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  #1  
Old May 23rd 13, 09:16 AM posted to uk.sci.weather,uk.sci.astronomy
Martin Brown
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Posts: 1,707
Default Night light

On 22/05/2013 23:33, jbm wrote:
I was out with the dog just now on the local playing field. Clear sky,
bright almost full moon lighting up the field quite nicely. In addition,
there is a high intensity street light just off the field that brightens
up half the field even more. That sets the scenario.

Just before 10:45, the field suddenly brightened up quite appreciably.
Looking towards WNW, something VERY big and VERY bright fell to earth. I
know what planes look like at night, and I know what meteors look like
passing through the upper atmosphere, and this most certainly wasn't
either of those. I would estimate its diameter as about 10% of the
moon's, big to say the least. The light intensity was almost blinding,
bright white, was up there for about 5 seconds, and then abruptly died
out about 10-15 degrees above the horizon. The field was as bright as
during a heavily overcast afternoon. Though I couldn't detect any fiery
tail, it reminded me very much of the meteorite that fell in Russia
recently.

If any one finds out what it was, please let me know.


It probably was a fireball rather than a meteorite, but just in case it
did actually put a piece of rock on the deck I have crossposted into
uk.sci.astronomy in the hope that some others saw it the same night.

Meteorites are actually quite valuable. Interesting random fact.
Japanese insurers will not pay out for damage to a home caused by a
meteorite. Luckily any meteorite that is big enough to cause damage is
usually worth more than the damage it causes.

The eye doesn't do very well estimating the size of bright objects at
night. It was probably a pinpoint with a lot of optical flare. Duration
is about right and if it faded then it may have slowed and fallen to
ground. Any delayed acoustic effects like sonic booms ?

If it was a hefty meteor you do usually get a visible trail but it could
easily be masked by thin cloud and local light pollution.

The other thing it could have been although they are not normally quite
as bright as you have implied here are Iridium satellite flares. They
can be upto a fair proportion of the brighness of a full moon and last
about 5-10 obviously they leave no trail.

http://www.heavens-above.com/IridiumFlares.aspx

http://www.satobs.org/iridium.htm

You need to feed it date, lat & long to get an answer.

--
Regards,
Martin Brown
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  #2  
Old May 23rd 13, 09:46 AM posted to uk.sci.astronomy,uk.sci.weather
Dave Liquorice[_2_]
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Posts: 29
Default Night light

On Thu, 23 May 2013 09:16:50 +0100, Martin Brown wrote:

The other thing it could have been although they are not normally quite
as bright as you have implied here are Iridium satellite flares.


Good point but they are very restricted on where they are visible from. IIRC
the track is only a few miles wide at best and we have a couple of other
widely spaced reports of a similar event at the same time.

--
Cheers Dave.
Nr Garrigill, Cumbria. 421m ASL.



  #3  
Old May 23rd 13, 10:06 AM posted to uk.sci.astronomy,uk.sci.weather
Martin Brown
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Posts: 1,707
Default Night light

On 23/05/2013 09:46, Dave Liquorice wrote:
On Thu, 23 May 2013 09:16:50 +0100, Martin Brown wrote:

The other thing it could have been although they are not normally quite
as bright as you have implied here are Iridium satellite flares.


Good point but they are very restricted on where they are visible from. IIRC
the track is only a few miles wide at best and we have a couple of other
widely spaced reports of a similar event at the same time.


Yes. The brightness falls off very rapidly away from the ground track.
They are still quite fun if you get a -8 mag one. -12.5 is a fullmoon.

My only reason for suggesting it was the no smoke trail. Most really
bright meteors I have ever seen had one that persisted for a few seconds
and with a moonlit sky should have been seen for even longer.

--
Regards,
Martin Brown
  #4  
Old May 23rd 13, 04:03 PM posted to uk.sci.astronomy,uk.sci.weather
David Staup[_2_]
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Posts: 347
Default Night light

On 5/23/2013 4:06 AM, Martin Brown wrote:
On 23/05/2013 09:46, Dave Liquorice wrote:
On Thu, 23 May 2013 09:16:50 +0100, Martin Brown wrote:

The other thing it could have been although they are not normally quite
as bright as you have implied here are Iridium satellite flares.


Good point but they are very restricted on where they are visible
from. IIRC
the track is only a few miles wide at best and we have a couple of other
widely spaced reports of a similar event at the same time.


Yes. The brightness falls off very rapidly away from the ground track.
They are still quite fun if you get a -8 mag one. -12.5 is a fullmoon.

My only reason for suggesting it was the no smoke trail. Most really
bright meteors I have ever seen had one that persisted for a few seconds
and with a moonlit sky should have been seen for even longer.

IF the object was comming directly towards you and did not penatrate the
atmosphere to far you may not have seen the trail
  #5  
Old May 24th 13, 04:31 PM posted to uk.sci.astronomy,uk.sci.weather
Weatherlawyer[_2_]
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Posts: 20
Default Night light

On May 23, 4:03*pm, David Staup wrote:
On 5/23/2013 4:06 AM, Martin Brown wrote:



On 23/05/2013 09:46, Dave Liquorice wrote:
On Thu, 23 May 2013 09:16:50 +0100, Martin Brown wrote:


The other thing it could have been although they are not normally quite
as bright as you have implied here are Iridium satellite flares.


Good point but they are very restricted on where they are visible
from. IIRC
the track is only a few miles wide at best and we have a couple of other
widely spaced reports of a similar event at the same time.


Yes. The brightness falls off very rapidly away from the ground track.
They are still quite fun if you get a -8 mag one. -12.5 is a fullmoon.


My only reason for suggesting it was the no smoke trail. Most really
bright meteors I have ever seen had one that persisted for a few seconds
and with a moonlit sky should have been seen for even longer.


IF the object was comming directly towards you and did not penatrate the
atmosphere to far you may not have seen the trail.


Silly boy. All meteorites come down at an hell of an angle, don't you
ever watch Hollywood films?

All except the ones that hit the moon of course -and those gianormous
craters that kill dinosaurs. They invariably fall very close to the
perpendicular. Everyone knows that. Even dinosaurs.

 




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