.
But, as far as scientists can tell, those sorts of cloud seeds don't exist in Mars' middle atmosphere, Hartwick said. And that's what led her and her colleagues to meteors.
Hartwick explained that about two to three tons of space debris crash into Mars every day on average. And as those meteors rip apart in the planet's atmosphere, they inject a huge volume of dust into the air.
To find out if such smoke would be enough to give rise to Mars' mysterious clouds, Hartwick's team turned to massive computer simulations that attempt to mimic the flows and turbulence of the planet's atmosphere.
And sure enough, when they included meteors in their calculations, clouds appeared.
"Our model couldn't form clouds at these altitudes before," Hartwick said. "But now, they're all there, and they seem to be in all the right places."
The idea might not be as outlandish as it sounds, she added. Research has shown that similar interplanetary schmutz may help to seed clouds near Earth's poles.
But she also says that you shouldn't expect to see gigantic thunderheads forming above the surface of Mars anytime soon. The clouds her team studied were much more like bits of cotton candy than the clouds Earthlings are used to.
"But just because they're thin and you can't really see them doesn't mean they can't have an effect on the dynamics of the climate," Hartwick said.
The researchers' simulations, for example, showed that middle atmosphere clouds could have a large impact on the Martian climate. Depending on where the team looked, those clouds could cause temperatures at high altitudes to swing up or down by as much as 18 degrees Fahrenheit (10 degrees Celsius).
And that climactic impact is what gets Brian Toon, a professor in ATOC, excited. He said that the team's findings on modern-day Martian clouds may also help to reveal the planet's past evolution and how it once managed to support liquid water at its surface.
"More and more climate models are finding that the ancient climate of Mars, when rivers were flowing across its surface and life might have originated, was warmed by high altitude clouds," Toon said. "It is likely that this discovery will become a major part of that idea for warming Mars."


Explore further
Watch martian clouds scoot, thanks to NASA's Curiosity[/size]

More information: High-altitude water ice cloud formation on Mars controlled by interplanetary dust particles, Nature Geoscience (2019). DOI: 10.1038/s41561-019-0379-6 ,
Journal information: Nature Geoscience [/url]

Provided by [url=]University of Colorado at Boulder
Along the vines of the Vineyard.
With a forked tongue the snake singsss...
3 Asteroids Are Zipping Past Earth Today
By Mindy Weisberger - Senior Writer a day ago Space 
But don't worry — they're at least as far away as the moon 
  • Hundreds of orbiting comets and asteroids are thought to present some risk of colliding with Earth, but the threat is typically very small. 
(Image: © Shutterstock
Three asteroids are expected to hurtle past Earth today (Sept. 9). One will pass as near as 310,000 miles (500,000 kilometers) — closer than any potential asteroid near-miss for the next three months.
Asteroid 2019 QZ3 flew by at 6:49 a.m. ET; asteroid 2019 RG2 follows at around 3:13 p.m. ET, and the third, asteroid 2019 QY4, flashes past at 9:10 p.m. ET, the International Business Times reported.
QZ3 is the biggest of the trio, with a diameter of 220 feet (67 meters), while RG2 and QY4, respectively measure approximately 66 feet (20 m) and 52 feet (16 m) in length, according to NASA's Center for Near-Earth Object Studies (CNEOS).
 the fastest asteroid, speeding by at a velocity of nearly 50,000 miles per hour (80,000 kilometers/hour), while QY4 is moving at just over 17,000 mph (27,000 km/h). QZ3 is the slowpoke of the group, at 16,700 mph (26,800 km/h), according to IBT. Though QZ3 is the biggest asteroid, it is also the furthest from Earth, at a distance of approximately 2.3 million miles from our planet, CNEOS reported.
Another asteroid — 2006 QV89 — was previously thought to potentially follow a trajectory that could slam into Earth, with a 1-in-7,299 chance of an impact on Sept. 9. But experts announced in July that the asteroid did not appear in the area of the sky where it would have shown up if it were on a collision course with our planet, representatives with the European Southern Observatory (ESO) said in a statement
CNEOS representatives confirmed on Aug. 15 that QV89 was no threat to Earth, and that the asteroid would instead rocket past our planet on Sept. 27 "at a comfortable distance of 4.3 million miles (6.9 million km), about 18 times the distance of the Moon."
Currently, there are 878 NEOs that demonstrate some risk — however small it might be — of colliding with Earth, according to a list maintained by the European Space Agency (ESA). Of these, the biggest (and second on the list) is asteroid 1979 XB. Measuring about 2,300 feet (700 m) in length and traveling at more than 58,000 mph (93,300 km/h), the massive space rock is expected to come calling on Dec. 14, 2113, ESA reported.

All comets in the solar system might come from the same place
by Bryce Benda, Leiden University
[Image: allcometsint.jpg]This single frame Rosetta navigation camera image of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko was taken on 7 July 2015 from a distance of 154 km from the comet centre. Credit: ESA/Rosetta/NAVCAM
All comets might share their place of birth, new research says. For the first time ever, astronomer Christian Eistrup applied chemical models to fourteen well-known comets, surprisingly finding a clear pattern. His publication has been accepted in the journal Astronomy & Astrophysics.

