Meteors & Meteoric Fireballs (Observed Aloft)

senkel

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rainbow

I don't know about any pictures, but during the 2000 Leonid shower I saw several radiant trails that lingered, sometimes turning rainbow-colors. Check it out!
 

senkel

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Rainbow meteor

Sorry, no pix to post! I wish I'd thought of that, but I had never seen the like before, either. Since then, though, I have read that it's not at all unusual, like seeing the smoke trail or hearing the meteor hiss (burn) as it goes overhead.

Several years ago I did see one that had flames trailing off behind it -- that was really dramatic!

Anyone else?
 
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Anonymous

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Comets over Holland

Around 27th of october, I was in Alphen an de Rijn in the south of Holland. At one point I saw something in the sky. It was a bit like those flares you see ships use. Except it was moving faster(either downwards or in a diagonal direction away from me) and it turned from blue to yellow in the few seconds I saw it. Was quite big as well.

Anyone know if it was just some special sort of fireworks or so?
 

austen27

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I would say what you describe was a meteor. The colours are typical of a meteor as is the rapid transit across the sky. Bright meteors like this are sometimes described as "fire-balls" and are caused by pieces of rock or metal about the size of an egg entering the Earths atmosphere.
 
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Anonymous

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Yeah, but it just seemed to me bigger than I would expect some space-object to be. And why would I get to see a meteor? Of course I have not reallly been following the Dutch news(My vocabulary so far limits to one word so I wouldn't gain much), but I do think I would know if something like a meteor had been seen there.
 

austen27

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Small meteors are quite common, you can expect to see a few every night, and because they are moving in the Earths atmosphere they may only be visible over an area of a few tens of square miles. Fire-ball type meteors are rarer but not that infrequent. I saw one about fifteen years ago. They would not be reported in the newspapers unless there wasn't much other news that day.

I think you are still quite lucky to see a meteor.:)
 

rynner2

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Certainly not a comet, because they are at planetary distances and therefore do not move fast across the sky. (However, observed on binoculars or a telescope, some movement against background stars can often be detected over a few hours.)

Something moving fast across the sky is almost certainly in the atmosphere, so a meteor is favourite. If large and high in the atmosphere they may be seen over an area of several hundred square miles. Sometimes a meteoroid will approach the atmosphere at such a shallow angle that it appears as a meteor for a while before 'bouncing' off into space again. Very exotic.

At a more mundane level, it may just have been aircraft and/or military flares during a night exercise.
 
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Anonymous

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You're right, it was supposed to be Meteors over Holland. It was just a kind of typo.

It wasn't an aircraft, more likely some sort of flare. It seemed to me not really to be that solid. Some sort of round core at the front and then something I don't know wether it was smoke or flames around it. I guess if it was smoke it would have left some sort of trail.
 

rynner2

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I'm assuming you saw this thing at night - I don't think you gave the time. Illumination flares, like distress flares, have small parachutes to slow their fall. Although there is a smoke trail, this is more usually visible if there is a lot of lighting around from the ground, so it sounds more like a flare to me than a meteor.

(Wasteful ground lighting, the kind I hate, as an astronomer - support Campaign for Dark Skies! http://www.darksky.org )
 

harlequin2005

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I saw similar things in Uithoorn in 1999/2000, which is, oddly enough, on the same bus route as Alphen aan de Rijn. nearest thing I could think of was parachute flares

8¬)
 
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Anonymous

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My first thought when I saw it was flare. But it seemed to me it was moving downwards, which it wouldn't if it had just been shot out. And if it was falling it should be moving slow becase of the parachute. Of course I have only seen flares on TV. The people I were with(residents of Alphen An De Rijn) said it was probably just kids playing with fireworks, that they sometimes did that. But they didn't see it, and it didn't look like fireworks to me. I think they have an astronomy section at the local university, I guess I should ask them instead.
 

rynner2

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A parachute flare fired from the ground is propelled by a conventional firework type rocket, but the actual bright flare itself does not ignite until the thing begins to descend on its parachute. So you would only see it descending (unless you happened to be looking the right way to the rocket on the way up, which is much less bright).
 
