posted on May, 21 2013 @ 06:25 AM
Originally posted by PlanetXisHERE
That incident in your link was predicted as a regular meteor shower, and anyway there were only a few actual "fireballs" as it says in the link, no
one reported "hundreds" of "fireballs", most were shooting stars, streaks in the sky.
Were you there?
Perhaps my recollection of that night is a little coulored (it was a long time ago, and my first real experience of fireballs and meteors), but there
were hundreds of fireballs
From the link I posted:
Valentin Grigore of the Romanian Society for Meteors and Astronomy is an experienced meteor observer who monitored the Leonid shower from
Targoviste, Romania on the night of 16/17 November. In a 6-hour observing period under dark skies he saw 796 meteors, of which 193 were
fireballs. When the shower peaked in Romania, with 200+ meteors per hour, nearly 40% of the shooting stars were brighter than magnitude -3.
Many were brighter than Jupiter, Venus, and the full moon.
ETA: I stayed up watching the sky well into dawn, when the sky was bright, and the Sun was coming up - I was still seeing fireballs at 7-7:30 AM
(effectively daylight fireballs).
ETA a selection of reports I collected from that night:
Leonids '98: Fireballs Galore!
(First Reports from Observers)
By the Editors of
Sky & Telescope Magazine
THE LEONID METEOR SHOWER has come and gone! The deluge of reports that poured into Sky & Telescope's office over the last few days has now dwindled to
a trickle. If not for these reports, S&T's editors wouldn't have much to say about how the shower went, because -- sob! -- we were 100% clouded
More fortunate observers all over the world tell the same story: this year's Leonids were rife with dazzling fireballs, many so bright that they cast
shadows. Long-lasting trains were common. Many skygazers counted meteors at rates exceeding one a minute, though the hoped-for "meteor storm" with
rates of many meteors per second never materialized -- despite some reports to the contrary (see the end of this article for an explanation).
Here are excerpts from some of the Leonid e-mail we've received, in chronological order as the zone of the shower's visibility swept westward around
the world over the past two nights:
4:50 UT Nov 17
Just got back in from a brief look at the sky... and the show is still going on...! Even though it's rather cloudy -- not thick cloud, low, misty
stuff leaving tantalising gaps -- the meteors are visible through the cloud, travelling very quickly, many of them ending with terminal flares and
bursts. I just saw three magnitude -7 fireballs in the space of 5 mins, and one amazing -9 or so fireball which ended in a flare which lit up
everything... Even in the areas completely hidden by cloud there are flashes and burst of light, making the sky look like there's a WW2 artillery
bombardment going on, unbelievable, truly spectacular.... The meteors are travelling far, far quicker than I expected; if you think you're going to be
able to follow them in binoculars, you're wrong, they're faaaaaaaaaaaast!!!
3:40 UT Nov. 17
For telescopic [meteor] observers like myself [who monitor a shower's very faintest meteors with optical aid] tonight was a major disappointment.
Where were the faint meteors? The incessant flashes of fireballs -- some coming just seconds apart -- were a great distraction too. At times I lost my
night vision thanks to the -12 or brighter events peppering the sky. Then there were the demands to turn the 'scope on to the long duration trains
(some as long as 20 minutes). To be fair, it was an awe-inspiring sight to see crepe paper, hollow spiral trails, and new nebulae in the sky.
Joost Hartman et al.
4:15 UT Nov. 17
Oh, what a night. The sky was clouded over 95%. Through the holes in the clouds we observed for half an hour [3:45-04:15 UT Nov. 17). And we saw the
most beautiful meteors we have ever seen. Sometimes the clouds were beautifully lit up by the fireballs behind them. To give a magnitude to the
meteors is difficult because of the bad weather conditions, but I say most were -4 and brighter.
Francisco A. Rodriguez Ramirez
6:00 UT Nov. 17
I don't have words to say what happened the last night. About 15 of us on the summits of Gran Canaria, at 0:00 UT Nov. 17, were preparing our cameras
and finishing our preparations when the [shower's radiant rose and meteor rates began] ascending in moments, fireballs crossed the whole sky.... Some
reached magnitudes of -9, most left a train of several seconds and the most brilliant with trains 5 minutes visually. As the radiant rose higher in
the east we observed bigger activity, for moments we were not able to record our count because even in intervals of 2 seconds we saw up to 6 meteors.
Until dawn the activity maintained, with some ups and downs, but always characterized by fireballs.... From 0:30 to 6:00 UT [one observer] counted
about 800 meteors.
9:15 UT Nov. 17
I observed the Leonids for a brief hour Tuesday morning (between 3:15 and 4:15 a.m. EST) and, despite at least 50% obscuration from clouds & fog,
witnessed 2 meteors per minute right up until the sky completely clouded over! Several fireballs displayed bright green and violet.... Never before
have I seen a meteor shower that made me scream and squeal with such delight!
11:00 UT Nov. 17
I was seeing meteor rates of near 100 per hour off and on this morning. I was seeing better than 300 PER HOUR THROUGH DENSE FOG after 5AM CST. This
was only the fireballs and doesn't even count the fainter ones....
morning of Nov. 17
Just came in to warm up. My feet are frozen. So far have observed for 3 hours Teff under nice clear skies -- limiting magnitude 6.0. SIMPLY
UNBELIEVABLE!!! At times rates as high as 5-6/min. Fantastic fireballs illuminating the horizons. Geese on the lake going nuts. I've never seen
anything like this before in my life!!!
Christopher Beau Dodson
10:00 UT Nov. 17
I headed for the countryside at 3 a.m. Central Time and watched the skies for one hour. We counted over 100 meteors including more than 50 fireballs.
The fireballs left streaks of green, yellow, pink, and red. Two lit the sky so one could see the surrounding countryside.
The meteors were streaking from every direction.... We witnessed one spectacular pink fireball on the southern horizon that lit up the sky as if
lightning had flashed.
I have watched a number of meteor showers but nothing compares. I will never forget the Leonids of 1998!
Originally posted by PlanetXisHERE
Many of the daytime fireballs we are seeing now, including this incident of four and the Russian meteor do not coincide with any known regular meteor
Well for starters, how many of the recent fireballs were "daytime fireballs"?
Whilst many of the fireballs reported may not coincide with known
meteor showers, how do you know the fireballs that have been reported
recently were not cometary (comets are the source of our annual meteor showers) in origin - remnants of old meteor showers that have since dispersed
so much that only the larger meteoroids remain, and a "normal" shower does not occur? This is effectively what happened with the Leonids in 1998. Most
of the smaller meteoroids had been dispersed by the solar wind leaving behind a much higher proportion of large (fireball causing) meteoroids.
An image of a Leonid fireball from 1998 that I found on the net (not sure where) some time ago:
There are also at least 3 currently active annual meteor showers right now
21-5-2013 by FireballStorm because: (no reason given)
edit on 21-5-2013 by FireballStorm because: (no reason given)