Spain Superbolide Meteor 13JUL2012 (with link to footage)

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posted on Aug, 7 2012 @ 08:24 PM
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Footage has just been posted of a superbolide (very bright meteor) that was recorded by the Spanish Meteor and Fireball Network last month.

Superbolides are not all that rare, but it is rare for good quality footage to be captured.

Click on the link below, and then click the small animation to see the footage.


More than a decade of continuous monitoring of the sky over the Iberian Peninsula being made ​​by researchers from the Spanish Network for Research on Fireball (NWHS) has been awarded the brightest meteor record ever recorded from Spain. On July 13, 2012 at 0h 04m 51.4 s TUC (2h04m51.4s local time GMT) saw the emergence of a huge fireball that lit several regions to fragment at an altitude of 40 km. At that moment, which occurred at exactly 2h04m55.2s local time, its luminosity was really impressive, becoming similar to the Sun in its output, ie an apparent magnitude around -20. This spectacular phenomenon was produced by the entry into Earth's atmosphere at a speed of about 90,000 km / hour on a rock hurtling through interplanetary medium. Such rocks when its diameter is less than 10 meters are called meteoroids.

Source: lunarmeteoritehunters

It may not be the brightest, but at around -20 magnitude, it's still impressive. To put this into context, the moon is between -8/-12 mag and the sun is around -27.




posted on Aug, 7 2012 @ 08:32 PM
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Damn that thing is bright...nice find.



posted on Aug, 7 2012 @ 08:37 PM
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where the hell did it land?



posted on Aug, 7 2012 @ 08:46 PM
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reply to post by dayve
 


Being a bolide, most of it would be obliterated to tiny specs as it exploded in the atmosphere. Although they might find larger chunks if they get lucky.

Very cool vid, thanks Fireball!
edit on 7-8-2012 by Qumulys because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 7 2012 @ 09:17 PM
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reply to post by dayve
 


There's no guarantee that anything significant made it down to the ground. The large spikes in brightness probably indicate that the object was disintegrating. Edit to add: as Qumulys already posted.

I think it probably wasn't of cometary origin, but in regards to superbolide class meteors The American Meteor Society says...


Very bright meteors of magnitude -15 or better have been studied which produced no potential meteorites, especially those having a cometary origin.

Source: The American Meteor Society Fireball FAQs


If larger pieces survived, they may have ended up in the sea or on terrain that makes hunting for meteorites hard - there's no info, but perhaps some will come to light soon.

edit on 7-8-2012 by FireballStorm because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 7 2012 @ 09:18 PM
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reply to post by FireballStorm
 


Thank you.
I see these ever so often, usually once every two weeks or so.
It's always a joy to see these natural fireworks.




posted on Aug, 7 2012 @ 09:42 PM
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reply to post by FireballStorm
 


OK God has WMDs.
He should be invited to the next Arms reduction talks.



posted on Aug, 8 2012 @ 08:18 PM
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reply to post by FireballStorm
 

Absolutely awesome! Thanks for pinging me!

I gotta ask. These things come in from the depths of space. Any volatiles are in ice form. Are they what "lights up"? Does the material burn off in moments producing this flare of photons? How can it heat so fast to flash white light temperatures? Notice how it pulses? Like, goes bright...goes dim... goes brighter...goes dim... goes BRIGHTEST... burns out.

If ever a case was to be made for a Tunguska event it would maybe be one of these, just bigger? And a longer track in the atmosphere? I wonder if explosions accompany the changes from brightest to dim? I have heard people describe crackling noises.

I have seen one skip on the atmosphere, bouncing like a stone on a pond. Each time it bounced there was a shower of sparks until it shattered altogether into glowing trailers. I heard no noise. And saw no bright flashes at all. Just sorta like campfire sparks. This thing was a magnesium flare. Too cool.



posted on Aug, 9 2012 @ 01:13 PM
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Originally posted by intrptr
Absolutely awesome! Thanks for pinging me!


