Spaceweather posted this today: Last night, March 29th around 9:45 pm EDT, people along the Atlantic coast of the USA from Maryland to North Carolina witnessed bright lights in the sky and heard thunderous booms. It was almost certainly a meteoritic bolide--a random asteroid hitting Earth's atmosphere and exploding in flight. Another possibility is being discussed: A spent Russian rocket body reentered the atmosphere on March 29th. According to data published by US Strategic Command, however, the rocket reentered near Taiwan (24° N, 125° E) more than two hours after the Atlantic Coast event. A natural meteor remains the most likely explanation. Stay tuned for updates and more eyewitness reports.
Potentially Hazardous Asteroids (PHAs) are space rocks larger than approximately 100m that can come closer to Earth than 0.05 AU. None of the known PHAs is on a collision course with our planet, although astronomers are finding new ones all the time.
On March 31, 2009 there were 1049 potentially hazardous asteroids.
The Moon is at crescent in the western sky just four days after the New Moon. Clear skies the past couple of nights. The moon is heading toward First Quarter this Thursday.
Cosmic Engineering and the Movement of Stars
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