Sunday, January 25, 2009

January 26th ‘Messiah’ Solar Eclipse To Plunge World Into Total Chaos?

STRANGE ASTEROID: Newly-discovered asteroid 2009 BD is passing by Earth today only 400,000 miles away. The small 10m-wide space rock poses no threat, but it merits attention anyway. The orbit of 2009 BD appears to be almost identical to the orbit of Earth. 2009 BD may be a rare co-orbital asteroid, circling the sun in near-tandem with our planet. Extrapolating the motion of 2009 BD into the future, we see that it remains in the vicinity of Earth for many months to come, never receding farther than 0.1 AU (9.3 million miles) until Nov. 2010. Future observations may reveal the nature of this strange asteroid; stay tuned! [3D orbit] [ephemeris]

Meteor spotted over northern Alberta
Edmonton Sun, Canada - Jan 23, 2009
Imagehosting at Imageloop

Readers, if you witnessed or photographed this event, please submit a report.

Summary: On Jan. 23, 2009, at approximately 8:48 pm EST a meteoroid of unknown size hit Earth's atmosphere over New England. Its blue-green disintegration was widely observed by motorists on the Massachusetts Turnpike and in neighboring states.

Eyewitness Accounts:

Location: near Auburn Massachusetts
Comments: James Vasalofsky: "I saw the fireball on 1/23/09 around 8:48pm. It was blue-ish green when it first appeared, then it was a bright light that lasted about 2 seconds. I was on the Mass Pike heading East near Auburn and it was off to the right in the direction of the South. It was an amazing sight! I've seen meteor showers before but this seemed really close. I assume it was a meteor."

Location: Foxboro, Massachusetts
Comments: Robert Russell: "I was driving home with my family at about 9pm on Friday, Jan 23rd, and we saw what looked to be a huge fireball coming straight down from the black sky. All four of us saw the same thing and were all shocked. It was much bigger than a typical shooting star and was certainly going straight down as opposed to shooting horizontally across the sky. It had blue and green colors in it too. It appeared to have landed or struck down just north of Rt 495 and just east of Rt 95 somewhere in Foxboro or Mansfield."

Location: Lexington, Massachusetts
Comments: Mark A. Abel: "On January 23 at 8:48PM EST I was traveling on I-95 South bound in the Lexington area near the Hanscom Airfield when I saw the bluish-green fireball out of the corner of my eye. At first I thought I may had caught a glimpse of an airplane landing flood light since I was in the Hanscom Airfield area but then it emerged from behind the low level clouds again and I could see that it indeed was a brilliant fireball."

Location: Wakefield, Rhode Island
Comments: Donna & Randy Swanson: "We observed a huge pulsing blue green fireball through the clouds tonight @ 8:48 PM dropping past the horizon, due NE into the Atlantic ocean towards Cape Cod. Bright enough to be seen through heavy cloud cover!"

Location: Agawam, Mass.
Comments: John B Byerly: "At 8:50 pm from Agawam Massachusetts looking easterly I saw a blue green fire ball through a pretty thick cloud cover. It lasted maybe a second with a significant tail. I am a total amateur but It looks similar to the video that was posted a couple of days ago.

Location: North Windham, Connecticut
Comments: Paulette Harwood: "My husband and I observed the fireball while heading southeast on Rt. 6 in North Windham, CT. It was quite large and had a green glow.

Location: MassPike between exits 11 and 11A
Comments: E. Szymczak: "
I was driving east on the MassPike and at a few minutes before 9 between exits 11 and 11A and saw a huge green fireball that appeared to come from the north fairly close to the horizon. It was spectacular!"

Location: Warwick, Rhode Island
Joe Malachowski: "My son and I saw the fireball at 8:48pm on 1.23.09 in Warwick, Rhode Island. It was blue-green and lasted approximately 3 seconds - ended without a flash. This was the brightest meteor I've seen in my 46 years, brighter even than the one I saw at the Grand Canyon 2 years ago."

Location: Little Compton, Rhode Island
Comments: Anthony Russi: "
I was sitting in my den and through my window I saw a dazzling fireball drop from the night sky. I live in little Compton, Rhode Island on the Sakonnet River, the object was east of me. It came straight down and looked like huge flare. Sometime around 8:30."

Location: Connecticut
Comments: Briana: "
At approx. 8:45pm, our family was driving north on route 395 between route 97 & 169 in CT. My husband said, 'Look, Look, Look!!' And there, straight ahead, was a very bright object heading for the ground. For me it was gone quickly, but my husband said he saw it above the clouds, then it disappeared for a moment behind some clouds, then he saw it again below the clouds. Because of this we both think it had to have hit the ground. Most likely someplace in NE CT, possibly between Danielson and Thompson. It was very cool, but I hope no one was hurt."

SOLAR ECLIPSE: The Year of the Ox is beginning with a solar eclipse. On Monday, Jan. 26th, the same new Moon that triggers the Chinese Lunar New Year will pass directly in front of the sun--dead center--covering 93% of the solar disk. The ensemble will form a stunning "ring of fire" visible across the Indian Ocean:

Click on the image, above, to launch an animated map of the eclipse prepared by graphic artist Larry Koehn. A regional map of Indonesia shows the best dry places to see the ring of fire: Borneo, Sumatra and Java.

Outside the narrow path of annularity, the Moon will cross the sun off-center, producing crescent suns of varying depth over south Africa, Madagascar, Australia, southern parts of India and southeast Asia. Sky watchers in those places should attend to the ground: crescent sunbeams will dapple the earth beneath leafy trees and garden latticework. Solar telescopes trained on the sky will show the Moon taking a bite out of the sun. Stay tuned for photos!