You're welcome intrptr.


Originally posted by intrptr
I gotta ask. These things come in from the depths of space. Any volatiles are in ice form.


Yes, any volatiles, including water, would be frozen.


Originally posted by intrptr
Are they what "lights up"?


Yes - they would probably be the first to "go up", but the more solid bits would soon follow.

Remember - the energy that results in light being produced is provided by the extreme velocity of the meteoroid. When the meteoroid enters the atmosphere, it slams into air molecules. This strips away molecules (ablation) on the surface of the meteoroid (even metal/rock) ionizing them, and the air molecules.

When a molecule is ionized, it has energy, which is usually quickly given up by the production of photons (light). A cloud of glowing plasma (ions) surrounds the meteoroid. That's what we see when we see a meteor.



Originally posted by intrptr
Does the material burn off in moments producing this flare of photons?


It doesn't actually "burn". Light is produced by excitation/ionization as I explained above. It's a bit more complicated than I said, but that is the basic outline of the process.

If you want some more in depth reading on the subject, here are a few good links:

Mass Loss Due to Sputtering and Thermal Processes in Meteoroid Ablation
Ablation
Atmospheric fragmentation of meteoroids
The photographed colours of Leonid meteors


Originally posted by intrptr
How can it heat so fast to flash white light temperatures? Notice how it pulses? Like, goes bright...goes dim... goes brighter...goes dim... goes BRIGHTEST... burns out.


That is due mainly to the meteoroid disintegrating - when it breaks up, new surfaces are exposed to ablation. Because of the increased surface area, more ions are produced, and therefore we see a spike in the brightness.

Many meteoroids are composed of surprisingly fragile material, so they very easily break up due to the extreme forces involved with entering the atmosphere at hypersonic-speeds.

Also, as a meteoroid progresses deeper/lower into the atmosphere the density of air molecules increases dramatically, so more collisions are occurring, and more light is being produced overall.


Originally posted by intrptr
If ever a case was to be made for a Tunguska event it would maybe be one of these, just bigger? And a longer track in the atmosphere?


Certainly, some of the effects we see in a bolide like this give clues to how a much larger object like that which hit Tunguska in 1908 would have behaved. Many factors effect how a meteoroid or an asteroid behaves when it enters the atmosphere, including size, velocity, composition, and angle of entry. Changing just one of these variables may dramatically change how an object behaves in the atmosphere.

A longer track in the atmosphere (ie low entry angle) would have played a large part i what happened in 1908 - had there been a higher angle, the object would have experienced greater stresses earlier in its flight, and would likely have exploded much higher in the atmosphere. If that had happened, the effects on the ground may have been much less, and it's possible we would not be talking about it today.



Originally posted by intrptr
I wonder if explosions accompany the changes from brightest to dim?


Basically, yes... but it's the other way round... "from dim to bright". Explosions or disintegration are always going to be coupled with a release of energy/light.


Originally posted by intrptr
I have heard people describe crackling noises.


Quite true - I've experienced electrophonic sounds as they are known once in the past myself. They are thought to be due to VLF radio emissions produced by the meteoroid, although some aspects are not very well understood. Radio emissions are just another part of the electromagnetic spectrum, which includes light, so the current thinking makes good sense IMO.


Originally posted by intrptr
I have seen one skip on the atmosphere, bouncing like a stone on a pond. Each time it bounced there was a shower of sparks until it shattered altogether into glowing trailers. I heard no noise. And saw no bright flashes at all. Just sorta like campfire sparks. This thing was a magnesium flare. Too cool.


It's a good illustration of just how fragile some meteoroids are, and how extreme the speeds involved are, for a meteoroid to hit extremely thin patches of air, and break up because of it!


Edit: Don't forget that the Perseid peak is nearly upon us, and a great chance to see these processes in action!


