PDA

View Full Version : Just saw exploding meteor



Ara Pacis
2010-Apr-15, 03:30 AM
At about 10:08 CDT, I saw a meteor. Someone thought they saw lightning flashing through the north facing window. I was closer and turned to look and saw the shimmer of a disintegrating meteor fly into view before either going dark or disappearing behind trees and houses. It was to the northwest heading north, or so it appeared. Since the flash was bright enough for someone to see reflected off of clouds, trees, and structures from indoors, I thought it might be rather big.

I'm reporting it on the AMS and sent a mention to the local TV station. I wonder if anyone else saw it. Anywhere else I should report it?

Ara Pacis
2010-Apr-15, 03:44 AM
Just saw on the news, to whom I reported it, that there are lots of reports from all over the upper Midwest.

Ara Pacis
2010-Apr-15, 06:38 AM
Here's a link to a time-lapse capture from a webcam, animated gif from the UW Madison dept of Atmospheric and Oceanic sciences: http://www.aos.wisc.edu/fireball/2010_04_14_fireball_loop_1024x768_long.gif

Spoons
2010-Apr-15, 06:48 AM
Looks rather dramatic. If you hear of any video footage I'd love to see it in greater detail. Very interesting! Cheers.

PraedSt
2010-Apr-15, 06:53 AM
Quite impressive. There's a small bright ball at centre-right in the penultimate frame. That's the meteor just before it explodes?

Spoons
2010-Apr-15, 07:03 AM
I was wondering that myself... which is why I'd love to see video footage. It seemed like there was something small (a satellite? I don't know the time lapse on that thing) travelling from top down, then came that larger ball of light and a major flash, which I'd presume was the meteor.

If anyone can explain that to me and correct my understanding that'd be great.

PraedSt
2010-Apr-15, 07:19 AM
From top-right to centre? I thought it was a satellite at first, but then I noticed that the flash illuminates a contrail. So I'm thinking aircraft?

Ara Pacis
2010-Apr-15, 07:23 AM
I don't know what to make of those frames. I figured the dim dot moving through the frame was an airplane and the brighter splotch on the frame before the explosion was the inbound meteor. WREX in is reporting that a dashboard cam from law enforcement in Wisconsin captured it. They hope to air it tomorrow or Friday.

I've been reading reports and they seem contradictory, which isn't surpirising, but some people claim to see it moving north to south and some south to north. I wonder how well everyone's perceptions are. My sighting was highly constrained due to position, time and obstacles. After the flash got our attention, I looked and saw it enter into my view from the window frame as I looked directly NW and the glowing remnants moving left to right across my field of view for a second or two.

Ara Pacis
2010-Apr-15, 07:28 AM
Also, the Davenport weather radar might have picked it up. It's unclear of that happened or not, but there is an anomaly in the location that seems to be the most likely position for the meteorite at 10:04 over SW Wisconsin (Grant County). I wonder if an exploding meteorite would produce a cloud that, like chaff, produced large returns. Even so, the returns look to take up hundreds of square miles. http://addins.wrex.com/blogs/weather/wp-content/uploads/2010/04/exactrack_doppler_348a.gif

Spoons
2010-Apr-15, 08:05 AM
From top-right to centre? I thought it was a satellite at first, but then I noticed that the flash illuminates a contrail. So I'm thinking aircraft?
Of course, yes, that would explain those two lines that frame the explosion.


Also, the Davenport weather radar might have picked it up. It's unclear of that happened or not, but there is an anomaly in the location that seems to be the most likely position for the meteorite at 10:04 over SW Wisconsin (Grant County). I wonder if an exploding meteorite would produce a cloud that, like chaff, produced large returns. Even so, the returns look to take up hundreds of square miles. http://addins.wrex.com/blogs/weather/wp-content/uploads/2010/04/exactrack_doppler_348a.gif
I am not familiar with that weather presentation format, but do you mean the large circle which flashes up at 10:04 in the bottom left, then repeats in the top right at 10:30? What does this Exactrac Doppler actually illustrate? Pressure levels? Cloud cover? Apologies for my ignorance.

Swift
2010-Apr-15, 01:01 PM
Wow! Way cool.

The BA has the story in his blog (http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/badastronomy/2010/04/14/huge-fireball-over-wisconsin/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+BadAstronomyBlog+%28Bad+Astro nomy%29).