[b]Comets: balls of ice or more?[/b]
Comets travel through our solar system and are composed of ice, dust, and small rock-like particles. Their nuclei can be as large as tens of kilometers across. "Comets are everywhere, and sometimes with very funky orbits around the Sun. In the past, comets even have hit the Earth," Christian Eistrup says. "We know what comets consist of and which molecules are present in them. They vary in composition, but are normally seen as just one group of icy balls. Therefore, I wanted to know whether comets are indeed one group, or whether different subsets can be made."
[b]A new take on comets[/b]
"What if I apply our existing chemical models to comets?", Eistrup thought during his Ph.D. at Leiden University. In the research team at Leiden Observatory, which included Kavli Prize winner Ewine van Dishoeck, he developed models to predict the chemical composition of protoplanetary discs—flat discs of gas and dust encompassing young stars. Understanding these discs can give insight into how stars and planets form. Conveniently, these Leiden models turned out to be of help in learning about comets and their origins.
"I thought it would be interesting to compare our chemical models with published data on comets," says the astronomer. "Luckily, I had the help of Ewine. We did some statistics to pin down if there was a special time or place in our young solar system, where our chemical models meet the data on comets." This happened to be the case, and to a surprising extent. Where the researchers hoped for a number of comets sharing similarities, it turned out that all fourteen comets showed the same trend. "There was a single model that fitted each comet best, thereby indicating that they share their origin."

Credit: Leiden University
And that origin is somewhere close to our young Sun, when it was still encircled by a protoplanetary disc and our planets were still forming. The model suggests a zone around the Sun, inside the range where carbon monoxide becomes ice—relatively far away from the nucleus of the young Sun. "At these locations, the temperature varies from 21 to 28 Kelvin, which is around minus 250 degrees Celsius. That's very cold, so cold that almost all the molecules we know are ice.

"From our models, we know that there are some reactions taking place in the ice phase—although very slowly, in a time-frame of 100,000 to 1 million years. But that could explain why there are different comets with different compositions."
But if comets come from the same place, how do they end up in different places and orbits in our solar system? "Although we now think they formed in similar locations around the young Sun, the orbits of some of these comets could be disturbed—for instance by Jupiter—which explains the different orbits."
[b]Comet data hunter[/b]
As befits a scientist, Eistrup places some side-notes to his publication. "With only fourteen comets, the sample is quite small. That's why I'm currently hunting for data on many more comets, to run them through our models and further test our hypothesis." Eistrup also hopes that astronomers that study the origin of our solar system and its evolution can use his results. "Our research suggests that comets have formed during the period they're studying, so this new information might give them new insights."
He is also keen to get in touch with other comet researchers. "Because we show a new trend, I would like to discuss what other astronomers think of our research."
[b]The seeds of life[/b]
Comets and life on Earth, they go hand in hand. "We still don't know how life on Earth began. But the chemistry on comets could lead to the production of organic molecules, including some building blocks for life. And if the right comet hits the right planet, with the right environment, life could start growing," Eistrup concludes. So, interestingly, understanding the birth of comets potentially could help us understand the birth of life on Earth.

Explore further
Image: ESA, NASA's SOHO sees bright sungrazer comet

[b]More information:[/b] Cometary compositions compared with protoplanetary disk midplane chemical evolution. An emerging chemical evolution taxonomy for comets. arXiv:1907.11255 [astro-ph.EP]
[b]Journal information:[/b] Astronomy & Astrophysics [/url]

Provided by 
Leiden University

Rocks at asteroid impact site record first day of dinosaur extinction
[Image: rocksataster.gif]Artist's interpretation of the asteroid impact. The asteroid in the artwork appears much larger than the six-mile rock that scientists hypothesize actually struck the Earth 66 million years ago. Nevertheless, the image nicely illuminates the heat generated as the asteroid rapidly compresses upon impact and the vacuum in its wake. Credit: NASA/Don Davis
When the asteroid that wiped out the dinosaurs slammed into the planet, the impact set wildfires, triggered tsunamis and blasted so much sulfur into the atmosphere that it blocked the sun, which caused the global cooling that ultimately doomed the dinos.

That's the scenario scientists have hypothesized. Now, a new study led by The University of Texas at Austin has confirmed it by finding hard evidence in the hundreds of feet of rocks that filled the impact crater within the first 24 hours after impact.
The evidence includes bits of charcoal, jumbles of rock brought in by the tsunami's backflow and conspicuously absent sulfur. They are all part of a rock record that offers the most detailed look yet into the aftermath of the catastrophe that ended the Age of Dinosaurs, said Sean Gulick, a research professor at the University of Texas Institute for Geophysics (UTIG) at the Jackson School of Geosciences.
"It's an expanded record of events that we were able to recover from within ground zero," said Gulick, who led the study and co-led the 2016 International Ocean Discovery Program scientific drilling mission that retrieved the rocks from the impact site offshore of the Yucatan Peninsula. "It tells us about impact processes from an eyewitness location."
The research was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences on Sept. 9 and builds on earlier work co-led and led by the Jackson School that described how the crater formed and how life quickly recovered at the impact site. An international team of more than two dozen scientists contributed to this study.