I'll probably be away for the next few days, hopefully enjoying the show. Lots of packing/checking gear to do, so catch you all on the other side
edit on 9-8-2012 by FireballStorm because: fixed typo/added a little extra to the post



posted on Aug, 10 2012 @ 03:36 PM
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reply to post by FireballStorm
 

Thank you sir for that informative reply. Thanks for links and the reminder about the Perseid shower coming. I will keep looking up when I am outside for the next couple nights.

You seem to be well informed and enthusiastic about this subject. I may want to pick your brains about something when you get back. Briefly, what do you think of the scattered reports that Tunguska may have left traces of radioactivity behind in tree rings and mutated foliage? And what is your best explanation for the Tritium in the cretaceous boundary in earth sediments? Oh, and Shoemaker Levy 9. Could those have been nuclear explosions being the plumes were so large? Thats a simple underedumacated rundown of some theory I been working on. Let me know when you bring your data on the meteor shower. Happy viewing!



posted on Aug, 11 2012 @ 11:41 PM
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reply to post by intrptr
 


Just got back, and am transferring last nights photos to the PC. We drove for hours tonight trying to find clear skies for the peak, but to no avail - annoying because the live zhr graph is now showing a rate of around 100 Perseids per hour
Hope you managed to catch some



Originally posted by intrptr
You seem to be well informed and enthusiastic about this subject. I may want to pick your brains about something when you get back.


Thanks. Always happy to have my brain picked



Originally posted by intrptr
Briefly, what do you think of the scattered reports that Tunguska may have left traces of radioactivity behind in tree rings and mutated foliage?


I'd have to look at the reports. Tunguska isn't a subject that I've looked into in a lot of detail.

In general though, I don't think meteoroids are any more radioactive than rocks found here on earth, although they do have isotopic ratios different to those found on earth, and that may well be detectable in tree rings, although I'm not so sure about mutations being linked to this.

There are lots of far fetched pieces that have been written about Tunguska, and little if any evidence to back them up. My general experience with meteors and fireballs has been that people jump to conclusions, and try to stretch the truth to try to fit with their beliefs, so I'm cautious when I hear less than believable things about big fireballs.


Originally posted by intrptr
And what is your best explanation for the Tritium in the cretaceous boundary in earth sediments?


I'm sure I've come across this subject in the past, but I'd have to read up on it to refresh my memory.


Originally posted by intrptr
Oh, and Shoemaker Levy 9. Could those have been nuclear explosions being the plumes were so large? Thats a simple underedumacated rundown of some theory I been working on.


I can't remember how large they were estimated to have been, but I'm fairly sure they would have made the largest nukes we have look like fire-crackers.

When we see cometary debris hitting our own atmosphere (eg Perseids, Leonids, etc) it's going pretty fast - usually significantly faster than asteroidal debris. That, and because cometary material is usually much more fragile, is why when we see large cometary meteoroids hit our own atmosphere, they usually catastrophically disintegrate almost immediately, releasing all of their energy in a split second.

Jupiter's atmosphere is much denser than our own, so cometary fragments would probably not penetrate very deeply, and well above the surface. If it was a nuke, it behaved just as we'd expect a comet hitting the atmosphere to behave, and what would be the point in nuking the upper atmosphere of a gas giant?

If you wanted to do damage to some random planet, I think it would make more sense to find a very large (and hard) natural asteroid, and steer it towards your target. Kinetic energy weapons like this could be extremely effective, and it would be a step up on nukes.


Originally posted by intrptr
Let me know when you bring your data on the meteor shower. Happy viewing!


Will do. I just finished downloading the pics to my PC - it'll probably be a few days before I finish going through them though. There's about 85 gigs worth.



posted on Aug, 12 2012 @ 01:20 PM
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reply to post by FireballStorm
 

Thanks for the update. It seems that the meteor shower is at its peak right now. Too cool. I walk outside at night to walk my dog and I was wondering if I am supposed to be observing one particular quadrant of the sky or are they coming anywhere at any time? Last night I spent a few looking directly up and saw not one.


On the radioactive questions about Meteor and or comet strikes, I think I may have been vague about my questions.

