back to article Space FIREBALL over Blighty sparks hunt for rich meteorite

Astronomers are searching for a highly expensive fist-sized meteorite that lit up the skies over Blighty on Saturday night. The fireball plunged to the ground somewhere in Devon, Normandy or in the Bay of Biscay - sparking fears of a downed aeroplane or missile attack. The lump of space metals would be worth its weight in gold, …

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Boffin

Spectral Analysis

I wonder if any sufficiently sensitive cameras recorded the trail well enough to get a measure of what was ablating from the rock.

Or is it just the Ni2/O2 mix of the plasma shield?

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Boffin

Re: Spectral Analysis

Usually the brightest fireballs show up red and green N2 and O2 lines. A very bright one may show other traces, but it might have been difficult to get spectral readings on such a fast moving object.

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Anonymous Coward

LANDED IN MY

garden. Will put it on ebay in the morning.

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Fireball

I presume someone did call the ISS after the sighting. You know, just to check if they are still up there?

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Big Brother

"Sparking fears of a downed aeroplane or missile attack."

Missile attack??

Please, PLEASE, good people, stop trying to navigate the real world, stay comfortably at home and watch 24 or 48 or something. Indeed, you have fully lost attachment to reality. Still, remember to vote! Because politicians work day and night to protect you from all kinds of dangers!! And they need your support!!!

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that's all very well but what if it was iran launching a *nuclear* missile attack on us?

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Anonymous Coward

Iranian Missile..

Let's hope it takes them longer than 45 minutes though because we all know what that'd lead to..

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Holmes

I hope our several hundred western intelligence agencies and the IAEA and its inspectors would have told you in no uncertain terms (i.e. not using Amano's "I'm gonna freak people out using innuendo based on random faxes from the State Department and the 'smoking laptop' source from MEK") SEVERAL YEARS BEFORE THAT CAN HAPPEN that there was a possibility that Iran had:

1) A military nuclear program

2) The political intent to make a nuke

3) Enough 98% enriched uranium or even plutonium to make a nukes

4) Run tests on that nuke

5) Miniaturized the nuke far enough to put it on an ICBM tip

6) Built the ICBM in question

Currently we are stage 0)

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Boffin

Item 1 is debatable, but Item 2 has certainly been reached.

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item 2 is also debatable

The fact that Iran is enriching uranium to 20% has a simple explanation.

The US gave them a research reactor requiring, I think, 97% enriched uranium. The overthrow of the Shah means fuel was no longer forthcoming, so they have managed, at great expense, to modify said reactor to reduce its requirements to a mere 20% enriched.

Now they make fuel to that specification, and can continue to make isotypes required for treating cancer, etc, and prove the revised design as a basis for future reactor design.

But, regarding their energy programme in general, I think you'll ultimately find that this whole issue is about who's in the supply chain.

Now, oil leaves Iran, is refined elsewhere, and bought back - letting refining nations take a cut of all Iranian oil production, and effectively taxing the consumption of their own resource.

If Iran manages to complete its nuclear energy programme without needing to export raw uranium (of which Iran has a large portion of world supply) to the West for enrichment, it will be an achievement that relegates most of the world to being a mere end customer.

We know nuclear fission is an essential stepping stone on the path to an economy that can rely on future commercial nuclear fusion processes, so insinuating weapons programmes to justify intervention that will maintain Western hegemony over world energy supply is an essential foreign policy objective.

In case you haven't noticed, these Muslim nations are poor enough at their Islamic duty of 'zakat' (charity) amongst themselves, never mind infidels with a begging bowl for energy.

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Trollface

Day...

...of the Triffids, anybody?

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DJV
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Re: Day...

ecxuse any tyops in tihs reply but, for soem reasn, someone truned out the lights...

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Boffin

... of the Kraken Wakes

That one also began with fireballs. Watch out for sea-tanks in Phase Two, followed by ...

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Thumb Up

Re: .the Kraken Wakes

Oh yes indeed! One of my favourite Wyndham novels... Must hunt out my copy again... :)

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Alert

I have annihilated the pot of chives on my window sill just in case.

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Anonymous Coward

What did you have to say that for, I have some parsley on my kitchen window sill that looks suspicious now... off to chop it up with a sharp knife and some Weedol (just to be sure).

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Happy

Re: "..just to be sure". Weedol? Surely everbody knows that if you want to be sure.......

............you have to take off and nuke from orbit.

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Russian Booster ?

Well, not likely. North to South track means polar orbit. Few satellites go for polar orbits, very energy expensive. But useful for observation, good ground coverage.

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Anonymous Coward

Landed in Devon

But it's mine! MINE! It's mine, My own, My Precious! M Y P R E C I O U S !

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Landed in Devon

no, it's not yours, it's ours (the gov). You will receive a due reward, a letter of thanks or an item of similar value, from the secretary of the undersecretary of the personal assistant of the No 10 cat's mouse's, to thank you for saving us the trouble of wasting taxpayers' money to try and identify the whereabouts of this lump of rock.