[Image: rocksataster.jpg]
A portion of the drilled cores from the rocks that filled the crater left by the asteroid impact that wiped out the dinosaurs. Scientists found melted and broken rocks such as sandstone, limestone and granite -- but no sulfur-bearing minerals, despite the area's high concentration of sulfur containing rocks. This finding suggests that the impact vaporized these rocks forming sulfate aerosols in the atmosphere, causing cooling on the global scale Credit: International Ocean Discovery Program
Most of the material that filled the crater within hours of impact was produced at the impact site or was swept in by seawater pouring back into the crater from the surrounding Gulf of Mexico. Just one day deposited about 425 feet of material—a rate that's among the highest ever encountered in the geologic record. This breakneck rate of accumulation means that the rocks record what was happening in the environment within and around the crater in the minutes and hours after impact and give clues about the longer-lasting effects of the impact that wiped out 75% of life on the planet.

Gulick described it as a short-lived inferno at the regional level, followed by a long period of global cooling.

[Image: 1-rocksataster.jpg]
Sean Gulick, a research professor at The University of Texas at Austin Jackson School of Geosciences (right) and lead author of the study, with co-author Joanna Morgan, a professor at Imperial College London, on the International Ocean Discovery Program research expedition that retrieved cores from the submerged and buried impact crater. Gulick and Morgan co-led the expedition in 2016. Credit: The University of Texas at Austin Jackson School of Geosciences
"We fried them and then we froze them," Gulick said. "Not all the dinosaurs died that day, but many dinosaurs did."
Researchers estimate the asteroid hit with the equivalent power of 10 billion atomic bombs of the size used in World War II. The blast ignited trees and plants that were thousands of miles away and triggered a massive tsunami that reached as far inland as Illinois. Inside the crater, researchers found charcoal and a chemical biomarker associated with soil fungi within or just above layers of sand that shows signs of being deposited by resurging waters. This suggests that the charred landscape was pulled into the crater with the receding waters of the tsunami.
Jay Melosh, a Purdue University professor and expert on impact cratering, said that finding evidence for wildfire helps scientists know that their understanding of the asteroid impact is on the right track.
"It was a momentous day in the history of life, and this is a very clear documentation of what happened at ground zero," said Melosh, who was not involved with this study.
However, one of the most important takeaways from the research is what was missing from the core samples. The area surrounding the impact crater is full of sulfur-rich rocks. But there was no sulfur in the core.
That finding supports a theory that the asteroid impact vaporized the sulfur-bearing minerals present at the impact site and released it into the atmosphere, where it wreaked havoc on the Earth's climate, reflecting sunlight away from the planet and causing global cooling. Researchers estimate that at least 325 billion metric tons would have been released by the impact. To put that in perspective, that's about four orders of magnitude greater than the sulfur that was spewed during the 1883 eruption of Krakatoa—which cooled the Earth's climate by an average of 2.2 degrees Fahrenheit for five years.
Although the asteroid impact created mass destruction at the regional level, it was this global climate change that caused a mass extinction, killing off the dinosaurs along with most other life on the planet at the time.
"The real killer has got to be atmospheric," Gulick said. "The only way you get a global mass extinction like this is an atmospheric effect."

Explore further
Expedition will sample crater left by dinosaur-killing asteroid

[b]More information:[/b] Sean P. S. Gulick el al., "The first day of the Cenozoic," PNAS (2019).
[b]Journal information:[/b] Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 

Provided by [url=]University of Texas at Austin
Along the vines of the Vineyard.
With a forked tongue the snake singsss...
Boulder falls on Virginia highway after meteor lights up the night sky, confusing many
[color=var(--tc,#707070)]BY MARK PRICE
[color=var(--tc,#707070)]SEPTEMBER 13, 2019 09:47 AM,[/color] [color=var(--tc,#707070)]UPDATED SEPTEMBER 13, 2019 06:05 PM[/color]
[/color][Image: boulder_fitted.png]
[color=var(--tc,#707070)]A vehicle crashed in the 14800 block of U.S. 360 in Chesterfield County, Virginia, after hitting this rock. The driver was not seriously injured. LT. JUSTIN ARONSON, PHOTO[/color]

A boulder came out of nowhere and landed on a Virginia highway overnight, leading to confusion when the timing followed widespread reports of a fireball streaking along the East Coast late Thursday.

The American Meteor Society says it[color=var(--lc)] received nearly 40 reports from people who saw a “fireball” over the Carolinas and Virginia, including callers from the Richmond area where the boulder fell.[/color]
Witnesses said the fireball appeared around 8 p.m. moving to the north, and dash cam video obtained by [color=var(--lc)]ABC11 showed it appeared on the horizon as a bright white ball with a tail of fire.[/color]
Hours later came news that a boulder had mysteriously appeared on a highway[color=var(--lc)] southeast of Richmond — and it was big enough to throw a passing car onto its roof, Lt. Justin Aronson of the Chesterfield County Police said on Twitter.[/color]

Aronson posted photos of the boulder surrounded by orange cones and flares, along with an image of the unlucky car resting on its front windshield. The rock was [color=var(--lc)]the size of a picnic table, TV station WTVR reported.[/color]


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South Australia Police released CCTV footage from Mount Gambier in Australia of a meteor lighting up the night sky as it crashed down to Earth on May 21, 2019. Video shows a falling ball of light followed by a bright flash.
By South Australia Police

