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 Post subject: Fireball meteor
PostPosted: Sat Jun 28, 2008 10:34 pm 
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Wow - I just saw my best meteor for donkey's years!
At 11:27 I was looking towards Polaris at some noctilucent clouds when a long trail shot across the sky from Cygnus to below Polaris.
Amazingly bright - the sky isn't even dark yet and at the end of the trail it broke up into numerous pieces just like a firework rocket.


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 29, 2008 8:36 am 
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I'm envious George!
At that time I'd not long gone inside, having just observed three Iridium flares in an hour. Shame I decided it was too light and packed up!
Have you filed a report with the Meteor section?
Cheers
Danny

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 29, 2008 10:19 am 
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astro_dt wrote:
Have you filed a report with the Meteor section?


Yes, just found the meteor section and reported it.

I was holding my camera in my hand when I saw the meteor and snapped the end when it broke up. Wobbly hands made the fragments trail all over the place, but you can see that there were at least 4 fragments at the time of the picture.

Image


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 05, 2008 8:46 am 
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George: Congratulations on spotting this impressive event, and having the presence of mind, not to say luck, to try to image the late stages of its flight!

Danny: My usual trick too is to step indoors shortly before a major fireball flies over...

I've had one other observation of a fireball around 22:30 UT on June 28-29 so far, seen from a site in west London. I can't be certain the two sightings were definitely of the same object as yet, but my preliminary estimate from the data is that if both reports were of one fireball, the meteor may have been heading roughly south to north over eastern England or perhaps partly over the nearby North Sea.

Any fresh observations of this fireball, or any others (a fireball is a meteor that reaches at least magnitude -3), would be very welcome. If you have not yet done so, please forward me as full a report as possible. The minimum details I need are:

1) Exactly where you were (name of nearest town or large village, plus latitude and longitude ideally);

2) The date and timing of the event (please be sure to state whether this was in clock time, currently BST in Britain, or GMT/UT, which is BST minus one hour); and

3) Where the fireball started and ended in the sky, as accurately as possible, or where the first and last points you could see of the trail were if you didn't see the whole flight.

More advice and a fuller set of details to send are outlined on the "Fireball Observing" page of the SPA website, at:

http://www.popastro.com/sections/meteor/fireball.htm .

Alastair McBeath,
Meteor Director, Society for Popular Astronomy.
E-mail: <meteor@popastro.com> (messages under 150 kB in size only, please)


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 05, 2008 5:11 pm 
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Alastair McBeath wrote:
Danny: My usual trick too is to step indoors shortly before a major fireball flies over...


I remember one occasion about 15 years ago when I spent at least 2 hours watching Perseid meteors. There were meteors at about one per minute, and no moon so the sky was very dark. Eventually I decided I had seen enough and turned to go inside. You've guessed it. The ground around me lit up like someone had fired a flash gun. I spun around to see the end of what must have been a fantastic display. 15 to 20 particles were still visible.
If only I had stayed watching another 10 seconds!


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 25, 2008 12:34 am 
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Location: Tamworth, Staffs. UK.
Hi there.

I remember seeing this too. I have just found my notes.

23:27 on 280608

Very Bright indeed, heading roughly north.

First noticed it heading away from Bo├Âtes grazing Mizar in Ursa Major before breaking up into several pieces as it intersects Muscida - Quite spectacular.

Without doubt George, the same as you photographed. I was well impressed - you were so lucky to catch that on your camera.

Ian

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 25, 2008 9:14 am 
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Hi Ian,
I am delighted someone else saw it! Let Alistair McBeath know so he can update his records - your details of where it was in the sky are more accurate than mine.
Lets hope we are as lucky with the upcoming Perseids...


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 30, 2008 6:41 pm 
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Ian & George: While I'm delighted to learn you'd spotted a fireball at 22:27 UT (23:27 BST) on June 28-29 Ian, your description makes it clear it can't have been the same one George spotted, as he saw it pass from the mid eastern to low northeastern sky from Bromsgrove, while you saw it quite high to the northwest. Your locations are so relatively near one another, with Tamworth to the northeast of Bromsgrove, the meteor should have been seen in roughly similar directions from both places if it was the same. Unfortunately, the London witness wasn't able to provide any additional details, so I can't be certain which fireball may have been spotted from there.

Alastair McBeath,
Meteor Director, Society for Popular Astronomy.
E-mail: <meteor@popastro.com> (messages under 150 kB in size only, please)


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 01, 2008 10:46 am 
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How strange! There couldn't have been two fireballs at 23:27, surely?
I have checked the photographs I took that night and am pretty certain that my fireball ended a bit below Cassiopeia. Mizar was to my left, and the fireball started over to my right.


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 02, 2008 7:59 am 
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George: Yes, it's certainly most unusual to get two fireballs apparently at the same time, and seen from places not that far apart, without the observer of either seeing both meteors. It does occasionally happen though, and all I can do is look at the data provided and try to reconcile that information with what we know about meteor behaviour. This is one reason we always want as many reports on any fireball as possible, so that if someone has made a mistake, or if there were genuinely two events close together in time, that can be more easily spotted.

Alastair McBeath,
Meteor Director, Society for Popular Astronomy.
E-mail: <meteor@popastro.com> (messages under 150 kB in size only, please)


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 02, 2008 8:54 am 
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If there was a second meteor passing through Ursa Major my house would have been in the way and I would not have seen it - so I guess it is possible...


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 04, 2008 2:20 am 
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Alastair, I am also very puzzled?

I could send you a copy of my notes if it helps - Fax would be best as you don't want large size files in your inbox. Alternatively I could convert them to .pdf format which will be smaller. Let me know which is more convienient.

Ian

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 06, 2008 7:14 pm 
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Ian: Unless your notes contradict the information you posted here earlier (and I'm guessing they don't, or you'd have said!), or you can refine the positional details more exactly for the start and end of the trail (ditto), I don't think there's much more we can do with this, regrettably. Coincidences do happen sometimes in astronomy as anywhere else, and this just seems to be one of them.

If you wanted to send me a copy of your full notes, simply typing them in and sending them as text in an e-mail would be fine, as long as it's under 150 kB in total.

Alastair McBeath,
Meteor Director, Society for Popular Astronomy.
E-mail: <meteor@popastro.com> (messages under 150 kB in size only, please)


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