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Space Earth

Residents Report Bright Streak Over Bay Area Friday Evening 123

Posted by timothy
from the bringing-more-silicon-to-the-valley dept.
The Chabot Space and Science Center has received numerous reports of a bright object flying through the sky in over northern California Friday night, as noted by The Washington Post, NBC, and others. According to NBC's version of the story "Chabot astronomers in Oakland said the meteor was not related to the asteroid passing near Earth. Gerald McKeegan, an astronomer at Chabot Space and Science Center in Oakland, said he did not see it, but based on accounts he thinks it was a 'sporadic meteor.' Sporadic meteors bring as much as 15,000 tons of space debris to Earth each year, according to McKeegan. He said it was likely smaller than another meteor that landed in the Bay Area in October, which caused a loud sonic boom as it fell." The eyewitness accounts make it sound pretty spectacular, though; too bad we don't have quite as many dashcams going as there are in Russia.
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Residents Report Bright Streak Over Bay Area Friday Evening

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    ...of the invasion.

    • by peragrin (659227) on Saturday February 16, 2013 @02:14PM (#42922725)

      no no no you got it all wrong. this is the lead fragments of a super massive sized meteor heading our way. You see when it passed through the asteroid belt it pushed a few rocks out in front of it. those are the rocks that are near missing us right now. And since we can't actually see that far into space we can't get together a group of drilling roughnecks and wannabe actors to save us all.

      • by rwa2 (4391) *

        Nah, pretty sure it's an alien attack. I'm probably just as surprised as they are that we haven't launched counterattacks on each other and obliterated ourselves "Monsters on Maple St." style so they can descend and subdue the survivors and colonize our planet in relative peace.

      • by icebike (68054)

        no no no you got it all wrong. this is the lead fragments of a super massive sized meteor heading our way. You see when it passed through the asteroid belt it pushed a few rocks out in front of it. those are the rocks that are near missing us right now. And since we can't actually see that far into space we can't get together a group of drilling roughnecks and wannabe actors to save us all.

        Although you are clearly trying a humor, you are probably more correct than you know.

        Not about the Massive sized meteor bit, but about the prevalence of smaller "fellow travelers" following (or preceding) the Asteroid that missed earth on Feb 15. In addition to debris from impacts the asteroid may have suffered in the past, you can add possible small moonlets that might accompany the asteroid, or other random rocks that might have been influenced by the Asteroid over decades.

        Much as some astronomers have r

        • by peragrin (659227)

          actually thats what i assumed they were but no one believes anything so mundane anymore.

        • That was my first thought about the Russian meteor, however I read "they" had figured out it was traveling in the opposite direction. If that's true then it was just a coincidence the two rocks arrived on the same day. This is the first I have heard of the Californian rock, but fireballs are not a particularly rare event, I've been lucky enough to wittiness two fireballs first hand in 50yrs of looking up.
        • by cusco (717999)
          Dunno about the California rock, but the Russian one and DA14 were traveling in paths that were 90 degrees from one another. There's no way their orbital paths have been related for the last several million years.
      • this is the lead fragments of a super massive sized meteor heading our way. You see when it passed through the asteroid belt it pushed a few rocks out in front of it.

        The probability of the angle matching perfectly at that distance is worse than me making a complex pool shot with a full-sized lance on horseback. It would have to hit dead center with unbelievable accuracy for both to travel in the same straight line.

    • by Krojack (575051)

      Battle: Los Angeles!

    • by drrilll (2593537)
      I was thinking armageddon, but I am open to other disaster theories as well. Perhaps one of the meteors will bring down the space radiation that raises zombies from the dead. I am currently scouting stores that carry crossbows just in case.
    • And I thought it was just more "streakers" protesting San Francisco's new nudity laws: http://science.slashdot.org/story/13/02/16/1733217/residents-report-bright-streak-over-bay-area-friday-evening [slashdot.org]

      Disappointing headline.

  • by stevegee58 (1179505) on Saturday February 16, 2013 @02:16PM (#42922735) Journal
    What's with the Russian dashcams anyway? I saw that spectacular Russian plane crash last month on some driver's camera in addition to the more recent recent meteorite.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      Car insurance probably.
      Go on YouTube and search for russian car crash and you get hundreds of car crashes that were captured with a dash cam.
      I guess they are so drunk all the time they need camera evidence when sorting out blame for insurance.

      • by houghi (78078)

        They have them for insurance reasons. And if something happens, they will put it online. If there would be as many dashcams in the rest of the world, you would see a lot more of them from the rest of the world.

