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Meteor - from where?

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#1 revans

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Posted 20 October 2019 - 05:34 PM

It was 9:05 pm last night (October 19, 2019).  I had my 5 inch F5 achromat out to view M31 and had tried unsuccessfully for half an hour to find M33 which has low surface brightness.  I live in light polluted city skies in north central Massachusetts.  I was sitting in my chair, next to the telescope with binoculars in my lap.  I'd just seen a faint meteor pass from Andromeda toward Perseus.  Then suddenly I saw what was almost a boloid (except no explosion) in the same area with the same trajectory.  It was bright yellow/orange and almost seemed to give off sparks.  It was brighter than the brightest planet but not as bright as the moon.  I thought maybe it was an Orionid or maybe space junk burning up in the atmosphere.  Any thoughts as to what it was?  I saw it at precisely 9:05 pm and it streaked the distance of two fists held laterally at arms length before it petered out to nothingness.  But it was really quite a bright thing while it lasted.  Rick


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#2 rkinnett

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Posted 20 October 2019 - 06:21 PM

Looks like 2 fireball reports were submitted at that time, one from MA and another from MO.

 

https://fireball.ams...w/browse_events

 

Nothing super useful in either report.

 

To discern between space junk and meteor, it’s useful to comment on speed and azimuthal direction. About how long did it take to cross two fist widths?  0.5 sec?  3? 10?


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#3 harbinjer

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Posted 20 October 2019 - 08:52 PM

My assumption would be meteor. They can have varying appearances, stuff can come off of them, like sparks.  How long it took is important. 

 

Also M33 is likely not visible unless you can see the milky way naked eye, usually at least a little ways into the country, depending. 



#4 revans

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Posted 21 October 2019 - 06:48 AM

It crossed the two fist area I described in about the amount of time it would take some one in a hurry to utter the word "hello" in s staccato sort of way.  That is the best I could estimate for timing.  I think it was a meteor.

 

Rick


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