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Fireball, boom thrill gazers from Ontario to Virginia – Al Jazeera English

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Tracking organisation records 90 reports of the fireball seen across states including Michigan, New York and Virginia.

A daytime boom that was heard and felt from southern Ontario to Virginia was likely caused by a disintegrating meteor, according to an organisation in western New York that keeps track of such phenomena.

Witnesses across the area reported hearing the boom or seeing a fireball in the sky shortly after noon (17:00 GMT) on Wednesday, said Robert Lunsford of the American Meteor Society in Geneseo. By 5pm (22:00 GMT), the organisation had recorded 90 reports of the fireball seen in Maryland, Michigan, New York, Ontario, Pennsylvania and Virginia.

Police agencies and fire departments around central New York received 911 calls reporting a boom that shook windows, but clouds prevented sightings in much of the area. Since most reports of the boom were around Syracuse, that is likely where the meteor blew to bits, Lunsford said.

Footage of the incident captured in Toronto showed a bright white flash in the sky above the city.

On the society’s website, an observer in western New York reported the fireball was bright white with shades of yellow. An observer in Hagerstown, Maryland reported a fireball with red and orange sparks, smoke and a persistent train. A report from Welland, Ontario, described a long, bright green train.

“Sunny day so it looked like a gold metallic flash against the blue sky,” said a report from Winchester, Virginia.

“Astonishing, amazing, still get goosebumps talking about it,” wrote an observer in Port Dover, Ontario. “The train was flaming white, wide and long, no smoke.”

“We tend to notice fireballs more at night because they stand out better, but it’s not terribly unusual for very bright ones to be noticed during the day. It happens several times a year over populated areas,” said Margaret Campbell-Brown, a member of the Meteor Physics Group at the Western University in London, Ontario.

All fireballs, which are bright meteors, produce sound waves, sometimes detectable only by sensitive microphones, Campbell-Brown said by email. A large one may produce a thunder-like sonic boom with possible extra bangs from fragmentation, she said.

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Dinosaur fossils found in Argentina could belong to the worlds largest creature – Republic World

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Paleontologists in Argentina recently unearthed the remains of a gigantic dinosaur and have now touted that it could be the largest creature to have ever walked the earth. The fossils were discovered in a sedimentary deposit in Patagonia region are of a titanosaur, which possibly walked the earth 98 million years ago. Patagonia region, located at the Southernmost tip of South America, has been home to walking giants.

The fossil 

The unearthed fossil includes 24 vertebrate which is believed to the part of the giant’s tail. In addendum, elements for its pelvic and pectoral girdle were also discovered. In the aftermath, the researchers have concluded that the discovered fossils could be that of titanosaur, diverse group of sauropod dinosaurs classified by their long neck and tail,  large size amongst others.  

Read: US: Massachusetts Lawmaker Wants To Name Official State Dinosaur

Read: Certain Dinosaur Species Were Cannibals; Bite Marks On Fossils Suggest

Credits: Natural History Museum

In the study, that was published by journal Cretaceous Research, experts opinionated that the creature could be “one of the largest sauropods ever found” and could exceed the size of a Patagotitan, a species which lived 100 million to 95 million years ago and measured up to a staggering 37.2 meters (122 feet) long. However, they have not commented on the dinosaur’s weight as of yet. 

Image Credits:  Cretaceous Research Journal 

Meanwhile, a recent study has found that Allosaurus were carnivores. Dinosaurs were gigantic creatures and have fascinated scientists and palaeontologists since ages. Scientists have tried to use the fossilized remains of dinosaur to find more details about these creatures of a bygone era. They were either carnivorous, herbivorous or omnivores. A newly published research study on the PLOS ONE offered another revelation about Allosaurus, a giant Species of Dinosaur.

As per the published article, the Allosaurus was probably a cannibal. A team of scientists experimented on the fossil bones which were discovered in 1981. These fossil bones were unearthed from the Mygatt-Moore Quarry area in Colorado. Strikingly, nearly 29 percent of the 2368 bones had bite marks. As per the study, this number is almost six times more than the fossils found in other Jurassic dinosaur sites. 

Read: Certain Dinosaur Species Were Cannibals; Bite Marks On Fossils Suggest

Read: Massachusetts Rep Wants To Name ‘State Dinosaur’ To Teach Kids About Legislative Process

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Temperature problems given as reason behind COVID-19 vaccine problems in central Newfoundland – The Journal Pioneer

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A cold chain break is the reason Central Health is giving as the reason behind a rapid vaccination delivery in Grand Falls-Windsor earlier this month.

On Jan. 7, the shipment of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine meant for the Central Newfoundland Regional Health Centre dropped to a temperature below what is permitted for longer storage.

The temperature requirement for that vaccine is between –60 C and –80 C.

The shipment’s temperature monitor had fallen outside the recommended temperature. That meant 160 doses of Central Health’s supply had to be administered within six hours.

Due to this, those doses were slotted for the following day’s COVID-19 clinic.

“As a result of the cold chain break, we quickly organized an impromptu clinic with priority health-care workers, along with any employees, who were available to attend at such a short notice,” Central Health said in a statement.

Of those 160 doses administered, none went to waste and another shipment of the vaccine arrived the next day, the health authority said.

In the days immediately following that first issue, there were no further issues with transportation, and vaccines were successfully given to priority health-care workers, along with the residents and staff of long-term care homes in Gander and Grand Falls-Windsor, Central Health said.

“This was an excellent example of the robust planning in the region to allow staff to adapt quickly to any situation,” read the statement.

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100-million-year old beetle fossil sheds light on family of ancient bugs – CNET

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A close-up view of the well-preserved Cretophengodes azari, a fossil light-producing beetle encased in amber.


Chenyang Cai

A beetle trapped in amber for over 100 million years is offering scientists clues to why the bioluminescent insects may have glowed way back during the Cretaceous period, about 145 to 66 million years ago. 

In a new study published in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B, scientists reveal that a Cretophengodes beetle found “preserved with life-like fidelity in amber” has a direct connection to its firefly cousins. 

It’s been a bit of a mystery to scientists why ancient beetles could glow. But based on their distant relatives like fireflies, scientists believe the function could likely have been used as a defense against predators, as well as a way to attract mates — much like the modern-day beetle larvae in the same family have used light.

“The discovery of a new extinct Elateroid beetle family is significant,” study co-author Erik Tihelka from the School of Earth Sciences said in a statement, “because it helps shed light on the evolution of these fascinating beetles.” 

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Here’s an artistic reconstruction of a Cretophengodes azari male and female in the undergrowth of a Cretaceous rainforest.


Dinghua Yang

Because this particular beetle fossil was well-preserved in amber, scientists were able to see the light organ on the abdomen of the male beetle. That provides proof adult Cretophengodes were able to produce light, some 100 million years ago.

The majority of light-producing beetles belong to the Elateroidea family, which has over 24,000 known species. The discovery of this beetle provides the missing fossil link between living families, and in doing so helps scientists understand how these beetles evolved and how they should be classified.

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