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Intense White Meteor

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posted on Apr, 28 2009 @ 05:55 AM
On the evening of 26th April 2009 (approx 17.30), my father, brother and myself observed an intense long lasting (10 to 15 seconds) white meteor travelling/falling in an approximate West to East trajectory.

Just before it disappeared above the horizon, a smaller piece was noticed to break off.

I have seen many fireballs in my life ... usually brief flashes that are gone before you realise is ... but what made this one different was the color and duration.

I have since done some research and found that blue/white fireballs are an indication of magnesium content. However, this one had no trace of blue ... just pure bright white.

Is this as unusual as I believe? Or quite common?

Vivid colors are more often reported by fireball observers because the brightness is great enough to fall well within the range of human color vision. These must be treated with some caution, however, because of well-known effects associated with the persistence of vision. Reported colors range across the spectrum, from red to bright blue, and (rarely) violet. The dominant composition of a meteoroid can play an important part in the observed colors of a fireball, with certain elements displaying signature colors when vaporized. For example, sodium produces a bright yellow color, nickel shows as green, and magnesium as blue-white. The velocity of the meteor also plays an important role, since a higher level of kinetic energy will intensify certain colors compared to others. Among fainter objects, it seems to be reported that slow meteors are red or orange, while fast meteors frequently have a blue color, but for fireballs the situation seems more complex than that, but perhaps only because of the curiousities of color vision as mentioned above.


Here is a link the dam that I was camping at:,+South+Africa&sll=40.05495,-75.184937&sspn=0.0858,0.181961&ie=UTF8&split=0&ll= -24.834726,29.425163&spn=0.101729,0.181961&t=h&z=13

[edit on 28/4/2009 by deltaalphanovember]

posted on Apr, 28 2009 @ 12:53 PM
Hi deltaalphanovember,

It's not all that unusual. Most meteors have no color. The duration of the meteor you saw is not that common. Most are very quick (since they are small), but if you spend time looking, you will see long duration meteors from time to time.

If anything, the most uncommon aspect of what you saw was the fragmentation. Not too many get to see a meteor fragmenting. I've seen it on perhaps a handful of occasions, and have put in a few hundred hours of meteor observations over the last decade.

By the way, slow-long meteors tend to be asteroidal material, where as the faster and shorter duration meteors are usually cometary material which is much weaker and less dense, so it doesn't tend to last too long. You probably saw a small asteroid entering the atmosphere.

posted on Apr, 29 2009 @ 06:12 AM
reply to post by C.H.U.D.

Thanks! Have you got any links to point me in the right direction?

Appreciate the reply.

posted on Apr, 29 2009 @ 02:42 PM
You're welcome deltaalphanovember.

Info on meteors is spread far and wide, but the AMS website that you quoted from above is a good source of general info. Also the International Meteor Organization and MeteorObs are good places to look.

Try googling my name. eg this search for color. That should bring up loads of links/info from previous threads here on ATS.

If there are any specific topics you'd like links for, let me know and I'll try and find some.

This list of previous meteor related topics might be of some use also:

Another Meteor Fireball: Ireland
UFO mar31/09 streaks across calgary sky leaves a lot of people asking..
Loud explosions in Hampton Roads area
UFO-induced "Non--sonic" Boom Rattles So. Cal?
UFO - meteor like object with sonic boom above Dallas and Austin Texas!
Possible UFO crash in Saudi Arabia - Millions Of Witnesses!!
Massive object crashes over Edmonton, Canada
Big blue light over sweden
UFO over Tok Alaska
Nice video footage of Meteor over Croatia
Green meteor/fireball sighting?
Heads up - it's a Taurid Swarm year!
Utah meteor?
Green Meteorite (??) spotted North of Toronto
Russian News: Camera Recorded Strange UFO at Night
Clay tablet sheds new light on ancient asteroid "impact" in Köfels
Fireball Over Polk County
Green Fireball UFO crash in Oregon last night
Bright Meteor 10/9/08 seen over Chicago. Did anyone see it?
Fireball in sky, 1st November
Fireball lights up night sky in Switzerland March 01/08
Mysterious Fireball Prompts Dozens Of 911 Calls
Big fireball SW USA - 18th Jan
Mysterious "Fireball" seen over 4 US states Today
Monday, Jan. 19th at 16:28 UT, a huge fireball was seen in western Norway
Reports of ANOTHER very large fireball
A few meters planetoid will hit Earth
Major Bolide Forecast Tonight; No Damage Expected
A Shooting Star?
meteor 10-9-08
Bolide Footage From Melbourne
weird green ball with tail
Possible UFO Crash In Finland (Video)
Unusual Observation

General meteor related threads:
green shooting stars
NASA Begins Hunt for New Meteor Showers
Seen a swift/very swift moving light (colored or white) in the sky?

posted on May, 4 2009 @ 06:38 AM
reply to post by C.H.U.D.

Thanks! You are now #1 on my list as meteor Guru. There does not seem to be a need for a #2.

You have given me some homework ...

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