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FAO M-W: Fireball

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adrenalynn

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Torn betwixt this and SSA... Move if you want.

Observed a monster fireball this evening. This is approximately to scale/to observed color on my calibrated monitor. Path and length pretty exact. Time right on the money by GPS time.

 
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CatsFan4Evr

Guest
I'm new to this, so please be easy!

I saw a fireball this evening myself sometime between 10:00 - 11:00 tonight. I was looking toward the west near the horizon and it had a long trail. I'm in Lexington, KY and was driving at the time. Is it possible I saw the same one as you? This was a BIG one..
 
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MeteorWayne

Guest
No, it couldn't be the same one, adrenalynn is way too far west.
Can you pin down the time and descrption more accurately?

If so, you should report it

(I'll insert a link shortly...)

MW
 
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CatsFan4Evr

Guest
Just saw another, not a fireball but definitely a meteor. Around 1:50 AM local time, heading from the east, directly overhead. Long trail. Early Orionid perhaps? Two meteors (when I'm not even looking) in one night is unusual for me, lol...
 
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adrenalynn

Guest
Hi Cats, welcome to the SDC!

As MeteorWayne (the expert around these parts!) observed - way too far over the horizon to share meteor views with you.

One thing to note about frequency of observation is a human nature trait for pattern matching. We all have to be really careful about "spotting patterns". Human brains are outstanding pattern matching machines. In fact, they're so good they'll run around creating patterns where none exist, just to satisfy themselves, I think. ;)

It's like buying a new car. Before you bought/considered that car, you hardly saw any on the road. Buy the car and "suddenly they're everywhere". It's not that everyone else bought it at the same moment, but rather we've become hyper-attuned to it. Same thing goes for transient spotting, like meteors. You might think you're not looking for them, but for some time after seeing something fantastic like a fireball, the brain is hyper-attuned to looking for another. You might be glancing at the sky more frequently without noticing it, or tracking it from the corner of your eye with more pattern matching processing power being devoted to it, or going outside more frequently that night or...

Regardless - would like to hear more details on your fireball!

MeteorWayne - any thoughts on my observation?
 
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MeteorWayne

Guest
Working on it now, still in recovery mode after thrilling Yankee comeback last night :)
 
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adrenalynn

Guest
Ahh! That explains it!

I was just surprised you could pass-up a report with that much quality data. ;)
 
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adrenalynn

Guest
I've always been intimidated by their reporting page. ;)

Yes, it was moving down towards my horizon. It flared ("bolided"?) almost painfully just above the houses and I lost it in a combination of blindness and a chimney, but didn't see it appear to reemerge. It was almost a 45 degree angle, just a little less steep. Quality of the observation is already diminishing in my head, so the sketch will have to suffice. It had an ionizing trail visible for "four Mississippi" from just above and right of Polaris at the tip of Cepheus into the flare (bolide). Moving fairly quickly, just over a second for that path. It may have been more dimly visible earlier, but I was looking off towards where Auriga would be up, planning my comet-hunting, and only caught the brilliance from my peripheral. From my notes: the trail was 4+ Jupiters wide, the flare was somewhere around six or seven Jupiters with ionizing about half the moon in diameter (given that it was so low I know that's not terribly helpful since the moon's apparent size would be distorted by the atmosphere). VERY light green to yellow-lime.

It's the largest I've seen in size that I'm aware of, and in the top-5 for brightness.
 
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MeteorWayne

Guest
OK, after digesting most of my last 2 mornings of meteor obs, I had a chance to look at this some. It doesn't align with any supected cometary meteor shower, nor any proposed asteroidal fireball showers...that's not surprising, since most fireballs are sporadics.

I don't know why you find the fireball report form intimidating, you have the skill set, knowledge and tools to be more accurate than 90% of those who report. From your chart I estimate the start point at ~RA 23h 17m, Dec +79.

If you need help converting the start and end to the requsted Alt-Az, I can easily do that for you with my tools. That's 8:46 PM PDT, right?

Wayne
 
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adrenalynn

Guest
Thanks for that! And thanks for taking the time!

RA/Dec <-> Alt-Az, I can do that on a cocktail napkin with half my brain tied behind my back. :geek: :mrgreen:

The "intimidation" is in the way I think. I have something about as close to a "photographic memory" as one can document. I can still see it "behind my eyes". Turning what I see into a succinct description has always been a weak point for me. Never use ten words when ten thousand will do. That's why I sketch everything.

I should get over my hesitation with that page though. Maybe now's the time? :oops:
 
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MeteorWayne

Guest
adrenalynn":2uib86r4 said:
I should get over my hesitation with that page though. Maybe now's the time? :oops:
The Magic 8 Ball sez: "All signs point to yes" :lol:
 
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