Fireball48 Yellow Alert: 2011 Sep 14 Southwest US Event

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Re: Fireball48 Yellow Alert: 2011 Sep 14 Southwest US Event

Postby sOnIc » Fri Sep 16, 2011 3:31 pm

I'm thinking of the images of perseids taken from the ISS this year (above the meteor: http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap110817.html). If a large fireball streaks across the sky then an all-earth camera network would have captured it, night or day, no debate. And, this network of cameras would also have spectroscopic equipment so to gather information on the composition etc... Better still, three ISS's at Lagrange points... sorry getting carried away...

Interesting what you say about long-period comets coming from the direction of the Sun, scary thought.

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Re: Fireball48 Yellow Alert: 2011 Sep 14 Southwest US Event

Postby Chris Peterson » Fri Sep 16, 2011 4:05 pm

sOnIc wrote:I'm thinking of the images of perseids taken from the ISS this year (above the meteor: http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap110817.html). If a large fireball streaks across the sky then an all-earth camera network would have captured it, night or day, no debate. And, this network of cameras would also have spectroscopic equipment so to gather information on the composition etc

There are networks of upward looking cameras that record fireballs, and there are downward looking satellites that record them. But it is very difficult for any existing technology, whether ground-based or space-based to detect the 50-100 meter sized objects that cause Barringer or Tunguska scale events. But there is a major push right now to get the detection limits down into that range.
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Re: Fireball48 Yellow Alert: 2011 Sep 14 Southwest US Event

Postby sOnIc » Fri Sep 16, 2011 4:39 pm

This is more what I mean tho, a 24/7 CCTV camera - "Canadian firm to put cameras on space station for live-time shots anyone can use":
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/44245864/ns ... nce-space/
But need that to constantly cover the entire planet in wide-field, if a fireball happens we've got HD footage of it.

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Re: Fireball48 Yellow Alert: 2011 Sep 14 Southwest US Event

Postby Chris Peterson » Fri Sep 16, 2011 8:02 pm

sOnIc wrote:This is more what I mean tho, a 24/7 CCTV camera - "Canadian firm to put cameras on space station for live-time shots anyone can use":
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/44245864/ns ... nce-space/
But need that to constantly cover the entire planet in wide-field, if a fireball happens we've got HD footage of it.

The problem is that you can't see very much of the Earth at once from the ISS, or any other low orbiting craft. So you either need a lot of imagers in low orbit, or several in high orbits, but with larger apertures and higher resolution imagers. And of course, there are already satellites that record fireballs, but since their main purpose is recording covert missile launches, their output is classified and it is only occasionally that we are able to get their data (which is very good) for natural fireballs.
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Re: Fireball48 Yellow Alert: 2011 Sep 14 Southwest US Event

Postby Guest » Fri Sep 16, 2011 8:27 pm

star-coyote wrote:I don't have an explanation, but I do have a question: the "thing" left a long trail that was very bright. Presumably it was therefore also pretty large and therefore heavy. How could it have left such a ~crooked~ trail? Every meteor I've seen has been a straight or gently curving bright line.



it is a still photo taken with a prolonged shutter speed and a giggly hand. The apparent changes in direction of the "tail" is actually the photographer moving the camera. Because it's only 1 spot of light (fireball), it doesn't look blurry, it's a point that has been "blurred" into a line...

make sense?

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Re: Fireball48 Yellow Alert: 2011 Sep 14 Southwest US Event

Postby bacon55 » Sat Sep 17, 2011 4:47 pm

I was under the impression that some of the jettisoned rocket components reach an altitude high enough to make at least an orbit or two before burning up.

But yes mostly carelessness (or more accurately, laziness), leads to many things being dismissed as natural phenomenon. We put a lot of stuff up there, and when it comes down, it doesn't burn like a usual meteorite.

I'm still at a loss to understand how burning various rather pure metals (based on recovered meteorite fragments) isn't going to lead to them burning in different colours. Yes, when you heat certain things, you get your whites, your reds, your yellows, etc, but greens, extreme bright white? No. That's from things burning, ala the Jules Verne ATV. Tell me with a straight face that an extremely bright green meteorite is normal...c'mon :)

Pan STARRS can detect well under 50m objects at great distance, we just need a better system deployed. IE, data processing across multiple telescopes that's done cohesively.