The boulder landed[color=var(--lhc)] on U.S. 360, also known as Hull Road, at around 4 a.m. It didn’t take long for some to connect the boulder to the fireball, =68.ARCmZtBGUqt-gVC-6R9cfcJDj8516iQaZRlSji5y_gLu77AYUHcRvkDZ3ZcP-lQtVA4BGjYwFejm5Q5m0tYr5DkDWW98PIOr52h7R0GTKU7UlktXE-ACAx2HcOJDHUIp0LKVcG4lx_ta9qGJ7R9k_ZKLHb8XGEVpizcsTOFwrctUKlnVDDcVXEk_tWp8w5TCTw1eEzIP_mcOz3nuejXLnTEllBKziVt_axE0vzciq2IEXeS6pNLxbk9itpljP3OVu-Wbfv7xXH0qfEngCXEtn4hNahF9J5MzCyf8rXvItn0D-6HHwOmeWFqjccRm8LtK3stuUNEVmCpOVlHEqBar7_8nRw&__tn__=-R][color=var(--lc)]both on Twitter and Facebook[/color].[/color]
“Did this come from the sky around 8-9 last night?” [color=var(--lc)]one Twitter user wrote. “I was sitting at Kroger ... and saw what looked to be the biggest meteorite I’ve ever seen. I seriously waited to hear the sound upon impact but never did.”[/color]
“I really hope [color=var(--lc)]it is not part of the Moon. But seriously. WHAT THE!?” another user tweeted.[/color]
“It’s Friday the 13th, and a full moon. Anything goes,” [color=var(--lc)]posted one person on Facebook.[/color]
As the debate continued, some that there were no “skid marks” or a large crater to support the meteor theory. “Did it have a parachute? Come on people,” [color=var(--lc)]said J.J. White on Facebook.[/color]
A meteorologist at Richmond’s NBC12 [color=var(--lc)]spotted the discussion — which included=68.ARCmZtBGUqt-gVC-6R9cfcJDj8516iQaZRlSji5y_gLu77AYUHcRvkDZ3ZcP-lQtVA4BGjYwFejm5Q5m0tYr5DkDWW98PIOr52h7R0GTKU7UlktXE-ACAx2HcOJDHUIp0LKVcG4lx_ta9qGJ7R9k_ZKLHb8XGEVpizcsTOFwrctUKlnVDDcVXEk_tWp8w5TCTw1eEzIP_mcOz3nuejXLnTEllBKziVt_axE0vzciq2IEXeS6pNLxbk9itpljP3OVu-Wbfv7xXH0qfEngCXEtn4hNahF9J5MzCyf8rXvItn0D-6HHwOmeWFqjccRm8LtK3stuUNEVmCpOVlHEqBar7_8nRw&__tn__=-R][color=var(--lc)] GIFs of falling meteors[/color] — and he weighed in with a sobering response early Friday.[/color]
“Someone suggested in my timeline that it could be a meteorite,” [color=var(--lc)]Andrew Freiden tweeted. “But it’s not. If it were a meteorite we would all be dead. #HappyFriday.”[/color]
His best guess? “Maybe somebody pushed it off of a roadside or median,” Freiden tweeted.
The Virginia Department of Transportation [color=var(--lc)]has since removed the boulder, county police said, but the debate rages on. The driver of the flipped car was not injured, officials said.[/color]

Quote:CPD on scene of a vehicle crash in the 14800 block of 360. Vehicle vs. Boulder. Only one eastbound lane open. No serious injuries. [color=var(--lc)]@CCPDVa [color=var(--lc)]@sgt_lamb[/color] [color=var(--lc)]@CBS6[/color] [color=var(--lc)]@NBC12[/color] [color=var(--lc)]@8NEWS[/color] [color=var(--lc)][/color]
— Lt. Justin Aronson (@LtAronson) [color=var(--lc)]September 13, 2019[/color]
Along the vines of the Vineyard.
With a forked tongue the snake singsss...
An asteroid larger than some of the world's tallest buildings will zip by Earth Saturday
[/url][Image: 140926154041-ashley-strickland-profile-i...all-11.jpg]
By Ashley Strickland, CNN

Updated 8:58 AM ET, Sat September 14, 2019


Play Video

Here's how NASA plans to stop asteroids 01:21

(CNN)On Saturday, an asteroid will pass by Earth that's larger than some of the tallest buildings on the planet.
Asteroid 2000 QW7 is estimated to be between 290 meters and 650 meters in diameter, or between 951 and 2,132 feet, according to NASA. The world's tallest building is the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, which reaches 2,717 feet tall. The second tallest building is the Shanghai Tower at 2,073 feet.
The asteroid will be traveling at 14,361 miles per hour when it passes within 3,312,944 miles of Earth at 7:54 p.m. ET.
Astronomers don't believe the asteroid poses any danger, but NASA's Center for Near Earth Object Studies is tracking it.
In June, astronomers showed that telescopes could provide enough warning to allow people to move away from an asteroid strike on Earth.

New images reveal Ryugu is an oddly dust-free asteroid
Astronomers at the University of Hawaii used the ATLAS and Pan-STARRS survey telescopes to detect a small asteroid before it entered Earth's atmosphere on the morning of June 22.
The asteroid, named 2019 MO, was 13 feet in diameter and 310,685 miles from Earth. The ATLAS facility observed it four times over 30 minutes around midnight in Hawaii.
Initially, the Scout impact analysis software at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory deemed the potential impact as a 2. For reference, 0 is "unlikely" and 4 is "likely." Davide Farnocchia, navigation engineer at JPL, requested additional observations because he noticed a detection near Puerto Rico 12 hours later.

