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Questions about recent experience

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#1 Vicki

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 04:05 PM

I had an incredible experience this past week! I was coming home from work late Sunday night and about 40-50 ft. in front of me I saw a green glow falling. It burned out about 40ft off the ground! The only thing I could make of it, was maybe some idiot was out in this 20 degree weather shooting off roman candles, though I had never seen any like this! I stopped by the police station to see if they had any reports of fireworks. They told me we were having a meteor shower!

I have gone back a few times to look for any remnants. The next step is to take the metal detector out. I've learned that it should be magnetic and no sharp edges, blackened. I know this is a tough question but, even though it 'burned out', would there still be fragment(s)? The glow was at least baseball sized....any idea the size of the meteorite?

Any suggestions would be great!!

Vicki

#2 csrlice12

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 04:31 PM

It was probably a lot further away then you think. Had it impacted, that close and you'd have known it.....

#3 dpwoos

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 04:41 PM

It was probably a lot further away then you think. Had it impacted, that close and you'd have known it.....


My understanding is that this is not so - soft landings are the norm. However, I do agree that it was probably a lot farther away than it seemed, as I think that the fireball is extinguished some miles above the ground.

#4 Midnight Dan

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 06:06 PM

It's extremely difficult to judge the size and distance of a glowing object moving across the sky at night. As others have said, probably much farther away than you realize.

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#5 GeneT

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 06:10 PM

Welcome to Cloudy Nights. Why not walk around where you think the meteorite fell. If there are pieces lying around, you may find some.

#6 Achernar

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 06:27 PM

You probably saw a fireball, which likely fell much farther away from you than appearances suggest. If a meteorite fell near you, you would know it because sonic booms, thunderclaps, the sky lighting up as bright as the Sun, whistling sounds and actual sounds of it impacting the ground. However, meteorites do have some traits that you could use to identify a probably meteorite. One is they are indeed often magnetic, and they have a melted, fused surface that has flow marks on it. Stony meteorites have veins or visible flecks of metal in them, and even a stony meteorite is denser than most rocks you come across on the Earth's surface. Iron meteorites will be very heavy. A sure giveaway for a meteorite is iron and nickel present together, that only occurs in the core of the Earth, and impact sites on Earth. Meteorites do break up during their fall, so one could shatter into dozens or even thousands of pieces over a wide area. The lighter pieces will fall more quickly to the ground while the heavier ones fall to Earth farther downrange. If you can get to some wildnerness areas you can try searching, you might not find a piece of whatever you saw come down recently, but many meteorites that have been found were sitting on the ground for centuries or millenia before being found. You can find some good books at a library about meteorites and how to hunt for them. More importantly, they will help you avoid "meteor wrongs." Good luck.

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#7 mogur

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 07:31 PM

Vicki, what makes you believe it was that close to you? Was there a glow on trees or buildings that were about that distance away? It probably was further away but it's certainly not impossible that it was very close to you. How fast did it seem to be moving? A meteor that close would be going very fast!

#8 lamplight

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 08:23 PM

Green? Falling.. You say 50' ? Falling slowly? Yes def more info pls. don't see how if those statements really are true that it was a meteor

#9 Vicki

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 09:49 PM

Thanks so much for the comments! I'm as perplexed as I am fascinated by this. The reason I believe it might have been about 50ft. is because I was driving through my town on a 4-lane street, inside lane. I saw the glow out of my windshield, off to the left. On the left side of the street there is a small car lot and a convenience store. The glow fell somewhere in front of the buildings there, not in the street. 50ft. may not be accurate, but it's not too far off.

I don't really know how to explain how fast it was falling. It was quick. The color was a lime green. It did have a train.

Yesterday, I went down to look in the daylight for any rocks. I looked for things that didn't appear to belong. I found a few that look interesting, but I'm very skeptical. 3 of them, that are alike, are not very smooth, somewhat porous, but do look burnt. The 4th one is more interesting. It is blackened, oblong in shape, not completely smooth, but does have shiny spots, metal flakes, and a little weighty. Could be nothing. None are magnetic.

For the record, I'm not saying what I saw was a fireball. I just want to be able to explain what I saw. Maybe something fell off of a plane? Why the green glow?

And thanks again for the comments! I needed expert advice.

#10 panhard

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 10:15 PM

Vicki our group was out viewing one night, we had one go by that turned the night sky bright. It was just like daytime almost. We could see each other like the Sun was just starting to set. We figured that it might land in Lake Ontario. Well it landed in Pennsylvania somewhere. We could also see the smokey trail behind it.

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#11 BarbMoore

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Posted 18 January 2013 - 12:14 AM

The green glow would indicate the mineral copper.

#12 Tony Flanders

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Posted 18 January 2013 - 04:59 AM

I saw the glow out of my windshield, off to the left. On the left side of the street there is a small car lot and a convenience store. The glow fell somewhere in front of the buildings there, not in the street. 50ft. may not be accurate, but it's not too far off.