I am interested in the idea that maybe some meteor explosive events could have been nuclear in origin, i.e., residual radioactivity from natural events involved in the detonation of the Tunguska fireball. I am not trying to explore conspiracy theories about UFO's and alien nukes, but rather that natural impact velocity, plasma and shapes of objects may have produced a fission event. There has been some accredited study done in the region of Tunguska by research scientists. Here are a couple pages from a book (202,203) about residual radioactivity:

books.google.com...

I have more on why this might be so after you read that part. It has to do with the shape of the fireball and the internal structure as well as the ionized atmosphere, sputtering occurring on the surface and velocity.



posted on Aug, 15 2012 @ 02:28 PM
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Originally posted by intrptr
Thanks for the update. It seems that the meteor shower is at its peak right now. Too cool. I walk outside at night to walk my dog and I was wondering if I am supposed to be observing one particular quadrant of the sky or are they coming anywhere at any time? Last night I spent a few looking directly up and saw not one.



The general advice for a meteor shower is to lay down and look straight up. Once a meteor shower radiant is above the horizon, meteors can be seen in all parts of the sky, so if you are looking straight up, your field of view covers as much sky as possible, with your peripheral vision being able to pick up meteors that appear close to the horizons..

Sorry to hear you didn't catch any the other night. If you are somewhere that suffers from light pollution, and doesn't have very clear horizons (which I assume you are), you won't see as many as you would from a more appropriate observing site, so you need a bit more patience.

Even if you are at a good observing site, during most meteor showers there are often lulls (and bursts) in activity, so it's easy to spend a bit of time observing and not see anything if you give up to soon. Patience is the key. I'd say the minimum useful time is an hour, but it's always better to spend longer if possible, if you want to give yourself a chance of seeing a few.

The more effort/time you put in, the more you'll see basically. If you don't put much effort in, you might get lucky and see something, but your chances are low.


Originally posted by intrptr
On the radioactive questions about Meteor and or comet strikes, I think I may have been vague about my questions.

I am interested in the idea that maybe some meteor explosive events could have been nuclear in origin, i.e., residual radioactivity from natural events involved in the detonation of the Tunguska fireball. I am not trying to explore conspiracy theories about UFO's and alien nukes, but rather that natural impact velocity, plasma and shapes of objects may have produced a fission event. There has been some accredited study done in the region of Tunguska by research scientists. Here are a couple pages from a book (202,203) about residual radioactivity:

books.google.com...

I have more on why this might be so after you read that part. It has to do with the shape of the fireball and the internal structure as well as the ionized atmosphere, sputtering occurring on the surface and velocity.


I see what you are saying now. I'll have a look at the link you provided a bit later, but I think your theory may have a flaw or two. Keep in mind I'm no expert in nuclear fission.

Firstly, for fission to occur, there needs to be a critical mass of fissionable material for a self-sustaining nuclear reaction. Whilst there might be small traces of fissionable elements in a comet's nucleus (I'm not sure), I very much doubt that there would be enough to sustain a nuclear reaction.

It may be the case that there is some fission going on as a result of the kinetic energy release from the impact, but I think the majority of the energy released in such an event is easily accounted for by the kinetic energy an object of large mass and velocity possesses.

The shapes of the plumes might well resemble nuclear blasts, but a massive release of energy, whatever it's cause, will have a similar plume depending on the environment the blast occurs in. If you look at massive blasts caused by conventional explosives for example, they are often accompanied by "mushroom clouds" just as a nuclear blast would be.

I think to prove (or disprove) your theory, you'd need to work out how much kinetic energy is involved/expected from an object of given mass/velocity, and therefore how large a plume would be expected. Then if the plume is larger than expected, you have a discrepancy that might be due to something else (fission perhaps), but proving that it is down to fission might be hard.

If you haven't already, I'd suggest playing around with an impact calculator like this one which does all the calculations for you.

