Exploring abrupt climate change induced by comets and asteroids during human history


Regular readers of the Tusk know we don’t dwell here on modern day cosmic interactions. But that was yesterday. Today a best buddy and long-time co-worker, Worth Creech, came into my office shocked to report….he had actually seen…..a daytime fireball in Raleigh!

Well, I’ll bee. The Tar Heel State had an encounter with the incredible. Worth, and the moms, dads and kids at soccer practice, watched slack jawed as a bolide streaked across our state at the fringe of atmosphere to explode over eastern North Carolina¬†Wednesday afternoon.

It surprised me that the media coverage of the encounter was so relatively light. I had always believed that¬†daytime fireballs result in brief — but intense — local press. The Raleigh Fireball of 2016 was barely noted, demonstrating how uncomfortably common such interactions must be.


Worth Creech

4 Responses

  1. One of my all time favorites, check out Sept. 13th (There is an easy archive on the top right.) with 73 fireballs. I was just wondering yesterday if there is a spread sheet compiled over the years, that would be interesting.

  2. Thanks, agimarc…

    Questions remain. My big surprise is that they AIMED the HUBBLE at it! For three days??? Wow.

    I am not clear on what the bright object to the left is – the main body? If so, it looks awfully spherical. So many of the bodies we’ve seen of late seem to be peanut-shaped.

    I would note that the gravitational attraction is so low, it doesn’t take much spinning to allow regolith to lift off. From our views of the other comets and asteroids, I’d think regolith is at least SOME of the fragments.

    They talk about the fragments moving out at a “few miles per hour”. From the Philae messed up landing we know that it tried to land at ONE meter per second and STILL bounced off and nearly reached escape velocity. One m/sec equals about 2.2 mph.

    Also, didn’t we have another comet that fragmented out in deep space, away from any planet, not too long ago?

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