Should you, on the other hand, choose to be less than prompt with the turnover of the said lump...

Respectfully yours,

We, the Gov

p.s. on second thoughts, isn't it the case, that our dear cousins claim property to everything that falls from space, minus Russian ICBMs?

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Anonymous Coward

Somethings wrong here...

The footage on the Daily Telegraph report shows a full moon at 0:05s. Last night the moon was just over half full.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/space/nightsky/9121664/Large-meteor-spotted-over-UK.html

I know of no in-camera lens aberration that can make semi-circular light source look completely round, (lots that can make it happen the other way) and if anyone's got a camera that does, then several big manufacturers would pay a small fortune to take a close look at it.

Or else DT is being a bit sloppy with their use of Youtube footage, after all, one burning fireball streaking across the sky does look pretty much like any other.

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Re: Somethings wrong here...

Glare can cause a non-circular object to appear round quite easily.

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Re: Somethings wrong here...

It sure looks like the shadows are going in multiple directions too

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The reports that I have read imply that this object burned red and was traveling slowly.

Twelve years ago I had the good luck of witnessing the end of a bit of space junk. It burned blue-white and it crossed the whole sky in about half a second.

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Alien

Has anyone....

Been and checked out Horsell Common since Saturday night?

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Alert

Re: Has anyone....

Why bother? The chances are a million to one...

Hmm, what's that noise? Sounds like Ulla! Ulla!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Has anyone....

Quick, someone get out there and sneeze on it...

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Re: Has anyone....

Better count the blue police boxes too. If there's an extra one you know what that means....

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My friend showed me a meteorite ball he was given by a farmer who found it in a fresh crater in his field. It felt really heavy, and had the correct "molten layers peeling off" look to it. I filmed it and he said he would try to sell it. AFAIK he still has it. Could it be worth thousands to the right museum?

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have you tried smashing windows with it?

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Joke

"Our own origins are locked up in these pieces of rock. They are pristine material from the beginning of the solar system and hold the ingredients of life."

So he admits that the Blob has finally landed on earth ?

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Easy to find

Just follow the crop circles.

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"Dr Marek Kukula, public astronomer at the Royal Observatory in Greenwich told The Independent: "Our own origins are locked up in these pieces of rock. They are pristine material from the beginning of the solar system and hold the ingredients of life. They are a real treasure-trove.""

Does this count as a unique item drop then? What attributes will a weapon forged from this material have?

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"Our own origins are locked up in these pieces of rock. They are pristine material from the beginning of the solar system and hold the ingredients of life. "

That rather depends on the meteorite (if anything survives). Chondrites - especially the carbonaceous chondrites are almost pristine - only lacking some of the volatile elements with very early dates, and yes, they contain amino acids; but many other types of meteorite are mineralogically highly evolved with a large range of dates; eucrites from Vesta are over 200 My younger than most meteorites, whilst shergottites from Mars are as young as 180My.

If this chunk did hit the surface, there's not a huge chance of finding it; 90%+ of all known meteorites are stony, which to the untrained eye look like - well - stones. But good luck to anyone who does find a meteorite - just hope it's a pallasite:

http://www.arizonaskiesmeteorites.com/AZ_Skies_Links/Esquel/371gEsquel/

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The meteorite may be found...

A Teesside newspaper has published an article saying a lady has found the meteorite from last night, read it here http://www.gazettelive.co.uk/news/teesside-news//2012/03/05/redcar-woman-may-have-found-teesside-meteorite-84229-30463001/?campaign=Gazettelive_email_gazette-live-email:20120305

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Anonymous Coward

Spotted it, Merseyside area.

Probably the most awesome thing I've ever seen. Far slower than the usual streak of a shooting star and with a long trail of fire, white/blue at the tip and going to orange and red before dissolving away quite an impressive number of degrees from the tip. It was visible for several seconds, streaking from north to south across the eastern sky, losing its tail and possibly breaking up as it approached the line of trees due South.

The only shame is that neither me or the friend I was with had a camera handy, and none of the footage I've seen really shows how stupendously large the tail grew. My initial thoughts were a jet engine on fire until I realised how far away and how fast it was going.

tags: 2012, endofworld, holyfuckingshitawesome

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Spotted it, Merseyside area.

Addendum: After consulting a map, I was facing almost exactly due north east. Also this video gives you some idea of the size of the thing at 1 minute in: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d4dDvUzyas0

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Even further north than Strathclyde...

http://www.eveningexpress.co.uk/Article.aspx/2669201?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter

I could have cleaned up the url, but on a phone. Besides, it should screw with their stats.

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Which gold price, the proper one, or the lord one eyed wanker price?

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Coincidentally

Australian news reported a large meteorite over southern Victoria yesterday morning, estimated size of a large marble. No reports here as I write.

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