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Halloween Meteors

1 November 2022
Astronomy, Catastrophism

At https://spaceweather.com [October 31st, 2022] … we have the headline, ‘The Taurid Swarm is Coming’ – a reference to the Halloween Taurid stream that is still very active, albeit mostly as shooting stars. Clearly, not as destructive as it was in the past. Taurid meteors are thought to be debris from a giant comet that broke apart in the inner solar system 10 to 20 thousand years ago. The break-up produced a mixture of dust and some large bodies, one of which is still orbiting, Comet Encke. It mostly orbits unseen nowadays, but occasionally is inspired to flare and once again is picked up by humans with telescopes. Over the years the pull of Jupiter’s gravity has shepherded some of these meteoroids into a well defined Taurid swarm complex. In other words, the Halloween meteor flux has avoided entire dissipation, at the behest of Jupiter. A considerable literature is now available on the subject. It seems that what was once controversial, in the 1990s, is now accepted – as a result of modern telescope arrays. The swarm exists. It visits Earth every 3 or 7 years, we are told. The last outburst of fireballs in the upper atmosphere was exactly 7 years ago.

See also https://phys.org/news/2022-10-meteors-halloween-year-fireball.html … which is basically derived from the same source.

However, asteroids are more lethal than shooting stars, as pretty as fireworks but too high in the sky to be destructive. Over at https://phys.org/news/2022-10-astronomers-largest-potentially-hazardous-asteroid.html … where we are told the Dark Energy Camera in Chile has enabled astronomers to spot three near earth asteroids hiding in the glare of the Sun. They lurk inside the orbits of Earth and Venus. See further at https://doi.org/10.3847/1538-3881/ac8cff

William also sent in a link to the last story – at https://www.yahoo.com/news/planet-killer-asteroids-nearly-mile-224244430.html … planet killing asteroids hidden by the Sun’s brightness.

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