[url=]On International Asteroid Day, here's what to know about the threat to Earth
The Pan-STARRS telescope was also operating and captured part of the sky where the asteroid could be seen.
The additional images from the Pan-STARRS telescope helped researchers better determine the entry path for the asteroid, which bumped the Scout rating to 4.
The calculation matched up, and weather radar in San Juan detected the asteroid as it burned up in our atmosphere. It entered the atmosphere over the ocean, 236 miles south of the city.
ATLAS, which is two telescopes 100 miles apart on the Big Island and Maui, scans the entire sky every two nights for asteroids that could impact Earth. It can spot small asteroids half a day before they arrive at Earth and could point to larger asteroids days before.
Although much of the knowledge of their capabilities and determinations about the asteroid was worked out after the fact, astronomers believe that ATLAS and Pan-STARRS could help predict more in the future.
Along the vines of the Vineyard.
With a forked tongue the snake singsss...
B Split_spawn Split_spawn M!!! 
A Cosmic Impact On Our History?

OCTOBER 2, 2019
New research supports hypothesis that asteroid contributed to mass extinction
[Image: 26-newresearchs.jpg]Credit: Wits University
A team of scientists from South Africa has discovered evidence partially supporting a hypothesis that Earth was struck by a meteorite or asteroid 12 800 years ago, leading to global consequences including climate change, and contributing to the extinction of many species of large animals at the time of an episode called the Younger Dryas.

The team, led by Professor Francis Thackeray of the Evolutionary Studies Institute at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa, discovered evidence of a remarkable "platinum spike" at a site called Wonderkrater in the Limpopo Province, north of Pretoria in South Africa. Working with researcher Philip Pieterse from the University of Johannesburg and Professor Louis Scott of the University of the Free State, Thackeray discovered this evidence from a core drilled in a peat deposit, notably in a sample about 12 800 years old. This research was published in Palaeontologia Africana.
Noting that meteorites are rich in platinum, Thackeray said "Our finding at least partially supports the highly controversial Younger Dryas Impact Hypothesis (YDIH). We seriously need to explore the view that an asteroid impact somewhere on earth may have caused climate change on a global scale, and contributed to some extent to the process of extinctions of large animals at the end of the Pleistocene, after the last ice age."
Many mammals became extinct in North America, South America and Europe at the time of the Younger Dryas. In South Africa a few extraordinary large animal species became extinct, not necessarily at exactly 12 800 years ago, but close to that period. These megafauna include a giant African buffalo, a large zebra, and a very big wildebeest.
Human populations may also have been indirectly affected at the time in question. In North America there is a dramatic termination of the stone tool technology of Clovis people. Remarkably, archaeologists in South Africa have detected an almost simultaneous termination of the Robberg stone artifact industry associated with people in some parts of the country, including the area around Boomplaas near the Cango Caves in the southern Cape, close to the town of Oudshoorn.
"Without necessarily arguing for a single causal factor on a global scale, we cautiously hint at the possibility that these technological changes, in North America and on the African subcontinent at about the same time, might have been associated indirectly with an asteroid impact with major global consequences," says Thackeray. "We cannot be certain, but a cosmic impact could have affected humans as a result of local changes in environment and the availability of food resources, associated with sudden climate change."

At Wonderkrater, the team has evidence from pollen to show that about 12 800 years ago there was temporary cooling, associated with the "Younger Dryas" drop in temperature that is well documented in the northern hemisphere, and now also in South Africa. According to some scientists, this cooling in widespread areas could at least potentially have been associated with the global dispersal of platinum-rich atmospheric dust.
A large crater 31 kilometers in diameter has been discovered in northern Greenland beneath the Hiawatha Glacier. "There is some evidence to support the view that it might possibly have been the very place where a large meteorite struck the planet earth 12 800 years ago," says Thackeray. "If this was indeed the case, there must have been global consequences."
Thackeray's team believes their discovery of a platinum spike at about 12 800 years ago at Wonderkrater is just part of the strengthening view that an asteroid or cometary impact might have occurred at that time.
This is the first evidence in Africa for a platinum spike preceding climate change. Younger Dryas spikes in platinum have also been found in Greenland, Eurasia, North America, Mexico and recently also at Pilauco in Chile. Wonderkrater is the 30th site in the world for such evidence.
"Our evidence is entirely consistent with the Younger Dryas Impact Hypothesis" says Thackeray.
The discovery in South Africa is expected to be integrated with those made in other parts of the world, recognizing that the source of the platinum at Wonderkrater could hypothetically be cosmic dust that was dispersed in the atmosphere after a meteorite impact in Greenland.
The probability of a large asteroid striking Earth in the future may seem to be low, but there are thousands of large rocks distributed primarily between Jupiter and Mars. One in particular, classified as Apophis 99942, is referred to as a "Potentially Hazardous Asteroid." It is 340 meters wide and will come exceptionally close to the Earth in 10 years' time.
"The closest encounter will take place precisely on Friday April 13, 2029," says Thackeray. "The probability of the Apophis 99942 asteroid hitting us then is only one in 100 000, but the probability of an impact may be even higher at some time in the future, as it comes close to Earth every 10 years."

Explore further
Geologic evidence supports theory that major cosmic impact event occurred approximately 12,800 years ago

[b]More information:[/b] The Younger Dryas interval at Wonderkrater (South Africa) in the context of a platinum anomaly
Provided by Wits University
Along the vines of the Vineyard.
With a forked tongue the snake singsss...

I don't think it was a single meteor hit that induced the climate change.
It was either a comet or a group of meteors.