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Anonymous

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Woohoo! I just found some sightings on the internet of it. It has been seen in several countries. It is an actual meteor, nice birthday gift :) I should have run out of the house and looked for it then, but I expected it was fireworks.
 

punychicken

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Meteorite hits Sri Lanka

ok, so its not a UFO in Australia!

news.com.au story:

A suspected meteorite crashed in a ball of fire in Sri Lanka, burning down trees and scattering particles over a celebrated giant rock, officials and scientists said.

Residents of Dimbulagala, 220km north of Colombo, reported "a strange light which they had seen descending from the sky" three weeks ago, said Parakrama Beligammana, the chief state administrative officer in the region.

He travelled on Sunday to the city, where he said trees had been burnt down and particles from what seemed to be a meteorite were scattered over half a hectare.

The pieces fell on a famous 4km rock that is home to an ancient Buddhist temple.

The particles "were quite heavy because of its high density and were bluish-black in colour", Beligammana said.

handana Jayaratne, a senior physics lecturer at Colombo University, said he was looking at the particles and that if they are confirmed to be from a meteorite they will be sent for verification to the US space agency NASA.

"They look like particles from a meteorite but until the tests are done nothing can be said," Jayaratne told AFP.

Beligammana said it was unlikely the trees were burnt by bushfire because they were on the centre of the rock where fires are difficult to spread.
 
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Anonymous

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I *think* this was a meteor

Anyway, a couple months ago, I was driving down a road in the country and saw a blue light in the sky. It was moving very fast, seemingly horizontally. It seemed to be somewhat close (about the distance you'd expect to see a plane or someting) And then it abruptly vanished. I assumed for a second it was a shooting star. But it was bright, bright blue... and had no flicker... and vanished abruptly. Dunno, it weirded me out. COULD just be a meteor, but my girlfriend saw it too and insisted it wasn't.

This was in central Vermont, near a very small (mostly small private aircraft) airport.

Not putting this in the UFO forum because I don't really believe in UFOs... I'm sure it was a meteor, entering at a low angle, and somehow bright blue. That abruptly went dark.
 
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Anonymous

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But that is the point!

You were not able to identify it as a meteor so it is classed as an Unidentified Flying Object. Whether we like it or not..

I saw what you are describing last week. Me and my boy were walking to the local shops and I pointed at a plane or a bright light that we presumed was a plane that was flying at a vertical/diagonal gradiant upwards. I will always have a fascination with planes as do most people and I point them out to the kids all the time. Every so often you see something odd.

This plane was flying upwards and then its bright light vanished abruptly and there was no noise. My kid asked me if it was space shuttle and I had to tell him "no".

I could not identify it. It was therefore a UFO.

P.S I believe most UFOs are military. The military have admitted as much.
 
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Anonymous

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I know, I wait my whole life to see something paranormal, and its probably a meteor.
Ah, I still have the time I saw reflected motion and sound coming from a room no one was in. And the music box that started going by itself, with the woman on it's head turned backwards.
 
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Anonymous

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ROMAN FIREBALL

Eric Rucker

This happened in Rome in, I think, mid-June 1997. I was leaving the offices of a pharmaceutical company called Serono where I had been teaching English to one of the employees, and whose offices and some production facilities are in an enormous late 19th century building situated by the side of one of the main rail thoroughfares into Rome. The road connecting it to the city centre passes over the railway lines via a large bridge called Ponte Casilina. At about 11.00 I was crossing this bridge when I became aware of a movement in the corner of my eye...

forteantimes.com/happened/romanfireball.shtml
Link is dead / obsolete. See June 2018 post for correction and full story.
 
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FilthyleDog

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This sounds to me as though it was possibly a large fireball meteor.

I saw something similar a few years ago, sometime around 1994, whilst walking back with my then girlfriend from her mum's house to our flat in Stockport. It was about 11pm when we glanced up and through a gap in the clouds saw a relatively large object (about the size of a 1p coin held at arms length) which appeared to be travelling fairly slowly, wobbling slightly in its path, spitting off blue and green sparks and leaving a trail of flame behind it. It was heading towards the distant pennines and soon disappeared behind another bank of clouds. We stood and gaped in awe looking over in the direction of the hills expecting to see a large explosion, but of course nothing happened.

