View Full Version : Daytime exploding meteor in Alabama

2012-Oct-31, 08:21 AM
Fellows: I was leaving work and heard a noise like thunder or naval gunfire...I did not see anything, but according to the local weather blog http://www.alabamawx.com/ there was a meteor of some kind, that at 5:29 PM local time, exploded over north central Alabama. They recorded the noise in Huntsville and announced that it was louder than the one over CA recently. They also have radar tracks of the fragments, which they have not, as of now, posted...At first, they said it was Tauroid Meteor, now they say otherwise, that it was not connected to the Tauroid shower.

What do you think?? I am stumped as to how the weatherman determined this...


Jeff Root
2012-Oct-31, 01:33 PM
The track would definitely show the direction it was
headed (unless it was straight down... but even then...)
and if it was clearly not coming from Taurus, then it
wasn't part of the Taurid bunch. Anyhow, the Taurids,
like *most* showers, are probably remnants of a comet,
and those tend to be rather light and fluffy things.
They rarely if ever are big enough and solid enough to
go "BOOM".

-- Jeff, in Minneapolis

2012-Nov-01, 06:11 AM
Jeff: No track info and no up-dates from this source...They have moved on to something else...I still was amazed to see this on a weather blog....(Meteor-ology?)


2012-Nov-03, 07:07 AM
Just thought I would pass this on, the site linked above has posted an update. They say this one came from the SSE to NNW and that the fragments were being searched for.

Is this an unusual direction for a meteor? They state that is from the Asteroid Belt, but this one was out of the eccliptic plane, so I am wondering how it got here...


Jeff Root
2012-Nov-03, 08:01 AM
All directions are usual for meteors. The combination of the
meteoroid's motion through space, the Earth's motion through
space, the Earth's rotation, and the tilt of Earth's rotation axis
makes rather detailed calculations necessary to determine
a meteoroid's orbit.

It's really hard for me to tell for sure by looking at a flat map
of the sky, but it appears that the SSE to NNW west track at
that time and location means it came from nowhere remotely
close to Taurus. Meteor showers are named for the direction
the meteors appear to come from, which don't vary across the
Earth or with time of day, and don't vary much from year-to-
year on human timescales.

Although the great majority of asteroids orbit close to the
ecliptic plane, there are still many which go way out of it.

-- Jeff, in Minneapolis

2012-Nov-03, 06:25 PM
I can't believe I slept through this. Night shift work. I missed the last one in late 1999--the one where Steve Spurrier was beaten twice by DuBose. I guessed it was the Old Ball Coach's visor burning up on re-entry. I was at work and thought it car lights and didn't turn around. The previous one here was in Nov. of 1986 when I was getting a haircut.

I miss everything cool.

2012-Nov-04, 07:15 AM
Publiusr: You did not miss much, a daytime bright flash and a boom...


2012-Nov-04, 09:50 AM
Interesting stuff, here's links to the blog posts:

Bright Streaks, Loud Booms
6:38 pm October 30, 2012

Meteorites On The Ground In Alabama?
9:02 pm October 30, 2012

Yesterday’s Fireball… More Data
4:03 pm October 31, 2012

Updated Meteor Info
8:07 pm October 31, 2012

2012-Nov-04, 10:02 AM
Anyhow, the Taurids,
like *most* showers, are probably remnants of a comet,
and those tend to be rather light and fluffy things.
They rarely if ever are big enough and solid enough to
go "BOOM".
Though this wasn't a Taurid, apparently, that isn't the case with the Taurids. They are from a comet, but mostly consist of heavier stuff. They regularly make big bangs and bright noises. Wiki says they're known as the Halloween fireballs. One year at Halloween, in my neighbor's yard, I was facing west and watched my friends' faces light up and their mouths gape open. I *knew* I'd missed a fireball before they told me--found out later it was seen up and down the east coast.


2012-Nov-10, 06:58 PM
Some bits found