      • Re:Russian dashcams (Score:4, Interesting)

        by History's Coming To (1059484) on Saturday February 16, 2013 @04:19PM (#42923425) Journal
        Yup. In the UK some insurance companies will offer a discount if you carry an (insurance company installed) dash cam and/or black box recording accelerations etc. In many cases people don't do this because of privacy concerns, but fit their own so they can collect their own evidence in the case of a crash - many insurance claims result in a knock-for-knock judgement where each company pays the other driver's claim because fault can't be determined, resulting in higher premiums/loss of NCD for both parties, but installing your own dash cam can provide enough evidence to save you hundreds or thousands of pounds in the long run.
    • Well two reasons (Score:5, Informative)

      by Sycraft-fu (314770) on Saturday February 16, 2013 @04:50PM (#42923575)

      One is fraud/insurance issues. Accidents happen and in Russia there are major corruption issues with the authorities and such. Having video evidence is fairly necessary in many cases.

      The other? All the crazy shit that happens. When there's stuff like tanks driving across highways randomly and so on, might be a reason to record all of the goings on.

    • by isorox (205688)

      What's with the Russian dashcams anyway? I saw that spectacular Russian plane crash last month on some driver's camera in addition to the more recent recent meteorite.

      Porn.

      In Russia, you often get hot girls baring all at traffic, sometimes even more ;)

    • by sootman (158191) on Saturday February 16, 2013 @06:43PM (#42924253) Homepage Journal

      AFAIK it's to generate awesome videos like this. [kottke.org]

  • by prakslash (681585) on Saturday February 16, 2013 @02:17PM (#42922737)
    Actually, global warming is to blame behind increased meteor activity:

    (1) CO2 is a heavier gas than Oxygen and Nitrogen. Because of molecular forces, the increased number of CO2 molecules in the atmosphere are pulling down the whole atmosphere closer to earth's surface. Therefore, meteors that would normally have burnt up higher in the atmosphere are coming closer and closer to earth's surface before they burn up. Sometimes, though, they make it all the way because of the reduced distance over which to burn up.

    (2) Increased CO2 is also leading to holes in the Ozone layer. This layer acts as a defensive shield. With more holes that are getting bigger in size, meteors are slipping through and reaching us.

    (3) Scientists have postulated that increased planetary warmth and high concentration of CO2 on an earth-like planet may indicate the presence of an advanced civilization. They are actually using this theory to conduct SETI. It is possible that advanced aliens are doing the same. They have detected global warming on earth and are hurling meteors at earth and using it as a sounding board for their own SETI projects.
  • by EnsilZah (575600)

    Also reports of presumably the same one passing over Cuba.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B6VBWhny54c [youtube.com]

    Sort of looks fake to me, with with trail fading really fast and the object looking like a certain lensflare plugin preset but I guess that might be a testament to the accuracy of the plugin.

    • by EvilSS (557649)
      It's a 2006 video from Mexico.
    • by sumdumass (711423)

      I think the fake appearance of the video is due to the cloud cover. The tail would disburse quickly and not reflect the sunlight or the heat of burning up on entry. Had there not been clouds, you would see it a lot longer. You can see it is behind a set of clouds and illuminating through them.

      • I've seen two fireballs in my lifetime, one was like you see in the movies, long tail then a bright greenish/yellow flash, it was a clear summer night and the event was on the front page of the newspaper the next day. The second one was on a damp winter night, it broke up as it came through a low cloud layer, it had several thin short tails and was moving relatively slow compared to a regular shooting star. I could see the pieces separate into a shot gun like formation of glowing yellow/red particles. Perha
  • by Anonymous Coward

    How could you miss the train to Hogwarts again?

  • by K. S. Kyosuke (729550) on Saturday February 16, 2013 @02:53PM (#42922917)
    Russians have demonstrated their mighty R-7 type bolide, demonstrating the advances of Soviet astronomy, and all the Americas had as an answer was a pitiful Vanguard type meteor that didn't even explode properly.
  • Video footage (Score:5, Informative)

    by choprboy (155926) on Saturday February 16, 2013 @02:56PM (#42922941) Homepage

    ... too bad we don't have quite as many dashcams going as there are in Russia.

    But there are more than enough.... This showed up on Youtube late last night, I believe this is the original poster:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HLpTOc1i8_8

    And then a short time later this showed up:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nkF4sloZmBI

  • by Njovich (553857) on Saturday February 16, 2013 @03:14PM (#42923049)

    In unrelated news, intelligence monitoring has picked up Kim Jong Un stating 'second test successful too!' followed by manaical laughter from his Starcraft-2 themed war-room.

  • And which "bay" are we talking about, O summary?

    • by sabri (584428) *

      And which "bay" are we talking about, O summary?

      Usually that is the San Francisco Bay Area. Also known as Silicon Valley.

    • They mention California and Oakland, so it's the San Francisco Bay area.
  • Why does everyone need to keep up with the Jones's?
  • It's most likely that the high concentration of smug that has accumulated in the middle atmosphere above San Francisco was ignited by static electricity.
  • Accordig to Phil [slate.com], the objects observed in the US simultaneously with the Russian meteor can be explained by the Russian meteor being a bolide [wikipedia.org].

"Stupidity, like virtue, is its own reward" -- William E. Davidsen

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