We pondered about the sight for a while afterwards; after all - we had seen a UFO! We even scoured the papers to look for reports of anybody else seeing this sight. But, nothing...

It was only when watching a TV programme probably six months later that featured footage of a fireball meteor (though not one as spectacular as the one we'd seen!), that we surmised that was what it must have been.

Perhaps the most infuriating thing, as Eric found out, was that nobody else was around to see what was an amazing sight!
 
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Anonymous

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Meteor

On Sunday 6/10/02 around 6am BST, a friend reported seeing a meteor crossing the sky in flames, and was convinced that, from the angle of desent, it landed.

However, none of the popular news sites have any information about this.

Is this because its common? Or went generally un-noticed?

Did anyone else see it?

Does anyone have any links to sites that might mention events like this?

Lutz
 

akaWiintermoon

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Ooh, Lutzman, have you checked out IHTM? There's a story in there just like it.
If I remeber one of the trailers for Discovery Channel correctly, you have more chance of being hit by a meteor than winning the Lotto!
As for facts, do you have a local Observatory you could contact? Or perhaps try the Mett Office? Good luck anyway. :)
 

rynner2

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Meteors generally occur high up in the atmosphere when rocks comes in at high velocity. Assuming they don't burn up entirely, they will have been slowed down by friction and the 'flaming' appearance will cease long before they fall to earth.

So the meteor your friend saw was almost certainly miles high and landed (if at all) tens of miles away.

Interestingly, some meteorites (= meteors that make it to earth) can appear covered with frost, despite their fiery passage through the atmosphere! This is because most of the rock is still at the intense cold of deep space, and the heat from the outer burning layer doesn't get time during its brief fall to Earth to warm up the inside. This would tend to happen more with large meteors that have a steep angle of descent.

Some bodies that approach at a shallow angle burn briefly in the upper atmosphere before 'bouncing' back into space. A couple of these have been filmed, and because of their height can be seen over very wide areas.


Um, another possibility is of course fireworks - Nov 5th is just weeks away! :)
 

rynner2

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It seems a meteor hit Siberia last Thursday, which would have been the 3rd October, so can't have been the one seen by Lutzman's friend.

But apparently about 100 people did witness this one come down, as a "very large luminous body", and seismic monitoring recorded the equivalent of a "middle-power earthquake".


I'm surprised this didn't get more publicity. BBC Link

It's interesting to have two reports like this. We are in between recognised meteor showers, so these two are unlikely to be related in any way, but it's not impossible.
 

rynner2

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P.S. I find there are some minor meteor showers this month - Details.

It might be worth emailing the webmaster with details of L's friend's sighting - give as much detail as possible:
date/time/observer location/direction of object seen/height above horizon (in degrees)/apparent direction of travel/description, and anything else recalled!

Or check International Meteor Organisation
 

akaWiintermoon

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Ooh, thank you for the first link on you above post Rynner. I was looking at the expected shower for 21st October (level: Beginner). As I'm a bit thick (;) :p ), I was wondering if you'd be able to help me out with what direction (N, S, E, W?) I should be looking in on that night? I'm in Hampshire. Thanks in advance. :) :likee: :D
 

rynner2

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Doesn't matter where you are, 'Moon, since meteors can appear in any part of the sky. It's the best naked eye astronomy - telescopes or bins only restrict your field of view.

The thing with a Shower is that they are all on parallel paths when they meet Earth so (by a perspective effect) they all appear to diverge from one point in the sky, the 'Radiant'.

But (the bad news!) you normally see more after midnight, when the Earth's rotation combines with its orbital velocity so as to increase the relative speed of incoming bodies.

The maximum activity would be expected around the middle of the 'shower window', ie, around 22nd October for the Orionids, but big 'sporadic' meteors can occur any time.

Wrap up warm, lie back and enjoy! :D
 

akaWiintermoon

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Thanks! :D I'm usually up wayyy past midnight anyway. :rolleyes: :p I shall deffinatly note that one down in my diary then. :)
 
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