APPROACHING COMET: Comet Lulin (C/2007 N3) is approaching Earth for a 38 million mile close encounter in late February. At that time, the comet could brighten to naked eye visibility (5th magnitude). Meanwhile, it's a nice target for backyard telescopes:

Chris Brennan of Barbados took the picture using a 7-inch telescope on Jan. 24th. "Note the double tail," he says.

M. Mc Kenna sends this report from Northern ireland: "I checked out Comet Lulin this morning before dawn using a 8.5-inch reflector. My immediate impression was that the comet is very bright; the coma is healthy and active with an obvious green color. [Note: The 'coma' is the comet's gaseous atmosphere.] Seeing both tails at the same time was quite a treat! I also looked at the comet using a pair of binoculars and despite the poor quality of the opticsI was still able to find the comet easily. Finally, I tried very carefully to detect it with the naked eye but I just couldn't convince myself that it was visible. However, I suspect that with excellent sky conditions the first naked eye observations will be reported very soon. This comet could very well put on a good show in February!"

Solar eclipse will be partially visible in country: Kumar
Times of India, India - 1 hour ago
25 Jan 2009, 1922 hrs IST, PTI HYDERABAD: The first solar eclipse of this year, which will be partially visible in the country, will occur on Monday, ...
Partial solar eclipse in India on Monday
Hindu, India - 10 hours ago
New Delhi (PTI): As the country celebrates Republic Day on Monday, a partial solar eclipse will occur in the afternoon when the moon will pass directly ...
When red is not auspicious
Malaysia Star, Malaysia - 18 hours ago
By T.SELVA The first day of Chinese New Year will see the first solar eclipse of the year, so precautions are recommended amidst all the merry-making. ...
Solar Eclipse will be visible from India
Times of India, India - 21 hours ago
A partial phase of the eclipse will be visible from South, South-East, and North-East India, Andaman & Nicobar Islands and Lakshadweep. ...
Solar eclipse on Jan 26 will be visible worldwide
Hindu, India - Jan 23, 2009
Hyderabad (PTI): The annular solar eclipse, the first in the year, will be visible across the world on January 26 beginning from southern parts of Africa, ...
Ring of fire: Indian Ocean to see solar eclipse
AFP - Jan 23, 2009
PARIS (AFP) — A few lucky people in the Indian Ocean will be treated to a rare event on Monday when an annular solar eclipse will transform the Sun into a ...

Partial solar eclipse on Jan 26
Times of India, India - Jan 22, 2009
NEW DELHI: Sky gazers in some parts of India will get an opportunity to observe a partial solar eclipse Jan 26. The eclipse, first for the year, ...

Year's first solar eclipse to be visable Monday
Ma'an News Agency, Palestinian Territories - 5 hours ago
Bethlehem - Ma'an - Astronomers predict the year’s first solar eclipse to be visible from across the globe Monday. The eclipse will reach almost 92% of the ...
Solar eclipse predicted on Chinese New Year's Day
China Internet Information Center|, China - 10 hours ago
The Guangdong Astronomical Society announced on Thursday that a partial solar eclipse will be observable on Jan. 26, the first day of the Chinese lunar New ...

The 'Counterfeit' Solar Eclipse Happens on January 26th The dark ...
Softpedia, Romania - Jan 23, 2009
By Tudor Vieru, Science Editor This year's annular or ring eclipse of the sun will be visible from most of the southern hemisphere, but it will not be a ...

The lunar new year and first solar eclipse on the same day
Gadling, CA - Jan 23, 2009
by Brenda Yun Jan 23rd 2009 @ 5:30PM January 26 comes with two huge events this year: the lunar new year (or Chinese New Year, for those of you lion dance ...

Partial eclipse set for Jan 26
Borneo Bulletin, Brunei Darussalam - Jan 22, 2009
By Hazarry Hj Ali Ahmad People in Brunei will have the opportunity to witness a rare partial eclipse of the sun on Monday afternoon, January 26, 2009. ...
ChattahBox, MA - 1 hour ago
Four of the seven that have occurred have been major quakes, estimated to have been up to 7.9 on the Richter scale. The amount of time between these ...
Study: SoCal could be overdue for quake San Jose Mercury News
Scientists see California quake pattern Times of the Internet
Strong earthquake overdue in S California: study Xinhua
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Earthquake rattles Alaska's largest city
Reuters - 22 hours ago
Magnitude 5 quakes can cause considerable damage, but there were no immediate reports of injury or damage. (Reporting by Yereth Rosen; Writing by Braden ...
Earthquakes have high hopes
San Jose Mercury News, USA - 15 hours ago
Even with the recent loss of two veteran players, the Quakes look vastly different than a year ago. "That's what is good about being a second-year team," ...
San Jose Mercury News Soccer America
O'Brien shock as San Jose Earthquakes release all-star
Fresno Fuego to host Earthquakes of MLS Fresno Bee
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Area likely never to see big quake, experts say
Arkansas Democrat Gazette, AR - 5 hours ago
Also, an earthquake expert at the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville says three minor quakes occurred along the northern part of the Drakes Creek fault ...
Keith Johnson becomes Quakes manager
Press-Enterprise, CA - Jan 23, 2009
By MICHAEL BECKER A structural shift in the Angels' organization has made Keith Johnson the new manager for the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes. ...
Quakes Announce Managerial Change OurSports Central (press release)
Angels restructure Minor League staffs: Johnson to manage Quakes ... OurSports Central (press release)
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