Quote:One in particular, classified as Apophis  Ninja 99942, 
is referred to,
as a:
Potentially Whistle Hazardous Whip  Asteroid." 

It is 340 meters wide,
and will come exceptionally close to the Earth in 10 years' time.

"The closest encounter will take place precisely on Friday April 13, 2029," Rofl
says Thackeray. 
"The probability of the Apophis 99942 asteroid hitting us then is only one in 100 000, 
but the probability of an impact may be even higher at some time in the future, 
as it comes close to Earth every 10  Hi years."

Friday the 13th.
I hope I make it to that day to be present at the non-event in the newspapers.
If it hits then we will have real climate change,
and not the current politically motivated climate change.

every ten years ... It missed Earth 200 times since the time of Christ.
the question is how long has it been doing this ten year tango with Earth?

One in 100,000 is actually good odds for meteors.
What were the odds when the alien spacecraft crashed at Roswell?

Quote:"First, we thought it was a North American event, and then there was evidence in Europe and elsewhere that it was a Northern Hemisphere event. And now with the research in Chile and South Africa, it looks like it was probably a global event," he says.

In addition, a team of researchers found unusually high concentrations of platinum and iridium in outwash sediments from a recently discovered crater in Greenland that could have been the impact point. Although the crater hasn't been precisely dated yet, Moore says the possibility is good that it could be the "smoking gun" that scientists have been looking for to confirm a cosmic event. Additionally, data from South America and elsewhere suggests the event may have actually included multiple impacts and airbursts over the entire globe.

OCTOBER 25, 2019
Did an extraterrestrial impact trigger the extinction of ice-age animals?
by Carol J.g. Ward, University of South Carolina
[Image: 1-didanextrate.jpg]University of South Carolina archaelogist Christopher Moore (second from right) and colleagues collect core samples from White Pond near Elgin, South Carolina, to look for evidence of an impact from an asteroid or comet that may have caused the extinction of large ice-age animals such as sabre-tooth cats and giant sloths and mastodons. Credit: University of South Carolina
A controversial theory that suggests an extraterrestrial body crashing to Earth almost 13,000 years ago caused the extinction of many large animals and a probable population decline in early humans is gaining traction from research sites around the world.

The Younger Dryas Impact Hypothesis, controversial from the time it was presented in 2007, proposes that an asteroid or comet hit the Earth about 12,800 years ago causing a period of extreme cooling that contributed to extinctions of more than 35 species of megafauna including giant sloths, sabre-tooth cats, mastodons and mammoths. It also coincides with a serious decline in early human populations such as the Clovis culture and is believed to have caused massive wildfires that could have blocked sunlight, causing an "impact winter" near the end of the Pleistocene Epoch.
In a new study published this week in Scientific Reports, a publication of Nature, U of SC archaeologist Christopher Moore and 16 colleagues present further evidence of a cosmic impact based on research done at White Pond near Elgin, South Carolina. The study builds on similar findings of platinum spikes—an element associated with cosmic objects like asteroids or comets—in North America, Europe, western Asia and recently in Chile and South Africa.
"We continue to find evidence and expand geographically. There have been numerous papers that have come out in the past couple of years with similar data from other sites that almost universally support the notion that there was an extraterrestrial impact or comet airburst that caused the Younger Dryas climate event," Moore says.
Moore also was lead author on a previous paper documenting sites in North America where platinum spikes have been found and a co-author on several other papers that document elevated levels of platinum in archaeological sites, including Pilauco, Chile—the first discovery of evidence in the Southern Hemisphere.
"First, we thought it was a North American event, and then there was evidence in Europe and elsewhere that it was a Northern Hemisphere event. And now with the research in Chile and South Africa, it looks like it was probably a global event," he says.
In addition, a team of researchers found unusually high concentrations of platinum and iridium in outwash sediments from a recently discovered crater in Greenland that could have been the impact point. Although the crater hasn't been precisely dated yet, Moore says the possibility is good that it could be the "smoking gun" that scientists have been looking for to confirm a cosmic event. Additionally, data from South America and elsewhere suggests the event may have actually included multiple impacts and airbursts over the entire globe.

While the brief return to ice-age conditions during the Younger Dryas period has been well-documented, the reasons for it and the decline of human populations and animals have remained unclear. The impact hypothesis was proposed as a possible trigger for these abrupt climate changes that lasted about 1,400 years.
The Younger Dryas event gets its name from a wildflower, Dryas octopetala, which can tolerate cold conditions and suddenly became common in parts of Europe 12,800 years ago. The Younger Dryas Impact Hypothesis became controversial, Moore says, because the all-encompassing theory that a cosmic impact triggered cascading events leading to extinctions was viewed as improbable by some scientists.
"It was bold in the sense that it was trying to answer a lot of really tough questions that people have been grappling with for a long time in a single blow," he says, adding that some researchers continue to be critical.
The conventional view has been that the failure of glacial ice dams allowed a massive release of freshwater into the north Atlantic, affecting oceanic circulation and causing the Earth to plunge into a cold climate. The Younger Dryas hypothesis simply claims that the cosmic impact was the trigger for the meltwater pulse into the oceans.
In research at White Pond in South Carolina, Moore and his colleagues used a core barrel to extract sediment samples from underneath the pond. The samples, dated to the beginning of the Younger Dryas with radiocarbon, contain a large platinum anomaly, consistent with findings from other sites, Moore says. A large soot anomaly also was found in cores from the site, indicating regional large-scale wildfires in the same time interval.

