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Bolide/fireball over north-central Oregon last PM

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#1 mtnmedic

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Posted 16 June 2013 - 11:15 AM

While out stargazing with My girlfriend and my Meade 10" LX200 Classic SCT observing the Moon, Saturn and some deep-sky objects last night, a very bright bolide/fireball approximately magnitude -8.0 (nearly as bright as the first quarter Moon)...enough to cast its own shadow...soared by. VERY attention-grabbing. Point of entry in our field of view approximately 10 degrees above the north-north west horizon and exited about 10 degrees above the south-southeast horizon. Travel time was approximately 10-15 seconds as it soared right over our heads. The impression is its altitude was quite low. Best bolide I've EVER seen in all the years I've been doing amateur astronomy. Very exhilarating.

#2 obin robinson

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Posted 17 June 2013 - 04:25 PM

I saw one back in 1995 and it has to be one of the most amazing things I've seen as well. The one I saw looked like a falling molten highway flare dropping bits of itself as it went across the sky. Bolides are the kind of sight that make you proud to be an astronomer and sort of annoyed that people will spend their entire lives at night doing nothing but watching TV indoors. There are so many wonderful and amazing things in the night sky and there is no "pause" or "rewind" button for any of those sights.

obin :smirk:

#3 mtnmedic

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Posted 18 June 2013 - 07:39 AM

I saw one back in 1995 and it has to be one of the most amazing things I've seen as well. The one I saw looked like a falling molten highway flare dropping bits of itself as it went across the sky. Bolides are the kind of sight that make you proud to be an astronomer and sort of annoyed that people will spend their entire lives at night doing nothing but watching TV indoors. There are so many wonderful and amazing things in the night sky and there is no "pause" or "rewind" button for any of those sights.

obin :smirk:


Oh, absolutely! This one was so low we thought it was going to land a few miles nearby. Of course, we couldn't go follow it per the rough and hilly terrain plus the fact that most of the land surrounding our town is private ranch land. Totally cool sight, though in the back of my mind was always the small possibility for damage/fire of some kind (I'm the local Fire-Rescue department Chief). My girlfriend is totally excited about it and wants to see more. In fact, the next evening she spotted yet another one, much higher up and in the direction of Cepheus (she was trying to find the Pacman Nebula, NGC 281, I believe, in her fave constellation, Cassiopeia). It was faster, zipping through the clouds that had rolled in (we were doing some Moon watching and training her on how to use the LX 200). I caught a glimpse of it as it faded out. She said it was very bright, definitely reddish in color and had two distinct bursts, the first being brighter. Interesting, as I've never seen a red one before.






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