Originally posted by Flux8
My point was that there were at least 3 such events over 4 days over our Northern continent, (Sacramento, New Hampshire, Edmonton). If this were
something that happened all the time then I should have seen one of that brightness in my life. We all should have by now, (not regular meteors, the
extremely bright ones that erase shadows). Personally, I think its a bit odd for events of this magnitude/luminousity to happen so close together.
(example- Flip a coin, 50/50 its heads. Flip it 10 times, there's still a 50/50 each time that it will be heads. But what are the chances that all
10 flips will be heads? Different odds when you ask the right question.)
Ehhh, but what's the point of arguing on the internet? It is what it is.
Meteors are frequent. Just because you don't see them, does not mean they are not happening all around you and all the time... you only need to turn
your back for a second, and you could miss one.
First of all, you need to be outside (usually). Secondly, you need to be looking up. Thirdly it needs to be dark or getting dark as well as being
relatively clear for you to stand a good chance. All of these things will increase your chances of seeing one like this, but there are no guarantees.
It's a combination of luck, timing, and spending as much time as you can outside in open areas, especially when it's dark. Give it a go this week -
I wouldn't be surprised if you saw one as bright as the moon if you put in 4 or 5 hours a night for 3-4 nights in a row.
How much time would you estimate you've spent looking at the sky this week?
I think a better analogy than flipping one coin would be to have a handful of them which is thrown on the table, and then see which is heads or
Anyway, I have seen at least 2 or three fireballs that cast shadows on the ground (not on quite the same scale as this event though), but I do spend
allot of time looking when there are likely to be fireballs around.
3 or 4 events in the same area, around the same time, is nothing strange. Remember, only one of the events was seen by many many people, and that was
an exceptional event with exceptionally good timing to be seen by many. The other 2 or three events were hardly noticed by anyone, as usually happens.
If it was not for the major event, hardly anyone would know about them, which is the way it usually is, because most people miss even the large
events. This is well known by meteor observers.
Most people are busy doing other things, and not looking up at the sky. The majority will never see a meteor like this in their lifetime. Few if any
get to see two as bright as this. The lucky few, either just happened to be looking at the right place and in the right location at the right time, or
they are the type to spend hours on end every night looking at the sky.
Edit to expand a bit more on what I said, and for clarity.
[edit on 24-11-2008 by C.H.U.D.]