Friday, July 17, 2009

Giant Black "Blob" Attacks Alaska!

I guess there's more than one blob out there! This one is "definately organic" according to one official. And it likes cold water. Seriously creepy! From the Anchorage Daily News:
Hunters from Wainwright first started noticing the stuff sometime probably early last week. It's thick and dark and "gooey" and is drifting for miles in the cold Arctic waters, according to Gordon Brower with the North Slope Borough's Planning and Community Services Department.
Brower and other borough officials, joined by the U.S. Coast Guard, flew out to Wainwright to investigate. The agencies found "globs" of the stuff floating miles offshore Friday and collected samples for testing.
Here's some choice quotes about it's physical description:
It's certainly biological," Hasenauer said. "It's definitely not an oil product of any kind. It has no characteristics of an oil, or a hazardous substance, for that matter.
"It's definitely, by the smell and the makeup of it, it's some sort of naturally occurring organic or otherwise marine organism."
"It's pitch black when it hits ice and it kind of discolors the ice and hangs off of it," Brower said. He saw some jellyfish tangled up in the stuff, and someone turned in what was left of a dead goose -- just bones and feathers -- to the borough's wildlife department.

Photos courtesy of the North Slope Borough via Anchorage Daily News.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Mason-Dixon Meteorite Tracked on Video

Looks like I'm a few days behind on this--the Mason-Dixon Meteorite was tracked on a surveillance camera! The Baltimore Sun has more:
The big fireball meteor that startled residents in Central Maryland and southern Pennsylvania early Monday morning was captured on a security camera video in York Pa. It's about 18 seconds into the 70-second video. Meteorite hunters hope this will be a first clue to guide them to the spot where surviving bits of the meteor - if there are any - may have landed.
Video isn't super great quality, but definitely worth checking out.

And it looks like a local astronomy buff has created a simulation (click the pick for the video):
Read more about the hunt for the meteorite and the latest details so far...

Props to and the Baltimore Sun.

Mason-Dixon Meteorite Blasts Through Sky, Crashes to Earth

The Baltimore Sun reports on a meteor dubbed the Mason-Dixon Meteor that apparently crashed to Earth near Lancaster County, July 6. An excerpt of some of the reports:
The York Dispatch: In York County, Pa., police officers from Penn Township, Southwestern Regional and Newberry Township reported seeing a flash and hearing a boom around 1:15 a.m. Monday, July 6, according to local 911 centers. Officials in Harford County, Md. also reported seeing a flash and hearing a boom near the Mason-Dixon Line.

Capital Gazette: An Annapolis city police officer reported that she and her partner both saw what she described as a "bright blue light in the sky" just after midnight. It was followed by "a light with a tail, falling from the sky," according to our informant. Annapolis police reported hearing a similar report on Baltimore County police radio.

Gary Moon, reporting to The Sun's News Tips: "I heard and felt a deep earth blast similar to an earthquake, which shook my home in Glen Rock, Pa., early Monday morning. I thought I would hear MUCH more about this one ... nothing."

Deborah Markow, Havre de Grace: "Last night, couldn't sleep, went out on back deck, laid on lounge, eyes closed and then it was like someone pointed a flash light in my eyes it was so bright. I saw another one streak through the sky ... It was one of the most thrilling sights to behold a ball of fire flying through the sky."


Ancient Egyptian Stronghold Discovered

A newly discovered Egyptian fortress was discovered near the Suez Canal and El-Manzala Lake, just northeast of the town of Qantara. The outpost dates back 12 centuries before Christ and was constructed out of mud bricks. From MSNBC:
The discovery shouldn't come as a surprise; Tell Dafna was long known to be a strategic outpost against Egypt's enemies. King Ramses II of the 19th Dynasty (1279-1212 B.C.) chose the site to erect a fortress. King Psammetichus I, the first ruler of the 26th Dynasty (664-625 B.C.), later established a garrison of foreign mercenaries to defend the eastern borders of Egypt from invaders.

Dating to the 7th century B.C., the foundations unearthed by the archaeologists most likely belonged to Psammetichus I's fortified garrison town.


Photo credit: Supreme Council of Antiquities via MSNBC