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How well do you know 'shooting stars'?

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posted on Jul, 5 2012 @ 01:15 PM
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I've read that shooting stars are about the size of a grain of sand. And I've also read that the huge crater that's famous, (that I can't remember the name of or where it is), was probably created by a shooting star that was about the size of a Volkswagon beetle.

So what concerns me is that there are satellites up there, that are due to fall down because they're past their sell-by, that are bigger than the Volkswagon beetle, and I'm not supposed to be afraid.




posted on Jul, 5 2012 @ 06:41 PM
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When is the best time to watch a meteor shower?

A) Just after sunset.
B) Between midnight and dawn.
C) When it's Miller time


I had to pick C), I think that should qualify as a correct answer as well.

Figured the questions would be at least a little harder. One ridiculous answer, one way overboard answer and one correct answer, they could have just posted a list of 10 meteor facts instead. I found myself picking the wrong answers just because some of them were funny.

Someone in the comments posted a link to reported injuries/deaths by meteorite impact, which I thought was more interesting:
delong.typepad.com
edit on 5-7-2012 by RSF77 because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 5 2012 @ 09:45 PM
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reply to post by SibylofErythrae
 


With all due respect SibylofErythrae, it's virtually impossible that the meteor was close to you. Let me explain...

A meteor is only luminous/visible due to it's speed - I should say meteoroid since a meteor is what we see when a meteoroid enters our atmosphere.

Now, for a meteoroid to emit light, it must be going faster than around 2-4 km/sec (4500-9000 mph), which is much much faster than the speed of sound (about 768 mph).

So, did you hear a sonic boom?

In fact, reports very much like yours are extremely common when a bright meteor/fireball is seen by many people, but none stand up to any scrutiny.

Exactly the opposite is true - when reports like this are investigated, major issues pop up: Typically, there are reports from multiple witnesses separated by 10's of miles, each swearing blind that the same meteor was "very close" to them.

In exceptional events, where a meteoroid/asteroid is large enough to make it down through 100+ km of atmosphere, and retains enough energy/size to be luminous, witnesses close to the event would be expected to report characteristics along the lines of "ground-shaking", "rattling/breaking windows", and "loud roaring/rumbling", going by very rare reports of this happening in the past.

So I hope you'll forgive me when I say that I'm a little skeptical that a meteor could have been close to you.

If look here, there is a diagram that might help illustrate what is happening - meteors seen directly overhead are actually much closer to you, than those seen "low" over the horizon: The Meteor Meniscus: Meteor Distance verses Meteor Zenith Angle


Originally posted by SibylofErythrae
I like to find a reason to go watch the showers, and have seen many meteroites. Particularly over the last couple of years. Which is pretty impressive because I live in a VERY bright city. But because of that, there are fewer stars in the background to wash out the view of the meteorites you do see.


I also have the same problem - I've always lived in the city. My fascination with meteors began while I was in the suburbs. Whilst you will always be able to see brighter meteors from the city, you tend to miss out on the less bright meteors, which usually make up the majority of the population in most meteor showers, and you also miss bright meteors because your horizons are obstructed by other buildings/trees/walls/fences.

These days I'll usually drive as far away from the city as I can get, partly because I see lots more from a good rural observing site. It's a pain, but it's well worth doing. Try it - you'll be amazed at the difference it makes.


Originally posted by SibylofErythrae
Up closer to the arctic circle the sky is just awash in stars, and it gives a totally different experience watching for them.

This is a dark perserve. Fabulous idea. Little bit cold for the winter shower. I haven't decided I'm THAT interested yet.
www.cypresshills.com...


Absolutely. That is exactly where I'd want to be during a meteor shower.

If you can get there, I'd say go for it, but I'd agree that during winter it could be a bit tricky unless you know what you are doing.

Even during summer you'll probably want to be in a couple of sleeping bags, especially if you are observing from an exposed and/or reasonably high altitude site. It's surprising how quickly the heat just drains away under a clear rural sky, especially if you are not moving around much.

Take more warm cloths with you than you think you'll need, and "layer up" - you can always take cloths off if you are too warm, but it can easily end your observing session early if you get cold!

