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The Fireballs of February

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posted on Feb, 24 2012 @ 07:53 AM
This is interesting. Has anyone noticed either the increase in fireballs or the change in trajectory & appearance from past years? Tell us about it.

Amateur skywatchers started noticing a significant increase in the month of February in bright, sound-producing deep-penetrating fireballs back in the 1960's & 70's that spurred a couple of studies:

A 1990 study by astronomer Ian Holliday suggests that the 'February Fireballs' are real. He analyzed photographic records of about a thousand fireballs from the 1970s and 80s and found evidence for a fireball stream intersecting Earth's orbit in February. He also found signs of fireball streams in late summer and fall. The results are controversial, however. Even Halliday recognized some big statistical uncertainties in his results.

This year is no different in the number of fireballs but the appearance and trajectory has changed, apparently. Anyone know why this could be?

It’s not the number of fireballs that has researchers puzzled. So far, fireball counts in February 2012 are about normal. Instead, it's the appearance and trajectory of the fireballs that sets them apart.

"These fireballs are particularly slow and penetrating," explains meteor expert Peter Brown, a physics professor at the University of Western Ontario. "They hit the top of the atmosphere moving slower than 15 km/s, decelerate rapidly, and make it to within 50 km of Earth’s surface."

So far in February, NASA's All-Sky Fireball Network has photographed about a half a dozen bright meteors that belong to this oddball category. They range in size from basketballs to buses, and all share the same slow entry speed and deep atmospheric penetration. Cooke has analyzed their orbits and come to a surprising conclusion:

"They all hail from the asteroid belt—but not from a single location in the asteroid belt," he says. "There is no common source for these fireballs, which is puzzling."

NASA’s All Sky Fireball Network

posted on Feb, 24 2012 @ 08:05 AM
reply to post by Iamonlyhuman

the way i read it the appearance and trajectory of these fireballs of February has not changed from previous years but is unusual for fireballs in general

I think that what is different about this year is that the All Sky Network is better able to provide hard data on the trajectory and velocity of these unusual fireballs than incidental visual observations made in years past

interesting and perplexing story though

edit on 2/24/2012 by iforget because: (no reason given)

posted on Feb, 24 2012 @ 09:44 AM
reply to post by Iamonlyhuman

I was reading about this yesterday, glad you posted it.

posted on Feb, 25 2012 @ 03:36 PM
Story in the Daily Mail today about the February Fireballs.

February Fireballs!? I've never heard of them.
Apparently they're very slow, 8 seconds to cross the sky. NASA has been watching them for 50 years. They range in size "from a basketball to a bus" I thought something that size would blow up a city? What a strange story.

Fireballs of February

edit on 25-2-2012 by wigit because: (no reason given)

posted on Feb, 25 2012 @ 03:44 PM
More interesting info + early drawings - can be found on e,.wikipedia. Simply type in 1800 LEONIDS.

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