The Apophis Asteroid Can Be Seen Over the Hudson Valley Tonight
If you're up late Sunday night, there is a chance you'll see an asteroid as it makes a close pass near the Earth. Pix 11 is reporting that the asteroid known as Apophis will be visible in the night sky at around 11:50 P.M. 99942 Apophis is a near Earth asteroid, with a diameter of around 1,000 feet across, that was discovered in 2004. Some scientists were initially concerned upon its discovery that the rock could strike Earth in the year 2029. Since then, astronomers have mostly eliminated any possibility that Apophis could hit Earth one day.
Scientists say you'll want to look towards the south right before midnight, to see the passing asteroid. You'll want to be in an open area and away from any city lights. of course, a telescope will help. The forecast across the Hudson Valley is calling for increasing clouds late, as the the next winter system moves in by Monday. However, the cloud cover shouldn't really affect the region until after midnight, so we should be good to go.
You may have heard about the bright fireball that was seen all over the eastern part of the country in late 2020? Some outlets, such as the Gothamist, were reporting that the space rock actually crashed somewhere in the Poughkeepsie area. The American Meteor Society says the fireball's visible light trail ended somewhere over Poughkeepsie, according to the reports they received. As of now, there is no actual evidence of this. Chances are, the fireball simply disintegrated in mid-air.
Once a meteor strikes the Earth's surface it officially becomes a meteorite. It actually happens a lot more than you may think. Wikipedia says an estimated 15,000 tons of space debris enter the planet's atmosphere every day. A huge majority never makes it to the ground. Many fizzle out or explode in the upper atmosphere without anyone ever hearing about it. Scientists do say a meteor may have exploded high above New York state in late 2019, causing an eerie greenish light to be seen in the sky that night, according to the many reports in the Saratoga area.
On October 9, 1992, a meteorite struck a parked 1980 Chevrolet Malibu in Peekskill. Yes, this really happened. You may have seen some of the footage on the news back then. While there were no smart phones in 1992, plenty of home video recorders captured the bright ball of green light, as it traveled in the night sky, across the eastern U.S.. When it landed, the meteorite was about a foot across and weighed nearly 28 pounds. All that light came from an object that small? Imagine what some of much bigger ones could do?
The car's owner was a 17 year-old girl, who was in her home at the time of impact. She described the noise as sounding like a car crash. When she went to investigate, she found the meteorite on her car, which she described as still warm and smelling of sulfur. Wikipedia says she later to sold the vehicle to the wife of a meteorite collector, and the pieces of the rock have been put on display at many museums and collections around the world.