That must have been an illusion. It's a fair bet that this meteor was at least 50 miles away, and probably more. To put this in context, most meteors burn out when they're still more than 10 miles above the ground.

Otherwise, this sounds like a very typical, reliable fireball sighting.

Relatively few meteors fall to ground as meteorites, and almost all of them have cooled off by the time they get down to ground. If something big enough to be glowing green had hit the ground 50 feet from you, you would be dead and everything around you would be obliterated. But events like that happen only a few times per century at most.

You can correlate your sightings with other people's as reported to The American Meteor Society. Something this bright must have been visible for hundreds of miles.

#13 csrlice12

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Posted 18 January 2013 - 10:19 AM

There's a meteorite sighting in California in another thread. Possible this is the same meteorite? They said it had a green color and sparkley tail too....

Are you in California by chance????

#14 Vicki

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Posted 19 January 2013 - 02:09 AM

I'm in Oklahoma, 20 miles north of Tulsa. I had posted in on the AMS several days ago. When I checked the website again today, someone else near OKC had recorded one also. Their story was very close to mine! Same color, everything just about. 200 miles apart, roughly. Apparently, he was viewing it southwest as well.

I drive the same way home every night and I've opened myself to the idea that MAYBE, it fell farther south and not in front of the buildings. It just happened so fast and caught me by surprise.

#15 MikeBOKC

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Posted 19 January 2013 - 09:37 AM

Fireballs (or bolides as they are often called) almost always appear to be right overhead when in fact they may be visible over an area that can span several states. One was photographed several years ago at the Oklahoma City Astronomy Club annual Okie Tex star party out in the Panhandle and in the photo it appears to be headed right at gthe observing field, when in fact if it landed at all (unlikely) it may have come down anywhere from there to the west coast. Bright meteors often come into the atmosphere at a very shallow angle, meaning they can traverse hundreds of miles in the upper atmosphere. Glad you got to see one, Vicki, and if you want to pursue an interest in astronomy you might check out the Tulsa Astronomy Club, which has severak members who are also involved with the club in Oklahoma City.

#16 SkipW

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Posted 19 January 2013 - 11:20 AM

Welcome to CN, Vicki, and please come to the Astronomy Club of Tulsa meeting next Friday night, Jan 25, 7PM at the TCC Northeast Campus. This is on the north side of town not far from the airport. Details at astrotulsa.com.

#17 csrlice12

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Posted 19 January 2013 - 12:26 PM

Fireballs (or bolides as they are often called) almost always appear to be right overhead when in fact they may be visible over an area that can span several states. One was photographed several years ago at the Oklahoma City Astronomy Club annual Okie Tex star party out in the Panhandle and in the photo it appears to be headed right at gthe observing field, when in fact if it landed at all (unlikely) it may have come down anywhere from there to the west coast. Bright meteors often come into the atmosphere at a very shallow angle, meaning they can traverse hundreds of miles in the upper atmosphere. Glad you got to see one, Vicki, and if you want to pursue an interest in astronomy you might check out the Tulsa Astronomy Club, which has severak members who are also involved with the club in Oklahoma City.


OK, now for the tough question: Who hates Oklahoma so much they keep throwing meteorites at it???????? :lol:

#18 mfromb

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Posted 19 January 2013 - 12:37 PM

OK, now for the tough question: Who hates Oklahoma so much they keep throwing meteorites at it???????? :lol:


Texas, maybe even Nebraska?

#19 csrlice12

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Posted 19 January 2013 - 02:41 PM

and about 47 others......

#20 MikeBOKC

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Posted 19 January 2013 - 06:55 PM

You guys need to be nice to us Oklahomans . . . we did give NASA Gordon Cooper, Tom Stafford, Shannon Lucid, Owen Garriott and several other astronauts. Also anyone posting bad here will have to pay double at Okie-Tex next year!

#21 Daniel Guzas

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Posted 20 January 2013 - 12:22 PM

You guys need to be nice to us Oklahomans . . . we did give NASA Gordon Cooper, Tom Stafford, Shannon Lucid, Owen Garriott and several other astronauts. Also anyone posting bad here will have to pay double at Okie-Tex next year!


And not to mention they have the awesome Astronomics store! :bow:

I wish I would see a fireball someday. Only time will tell!

#22 csrlice12

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Posted 20 January 2013 - 02:43 PM

all that oil....all those fireballs from space.....coincidence?????? :lol:

#23 hm insulators

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 11:37 AM

I just missed seeing a brilliant fireball at a star party in Arizona a couple of years ago; I only saw the reflection of the flash and the remaining train when I looked up.

I had just finished looking at Lyra with the binoculars and was talking with another fellow when the area was suddenly lit up so brilliantly I actually thought someone nearby was taking pictures, for Pete's sake! Then for a split second, I thought it might've been lightning (the reflection was actually that brilliant), even though there wasn't a cloud in the sky. I finally looked up and saw the meteor train--a green trail right across Lyra! If I had kept looking that direction for just fifteen or twenty more seconds, I would've seen the fireball or bolide.






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