I've got some photos to post on the Perseid thread now - will have a read of your link after that.



posted on Aug, 15 2012 @ 03:14 PM
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reply to post by FireballStorm
 


If one meteor can create a light that big, just imagine what thousands of those would do.

There are so many of these up there...thankfully ...hopefully...they stay away.



posted on Aug, 15 2012 @ 09:09 PM
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reply to post by LucidDreamer85
 


Create thousands of lights that big ?


It's unlikely that thousands of objects of this kind of size would arrive here all at the same time. Even if they did, it would just be a massive show of light mostly. It's the large/very large asteroids that pose the real threat, but thankfully it's not that often that they come close enough to us to pose a direct threat.

In fact, the brightness of the light we are seeing in the footage I posted is a direct indication of how good our atmosphere is at harmlessly expending all the energy of a large object traveling at high velocity, at a high altitude which usually prevents damage being done on the ground, although there are exceptions eg Tunguska when the conditions are "right" and the size is large enough.

Now if you'd said "thousands of Tunguska sized objects", then yes, I'd be heading for a bunker or cave. Tunguska is a few notches up on the scale compared to what we are seeing here, and thankfully it's equally rare to encounter a single object this size, let alone more than one.



posted on Aug, 16 2012 @ 12:01 PM
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reply to post by FireballStorm
 


I see what you are saying now. I'll have a look at the link you provided a bit later, but I think your theory may have a flaw or two. Keep in mind I'm no expert in nuclear fission.

Don/t need to be. Evidence of radioactivity in tree rings facing the blast are the same sorts of things found after nuclear tests. Just a weird anomaly I been tracking. Credibility is maintained by the people conducting the tests in Russia. They monitored that countries nuke tests in the 50's and 60's. So they are stumped. The only way something like that could occur is if there was a fission event of some small portion of material contained in the fireball (when it blew). That would add to the yield or damage radius and leave "traces".

When Shumacher Levy 9 impacted Jupiter, they were amazed that anything was visible. Schumacher went to bed and in the morning his response was, "They saw plumes?" Nobody expected those fireballs to be as big as they were or as many. Being that the average size of the big chunks is guesstimated at 1/2 mile across, and the impact occurred high in Jupiters atmosphere, I was immediately suspicious of fission.

We don't really understand the violence of these occurrences, the ones that happened long ago on earth would have decayed any residual radioactivity by now. The Tunguska is an anomaly? Combined with the size of the fireballs on Jupiter, I was just dinking about whether there has been any conjecture on the matter.

There are other hints around, but I hold off. Wondering about your photos?



posted on Aug, 16 2012 @ 01:21 PM
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reply to post by intrptr
 


It certainly sounds like something else might be going on that we don't know about. Large blasts from impactors are extremely rare in modern history, so they are not easy to study. I would agree that it's likely that there are processes going on that have not been documented by science because of this.

You said that "Credibility is maintained by the people conducting the tests in Russia" - but have their results been replicated by independent researchers? If they haven't, I'd be suspicious as to the reasons why.

As to the reason why large plumes were seen but not expected, that might be due to some other aspect not being taken into account, although a nuclear fusion reaction may be one possibility - I'd be cautious based on what you've told me.

Is Tunguska an anomaly? Without studying more Tunguska type impacts, it would be impossible to say. I think There will be (at least some) question marks over Tunguska for quite some time.

I posted my Perseid photos here



posted on Aug, 16 2012 @ 02:07 PM
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reply to post by FireballStorm
 

Thanks for the link to the pics. Always cool to see them captured. Not easy. I used to own an 8" Celestron schmidt cassegrain and would occupy mountain tops outside the city looking at all the stuff. It really helped me to understand the sky and all its splendor (as well as rules of engagement). Lonely outpost.

Now with Hubble and others I am even more enthralled on a casual level. I know enough about certain subjects to want to know more and may sound undereducated (because I am). I always enjoy the chance to converse with others who know more about it than I do. Thanks again for taking the time to respond, explain and hear me out.