[Image: 2-didanextrate.jpg]
Core samples from White Pond near Elgin, South Carolina, show evidence of platinum spikes and soot indicative of an impact from an asteroid or comet. Credit: University of South Carolina
In addition, fungal spores associated with the dung of large herbivores were found to decrease at the beginning of the Younger Dryas period, suggesting a decline in ice-age megafauna beginning at the time of the impact.
"We speculate that the impact contributed to the extinction, but it wasn't the only cause. Over hunting by humans almost certainly contributed, too, as did climate change," Moore says. "Some of these animals survived after the event, in some cases for centuries. But from the spore data at White Pond and elsewhere, it looks like some of them went extinct at the beginning of the Younger Dryas, probably as a result of the environmental disruption caused by impact-related wildfires and climate change."
Additional evidence found at other sites in support of an extraterrestrial impact includes the discovery of meltglass, microscopic spherical particles and nanodiamonds, indicating enough heat and pressure was present to fuse materials on the Earth's surface. Another indicator is the presence of iridium, an element associated with cosmic objects, that scientists also found in the rock layers dated 65 million years ago from an impact that caused dinosaur extinction.
While no one knows for certain why the Clovis people and iconic ice-age beasts disappeared, research by Moore and others is providing important clues as evidence builds in support of the Younger Dryas Impact Hypothesis.
"Those are big debates that have been going on for a long time," Moore says. "These kinds of things in science sometimes take a really long time to gain widespread acceptance. That was true for the dinosaur extinction when the idea was proposed that an impact had killed them. It was the same thing with plate tectonics. But now those ideas are completely established science."

Explore further
New evidence that an extraterrestrial collision 12,800 years ago triggered an abrupt climate change for Earth

[b]More information:[/b] Christopher R. Moore et al. Sediment Cores from White Pond, South Carolina, contain a Platinum Anomaly, Pyrogenic Carbon Peak, and Coprophilous Spore Decline at 12.8 ka, Scientific Reports (2019). DOI: 10.1038/s41598-019-51552-8
[b]Journal information:[/b] Scientific Reports [/url]

Provided by [url=]University of South Carolina

RE: Boom! A Cosmic Impact On Our History?  Arrow

Quote:The Younger Dryas event gets its name from a wildflower, Dryas octopetala, which can tolerate cold conditions and suddenly became common in parts of Europe 12,800 years ago. The Younger Dryas Impact Hypothesis became controversial, Moore says, because the all-encompassing theory that a cosmic impact triggered cascading events leading to extinctions was viewed as improbable by some scientists.

"It was bold in the sense that it was trying to answer a lot of really tough questions that people have been grappling with for a long time in a single blow," he says, adding that some researchers continue to be critical.  Compare  Sheep Articles

Quote:Soon after the disaster, the environment was blanketed with ferns and the biggest mammal around was about as heavy as a rat. The world was in a warming period, as documented in previous studies.

By about 100,000 years after the meteorite impact, the forest was dominated by palm trees and mammals had grown to the weight of raccoons, almost as big as before the meteorite crash. "That's a pretty rapid recovery, or at least one aspect of recovery," Lyson said.
By 300,000 years, the walnut tree family had diversified, and the biggest mammals were plant eaters about as heavy as a large beaver. Based on other studies of their diet, they may have evolved along with those trees, Lyson said.
OCTOBER 24, 2019
Fossil trove shows life's fast recovery after big extinction (Update)
by Malcolm Ritter
[Image: fossiltroves.jpg]This image provided by HHMI Tangled Bank Studios in October 2019 shows a rendering of the ancient Carsioptychus mammal taken from the PBS NOVA special, Rise of the Mammals. In this recreation, Carsioptychus coarctatus eats plants in a newly diversified forest, 300,000 years after the mass extinction that wiped out the dinosaurs. (Jellyfish Pictures/HHMI Tangled Bank Studios via AP)
A remarkable trove of fossils from Colorado has revealed details of how mammals grew larger and plants evolved after the cataclysm that killed the dinosaurs.

The thousands of specimens let scientists trace that history over a span of 1 million years, a mere eyeblink in Earth's lifespan.
Sixty-six million years ago, a large meteorite smashed into what is now the Yucatan Peninsula of southeastern Mexico. It unleashed broiling waves of heat and filled the sky with aerosols that blotted out the sun for months, killing off plants and the animals that depended on them.
More than three-quarters of species on Earth died out.
But life came back, and land mammals began to expand from being small creatures into the wide array of forms we see today—including us.
So the new find taps into "the origin of the modern world," said Tyler Lyson, an author of a paper reporting the fossil finds Thursday in the journal Science.
The fossils were recovered from an area of steep bluffs covering about 10 square miles (25.9 square kilometers) near Colorado Springs, starting three years ago.
Lyson, of the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, found little in that area when he followed the standard practice of scanning for bits of bone. But that changed when he began looking instead for rocks that can form around bone. When the rocks were broken open, skulls and other fossils within were revealed.