If you have links, reports, or pictures, feel free to leave a comment. If you have good measurements of it (including where it was on the sky with some precision) then report it to the International Meteor Organization, which can help lead scientists to find meteorites if there are any. It also allows scientists to estimate the orbit of the object, which can help tie it to known objects like asteroids or comets.

Ara Pacis
2010-Apr-15, 03:28 PM
I am not familiar with that weather presentation format, but do you mean the large circle which flashes up at 10:04 in the bottom left, then repeats in the top right at 10:30? What does this Exactrac Doppler actually illustrate? Pressure levels? Cloud cover? Apologies for my ignorance.

No, not the circular artifacts. I think that's just due to ground clutter or some sort of return due to intensity testing that they due on clear days. I'm talking about the red splotches in the upper left just beneath the "13" logo. they look like thunderstorms, but there were no thunderstorms in the area at the time. The returns just pop up and then disappear for one frame.

Swift
2010-Apr-15, 04:57 PM
Here is a website (http://www.crh.noaa.gov/news/display_cmsstory.php?wfo=dvn&storyid=50881&source=0) from the National Weather Service about it.

There is an image from the Doppler radar that appears to show the trail of the object. There are also links to videos from a Sheriff deputy's dashcam and from UW-Madison.

Spoons
2010-Apr-16, 12:31 AM
I'm talking about the red splotches in the upper left just beneath the "13" logo. they look like thunderstorms, but there were no thunderstorms in the area at the time. The returns just pop up and then disappear for one frame.
Gotcha! Yeah, those ones are interesting. Would that suggest it broke up, since there's two spots?

Spoons
2010-Apr-16, 12:33 AM
Thanks for the link Swift. One meteor shower, coming right up! Wonderful - I'll have to try spend a bit of evening time outside and hope for the best.

SpockJim
2010-Apr-16, 12:36 AM
I didn't see it but, It's been talked about around here all day long.....

I think I might have a piece of it. I found this in my backyard.
http://i597.photobucket.com/albums/tt58/JimsZR2/IMG_0011.jpg

http://i597.photobucket.com/albums/tt58/JimsZR2/IMG_0010.jpg

Spoons
2010-Apr-16, 12:41 AM
Really? That is so cool!

Jens
2010-Apr-16, 01:52 AM
How big is it? You should take a picture with a ruler or something next to it so that people can see how big it is.

Spoons
2010-Apr-16, 01:53 AM
A Bic lighter! That's a standard unit these days, isn't it?

EDG
2010-Apr-16, 02:44 AM
Was this the same one that you saw?
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/8624064.stm

Jens
2010-Apr-16, 02:49 AM
Yes, that's the one everybody is talking about here.

Spoons
2010-Apr-16, 02:49 AM
That looks fantastic! I really hope I get to see something like that, in person, in my lifetime. Breathtaking!

Sagebrusher
2010-Apr-16, 06:01 PM
I didn't see it but, It's been talked about around here all day long.....

I think I might have a piece of it. I found this in my backyard.
http://i597.photobucket.com/albums/tt58/JimsZR2/IMG_0011.jpg

http://i597.photobucket.com/albums/tt58/JimsZR2/IMG_0010.jpg

Sure looks like scoria from a volcano. Any railroads, BBQ grills or landscaping nearby?

blueshift
2010-Apr-16, 11:23 PM
One of my astronomy club members saw it near Chicago and thought a plane was on fire. I saw a real pretty one in my scope off my porch back in 1978 that just skidded across the top of the atmosphere but never made it through. It was tumbling slow and had an orange glow to both the atmospheric and meteoric gases that were burning, just like a marshmellow burning in a campfire.

Bozola
2010-Apr-17, 04:15 AM
Sure looks like scoria from a volcano. Any railroads, BBQ grills or landscaping nearby?

I concur. That is definitely scoria (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Scoria_Macro_Digon3.jpg).

Ara Pacis
2010-Apr-26, 09:35 PM
I found something that I thought was a meteorite when I was in middle school in the schoolyard grass. It was metallic and had all these round pits or bubble hollows in it and one side was rounded smooth like an iron meteorite. I asked someone and they said it was probably just slag. I wish I had kept it.

Cougar
2010-Apr-27, 04:07 PM
I concur. That is definitely scoria (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Scoria_Macro_Digon3.jpg).

Yeah, I'm no meteorite hunter, but I would expect a meteorite would show signs of the extreme heat of entry... or the several kiloton explosion in which it participated.