Ping me [anytime] you get news or any thing you find interesting in your field. Gemenids huh?

Oh and I leave you with one or two thoughts along the line of "nuclear fission" impactors. I have studied the first atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima. It was a simple design, called a "gun type" which fired one projectile into another inside the casing in order to produce criticality.

Really simply:



So you have this environment that slams two things together at hypervelocity inside another explosion that contains the "impact". See where this is leading?

Here is one more principle. The shaped charge:



An explosive can be shaped such that it focuses energy in a given direction. This amplifies the effect. Used as armor penetrators in warfare.

NOW imagine a big big meteor or comet that zings into the atmosphere, heating up and encasing itself in a plasma shroud. The forward facing side of the meteor has pits, or craters (or even a cave) on its surface that focuses the energy of any blast forward...

When the immovable force meets unyielding object and the pressure suddenly spikes to unimaginable...

Bang, a fission chain reaction of a small bit of matter. Even a few grams of rock would be sufficient (if criticality was achieved).

Just dinkin.

BTW there was none more qualified to measure the rads in the area around Tunguska. They were the most expert in their field.

Tunguska



edit on 16-8-2012 by intrptr because: link



posted on Aug, 16 2012 @ 08:00 PM
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Originally posted by intrptr
Thanks for the link to the pics. Always cool to see them captured. Not easy.


You're welcome intrptr.

Actually, technically it's relatively straightforward and easy to capture meteors.

Having multiple cameras helps a lot!

What isn't easy is transporting the cameras (and all the equipment necessary to support the cameras - mainly to power them) to an appropriate location and setting them up. One of the reasons I'm looking to move to a more suitable location than where I live at the moment.



Originally posted by intrptr
I used to own an 8" Celestron schmidt cassegrain and would occupy mountain tops outside the city looking at all the stuff. It really helped me to understand the sky and all its splendor (as well as rules of engagement). Lonely outpost.


I may be a bit biased, but if the majority of time you spent looking at the the sky was through the narrow field of view of a telescope, then you have probably missed lots of stuff that you can only see using the naked eye alone. If that's the case then I'd definitely recommend spending time under the stars, and observing as recommended for meteor showers.

Don't get me wrong - its great that you've spent time observing by any method.


Originally posted by intrptr
Now with Hubble and others I am even more enthralled on a casual level. I know enough about certain subjects to want to know more and may sound undereducated (because I am). I always enjoy the chance to converse with others who know more about it than I do.


I think we (myself included) are always learning. You certainly don't come across as "uneducated", but that doesn't mean there is nothing more to learn. I do agree that it's always good to talk with someone who has more experience of a particular subject, and/or a different view point on a subject.



Originally posted by intrptr
Thanks again for taking the time to respond, explain and hear me out.


No problem. I'm more than happy to discuss topics that I have at least a little experience with providing whoever I'm having the discussion with is open to reason (which is often not the case here on ATS).


Originally posted by intrptr
Ping me [anytime] you get news or any thing you find interesting in your field.


Will do.



Originally posted by intrptr
Gemenids huh?


Yes - The Geminids is probably the most reliable (in terms of rates) annual meteor shower. A ZHR of 120-200 is a normal year, and the peak is usually spread out over a day or two, much like the Perseids. Also like Perseids, they have a reputation for producing bright meteors and the occasional fireball.

Unlike the Perseids, they are much slower and not as colourful, but the most unusual aspect of the shower, is that unlike most annual meteor showers which are thought to be caused by debris from comets, the Geminids are thought to be debris from an asteroid. The current thinking is that the Geminid parent body is actually the rocky-core of what was once an active comet that probably stopped out-gassing/producing debris long ago when all the volatiles were exhausted. This has implications on our understanding of how asteroids and comets are related, and how we categorize asteroids and comets.

Here's some further reading on the subject if you are interested:

The Geminid meteor stream and asteroid 3200 Phaethon

I think many members of the public are put off observing the Geminids because they are a winter shower, but it's not hard to observe them comfortably as long as you are prepared (and the weather cooperates!).