Hope you manage to find clear skies and see lots of meteors

edit on 5-7-2012 by FireballStorm because: formating



posted on Jul, 5 2012 @ 09:55 PM
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Okay. Well, the thing on fire that fell from the sky was something. Maybe not a meteorite. I'm open to other suggestions as to what else causes fire to fall from the sky...



posted on Jul, 5 2012 @ 10:45 PM
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reply to post by Ophiuchus 13
 


Well done Ophiuchus 13



Originally posted by wigit
I've read that shooting stars are about the size of a grain of sand. And I've also read that the huge crater that's famous, (that I can't remember the name of or where it is), was probably created by a shooting star that was about the size of a Volkswagon beetle.

So what concerns me is that there are satellites up there, that are due to fall down because they're past their sell-by, that are bigger than the Volkswagon beetle, and I'm not supposed to be afraid.


That is true - most shooting stars that we see are cased by meteoroids that are around sand grain sized, hitting the atmosphere.

Also true that "Meteor Crater" in Arizona (if that's the one you were thinking of) was caused by an object the size of a VW Beetle striking the earth - perhaps a bit larger. Around 50m is closer I think..

However, the object was probably made of solid iron, and traveling at significantly greater speed than any satellite orbits. That, and because satellites are traveling at a very low angle in order to orbit, means that they will always be slowed down significantly by our atmosphere. So much so that they won't have sufficient energy to form anything more than a small "dent" in the ground.

Basically I wouldn't worry about it too much. There is far more chance of something on the ground being the cause of a fatality, than something falling from the sky.
edit on 5-7-2012 by FireballStorm because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 5 2012 @ 11:05 PM
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reply to post by RSF77
 


Well I suppose it is aimed at the general public, so you can't expect too much.

If you like, I'll have a go at putting together a slightly harder quiz


Agreed, some of the "wrong" answers, are actually not that far off being "right".



posted on Jul, 5 2012 @ 11:19 PM
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4/10 ;(



posted on Jul, 5 2012 @ 11:27 PM
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reply to post by SibylofErythrae
 


How long was the object/light visible for? Was it any particular colour? Did the object only appear in clear sky?

Firework/flare or lantern are two alternative possibilities. Satellite flares or even a turning aircraft may be two other possibilities. It's difficult to say without a few more details.



posted on Jul, 5 2012 @ 11:32 PM
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reply to post by libertytoall
 


Sorry to hear you got a bad score libertytoall. Have a star from me for making the effort


Keep learning/reading and I'm sure your knowledge will improve



posted on Jul, 6 2012 @ 04:55 PM
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Originally posted by FireballStorm
reply to post by SibylofErythrae
 


How long was the object/light visible for? Was it any particular colour? Did the object only appear in clear sky?

Firework/flare or lantern are two alternative possibilities. Satellite flares or even a turning aircraft may be two other possibilities. It's difficult to say without a few more details.



It was fire falling from the sky. Not slow, not super fast. Flared out about 100 feet above the ground. Angle was almost straight down. Colour was red and orange.

I took a screenshot from google of where it was. About as high up as the light post, but closer to the train track.



posted on Jul, 6 2012 @ 11:01 PM
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reply to post by SibylofErythrae
 


If it was a cloudless sky, and the object didn't pass in front of anything (like a thick cloud or a tree), and it lasted a few seconds (could be 10's of seconds in extreme cases), and it moved steadily in terms of speed and in a straight line, then I'd be very surprised if what you saw wasn't a meteor.

A week before the end of May, when you said you saw it, there is very little in the way of annual meteor shower activity, so there is a good chance what you saw was a "sporadic" or "random" meteor, and these are often asteroidal in origin.

These asteroidal meteoroids produce meteors/fireballs when they enter the atmosphere that look very different to most "shooting stars" which are bits of comet rather than asteroid. It often throws people who have not experienced them before I think.

I think the best way for you to find out, would be to keep watching the sky/meteors Sooner or later (if you put in the time) you'll see similar examples of what you saw, as well as lots of other types of meteor that will make you go "wow".



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