[Image: 1-fossiltroves.jpg]
This photo provided by HHMI Tangled Bank Studios in October 2019 shows some of the mammal skull fossils retrieved from Corral Bluffs, Colo. A trove of fossils has revealed details of how life rebounded after the cataclysm that killed off the dinosaurs. (Frank Verock/HHMI Tangled Bank Studios via AP)
Lyson said it's not clear how wide a geographic region the fossils' story of recovery applies to, but that he thinks they show what happened over North America.
"We just know so little about this everywhere on the globe," he said. "At least now we have at one spot a fantastic record."
Experts not connected to the study were enthusiastic.
It's "an unparalleled documentary of how life on land recovered" after the asteroid impact, said P. David Polly of Indiana University in Bloomington. "The sheer number of fossil specimens and the quality of their preservation are exceptional" for this time period, he said.
The fossils' story certainly represents what happened in central North America and perhaps more broadly, he wrote in an email.

Stephanie Smith of the Field Museum in Chicago said the study's detailed focus on a single area can help scientists understand the complexity of recovery when combined with results from elsewhere.

[Image: 2-fossiltroves.jpg]
This photo provided by HHMI Tangled Bank Studios in October 2019 shows a collection of four mammal skulls collected from Corral Bluffs, Colo. From left are Loxolophus, Carsioptychus, Taeniolabis, Eoconodon. A trove of fossils has revealed details of how life rebounded after the cataclysm that killed off the dinosaurs. (HHMI Tangled Bank Studios via AP)
Scientists have previously found little evidence about what happened in the aftermath of the meteorite crash, especially on land, said Jin Meng of the American Museum of Natural History in New York. The new work, he said in an email, appears to provide "the best record on Earth to date."
The study reports on hundreds of mammal fossils representing 16 species and more than 6,000 plant fossils. Researchers also analyzed thousands of pollen grains to see what plants were alive at various times. Analysis of leaves indicated several warming periods during the period.
Here's the recovery story the fossils tell:
The area had been a forest before the meteorite hit, home to dinosaurs like T. rex and mammals no bigger than about 17 pounds (8 kilograms).

[Image: 3-fossiltroves.jpg]
This photo provided by HHMI Tangled Bank Studios in October 2019 shows a fern fossil collected from Corral Bluffs, Colo. A trove of fossils has revealed details of how life rebounded after the cataclysm that killed off the dinosaurs. (Frank Verock/HHMI Tangled Bank Studios via AP)
Soon after the disaster, the environment was blanketed with ferns and the biggest mammal around was about as heavy as a rat. The world was in a warming period, as documented in previous studies.
By about 100,000 years after the meteorite impact, the forest was dominated by palm trees and mammals had grown to the weight of raccoons, almost as big as before the meteorite crash. "That's a pretty rapid recovery, or at least one aspect of recovery," Lyson said.
By 300,000 years, the walnut tree family had diversified, and the biggest mammals were plant eaters about as heavy as a large beaver. Based on other studies of their diet, they may have evolved along with those trees, Lyson said.

[Image: 4-fossiltroves.jpg]
This photo provided by HHMI Tangled Bank Studios in October 2019 shows some of the plant fossils retrieved from Corral Bluffs, Colo. More than 6,000 leaves were collected as part of the study to help determine how and when Earth's forest rebounded after the mass extinction event. (Frank Verock/HHMI Tangled Bank Studios via AP)
By 700,000 years, the fossil record shows the first known appearance of legume plants, the family that includes peas and beans. And it reveals the two largest mammals found in the study, with the larger one weighing about 100 pounds (50 kilograms), roughly like a wolf. That is about 100 times heavier than the mammals that survived the extinction, "which I think is pretty fast" for growth, Lyson said.
What drove mammals to get bigger? The main factor was the disappearance of the dinosaurs, leaving an ecological niche to be filled, he said. But the quality and types of food on the landscape probably also played a role, he said. The simultaneous appearance of legume plants and bigger mammals suggests the plants may have provided a "protein bar moment," Lyson said.
He said the mammals were creatures that evolved from animals that had survived extinction or those that immigrated from elsewhere.

[Image: 5-fossiltroves.jpg]
In this photo provided by HHMI Tangled Bank Studios in October 2019, a storm rolls in towards Corral Bluffs, Colo, outside of Denver. The area represents about 300 vertical feet of rock and preserves the extinction of the dinosaurs through the first million years of the Age of the Mammals. The exposure is composed of hard yellow sandstone and mudstones, which represent ancient rivers and floodplains, respectively. (Frank Verock/HHMI Tangled Bank Studios via AP)
Zhe-Xi Luo of the University of Chicago, who did not participate in the work, said the report is remarkable for tying together records for plants, mammals and temperature, giving a "holistic picture."
Scientists expected mammals to recover after the dinosaur extinctions, he said, and the new work "is a huge step forward in getting a firm understanding about just how it happened."

Explore further
Researchers discover first winged mammals from the Jurassic period

[b]More information:[/b] T.R. Lyson el al., "Exceptional continental record of biotic recovery after the Cretaceous-Paleogene mass extinction," Science (2019). … 1126/science.aay2268

"Stepping out of the dinosaurian shadow," Science (2019). … 1126/science.aaz6313
[b]Journal information:[/b] Science
Along the vines of the Vineyard.
With a forked tongue the snake singsss...

That last article EA posted is something I have promoted for years.
On Earth or on Mars or anywhere life exists.
Evolution on the fast track.
Some kind of stimulus, or catalyst, or event,
that simply sets the stage for the sudden emergence of life on the fast track.
The scientists in this study mention a one million year period of extraordinary evolution.
Life can super accelerate evolutionary processes under the proper conditions, 
even faster than that by far.
That is what happened on Mars perhaps many times, imo.


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