In fact, I see the timing as an advantage: The nights are longer in winter, and the sky is darker since the sun sinks much lower below the horizon than it does during summer. So you have more time to get to know them, and they are easier to see/photograph. Winter skies tend to be crisp and clear compared to summer anyway since there's less moisture in the air.

So yeah, it's a great shower to observe for beginners and experts alike.

Together with the Perseids, and the Quadrantids in early January (another great shower if the weather cooperates and you are willing to brave the cold), the Geminid meteor shower is one of only 3 showers that usually surpasses annual maximum ZHRs of 100+ at the moment.


Originally posted by intrptr
Oh and I leave you with one or two thoughts along the line of "nuclear fission" impactors. I have studied the first atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima. It was a simple design, called a "gun type" which fired one projectile into another inside the casing in order to produce criticality.

Really simply:



So you have this environment that slams two things together at hypervelocity inside another explosion that contains the "impact". See where this is leading?

Here is one more principle. The shaped charge:



An explosive can be shaped such that it focuses energy in a given direction. This amplifies the effect. Used as armor penetrators in warfare.

NOW imagine a big big meteor or comet that zings into the atmosphere, heating up and encasing itself in a plasma shroud. The forward facing side of the meteor has pits, or craters (or even a cave) on its surface that focuses the energy of any blast forward...

When the immovable force meets unyielding object and the pressure suddenly spikes to unimaginable...

Bang, a fission chain reaction of a small bit of matter. Even a few grams of rock would be sufficient (if criticality was achieved).

Just dinkin.

BTW there was none more qualified to measure the rads in the area around Tunguska. They were the most expert in their field.

Tunguska


Interesting idea about "shaped charge" like effects. I'm not convinced that that would be possible/probable though. The main problem is that in both examples we are talking about, the objects appear to have exploded at high altitude, so what is the force of the shaped charge being directed at?

As far as I'm aware, for a sustainable nuclear reaction to occur, the fissionable material has to be very pure, otherwise it's basically just a "dirty bomb". Perhaps that is just what Tunguska was - a big "dirty bomb".

That still perhaps does not explain the Shumacher Levy 9 "discrepancy", but have you checked for followups, and have you checked if Shumacher (and others?) didn't take some aspect into account/underestimated the plume visibility/size? There must be some papers on the subject?
edit on 16-8-2012 by FireballStorm because: ran out of room



posted on Aug, 16 2012 @ 09:36 PM
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reply to post by FireballStorm
 


I may be a bit biased, but if the majority of time you spent looking at the the sky was through the narrow field of view of a telescope...

Gotta remember this was the early 80's. All the fancy computer location tracking software didn't exist back then. My favorite method on a "good" night:

Once the scope was setup, acclimatized and the equatorial wedge dialed in, I would lay on my back on the ground and look at the various objects in the sky. If I saw something that caught my eye, I would look at it through binoculars. If I wanted to view it further I would use the spotting scope on the Celestron and locate it, usually with a wide field at first and then successive higher magnification. My favorites were planets, clusters, galaxies and nebulae, in that order. Rarely did I seek to find an object by dialing in its location, we only had a rough star chart wheel thingy and coordinates that were not always easy to calibrate. My best viewing was actually with lower power, wide angle lenses and binoculars. Like you said laying on your back is a best way to scan with "Mark 1 eyeballs". I surely miss that part of it. From certain local mountain peaks on the west coast, the viewing could be fantastic. The overall experience was almost transcendent for me at times. Like , WoW...

Once city light, heat mirage and scintillation had decreased, the atmosphere towards morning was the most steady. At times higher power through an 8" Celestron was magical. One time I saw a satellite transit the moon.
I watched Jupiters moons move over the course of a night. The same view that convinced Galilleo the earth was not the center of the Universe. Eeh hah. The mountains of the moon on the terminator are the most brillliant.

And yes, I saw God.





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