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Re: Fireball48 Yellow Alert: 2011 Sep 14 Southwest US Event

Postby Chris Peterson » Sat Sep 17, 2011 7:56 pm

bacon55 wrote:I was under the impression that some of the jettisoned rocket components reach an altitude high enough to make at least an orbit or two before burning up.

Sure. Debris may either drop downrange, reach a low orbit and quickly decay, or stay for a long time in a higher orbit.

But yes mostly carelessness (or more accurately, laziness), leads to many things being dismissed as natural phenomenon. We put a lot of stuff up there, and when it comes down, it doesn't burn like a usual meteorite.

More than 99% of meteors are natural. Space junk does, in fact, burn almost the same as a natural meteoroid. There are two main differences: complex space junk breaks apart as it reenters, so you often get more burning pieces, and space junk is always slower than natural meteoroids, which makes it much more likely to survive to the ground, especially given the shallow entry angle.

I'm still at a loss to understand how burning various rather pure metals (based on recovered meteorite fragments) isn't going to lead to them burning in different colours.

Because visually, the objects are so hot that they appear white, and this swamps out the much dimmer individual emission lines. Those are certainly visible spectroscopically, but not vary apparent visually.

Tell me with a straight face that an extremely bright green meteorite is normal...c'mon :)

Completely normal. I have over 10,000 witness reports submitted for bright fireballs, and approximately 75% of them report seeing bright green. These fireballs stimulate [OIII] emission (501 nm) in the air around them (something well documented spectroscopically).
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Re: Fireball48 Yellow Alert: 2011 Sep 14 Southwest US Event

Postby htwhlzjnke » Sun Sep 25, 2011 4:41 pm

This is the email I sent friends and family minutes after sighting the fireball; (At approximately 7:47 pm tonight I stepped outside when all of a sudden night turned to day with a bright blue light. I thought it was a military flare as the light was coming from the Barry Goldwater bombing range direction over my shoulder. I turned around to see a meteorite with a tail several miles long, and breaking apart leaving a brilliant orange, and yellow streak behind the comet like bright blue ball. It came down just about 3-4 miles from me at a 50-60 degree angle just short of the Gila mountain range on the west side. The leading ball was black in the center with a blue halo around it, and wider than my finger at arms length, and had many peices breaking off as it burnt up and disappeared at 2-3 miles above ground level, and lasted several seconds. This was the closest and biggest I have ever witnessed fall through our atmosphere. It was truly a moment where you say to yourself "Boy I wished I had a camera". I doubt that many people that seen this were as close to it as I was. This was truly the most magnificent thing I've got to see in my life time.)
Here is a link to an interview with me by a local tv affilliate; http://titancast.titantv.com/p/kyma/v/A ... X2O1S.aspx
Apparently I was the only person see this coming down in an angle as opposed to all others seeing it's path horizontally. Sorry I didn't have a camera in hand when I sighted this. I was having a smoke outside watching the premier episode of survivor through a window when the whole back patio lit up bright blue, and I turned around and took 2 steps south to see it in all of it's bright glory. If anybody would like an actual copy of the email I sent contact me @ htwhlzjnke@yahoo.com , and I will forward it to you from my sent folder.

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Re: Fireball48 Yellow Alert: 2011 Sep 14 Southwest US Event

Postby Guest » Sun Sep 25, 2011 9:31 pm

RJN wrote:I just searched YouTube to see any videos of this have been posted. Here is one:

Click to play embedded YouTube video.


I don't think I can identify any background stars, which would orient this meteor in the sky. Also there is no detailed account of the time the video was taken, or the exact location it was taken from. Still, it is a start, and hopefully more detailed videos will show up.

- RJN


This video was exactly as I saw it as well. It was amazing! So large and it last quite a long time!

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Re: Fireball48 Yellow Alert: 2011 Sep 14 Southwest US Event

Postby Chris Peterson » Tue Sep 27, 2011 4:14 am

htwhlzjnke wrote:I turned around to see a meteorite with a tail several miles long, and breaking apart leaving a brilliant orange, and yellow streak behind the comet like bright blue ball. It came down just about 3-4 miles from me at a 50-60 degree angle just short of the Gila mountain range on the west side.

Just a reminder that fireballs don't reach the ground. They typically stop burning while still tens of miles high, so when you see one appear to go to ground, it is 100 miles or more away, and still high in the atmosphere. There are powerful illusions associated with bright meteors that can make them appear close, and sometimes even seem to be in front of background objects. But illusions they are.
Chris

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