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Fireballs Awe Early November Skywatchers

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 9 years ago | from the ufos-and-you dept.

Space 32

saskboy writes "NASA reports that an unusual number of fireball meteor sightings have been reported recently, possibly due to the larger number of people being outside for Halloween trick or treating, and others looking for the highly visible planet Mars while it's in the planetary neighborhood. From the article: "On Oct. 30, for example, Bill Plaskon of Jonesport, Maine, was 'observing Mars through a 10-inch telescope at 10:04 p.m. EST when a brilliant fireball lit up the sky and left a short corkscrew-like smoke trail that lasted about 1 minute.' The physical cause of the fireballs in the sky are likely the Taurid meteor shower. According to the International Meteor Organization, the Taurid shower peaks between Nov. 5th and Nov. 12th. 'Earth takes a week or two to traverse the swarm. This comparatively long duration means you don't get spectacular outbursts like a Leonid meteor storm,' rather closer to 'one every few hours.'" These meteor sightings have also, of course, sparked UFO speculation.

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Saw one a couple of days ago.... (3, Interesting)

dave-tx (684169) | more than 9 years ago | (#13958495)

....while driving to work in the early morning. Brightest one I'd ever seen, and was quite a shock to see so clearly amidst the street and traffic lights. Honestly had no idea they could be so bright - it was easy to see it break up and fragment. Very cool indeed!

UFO's! (1)

tsa (15680) | more than 9 years ago | (#13958508)

I think UFO's are a lot more interesting than fireballs. I, for one, welcome our firy overlords.

Re:UFO's! (1)

woolio (927141) | more than 9 years ago | (#13958715)

Well, I for one don't welcome them. They can go back to their own planet!

In Soviet Russia... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13958724)

fire balls YOU!

Re:In Soviet Russia... don't you mean (1)

saskboy (600063) | more than 9 years ago | (#13958745)

I think you muddled that one up badly enough.

It should be...
In Soviet Russia, Fireballs awe YOU! Wait, that happens here too, now I'm confused too!

Don't worry (1)

Tim Browse (9263) | more than 9 years ago | (#13958767)

I read somewhere that the chances of anything actually coming from Mars are like, a million to one or something.

I saw one of these fireballs just yesterday (1)

sgant (178166) | more than 9 years ago | (#13958882)

I was looking eastward when I saw one of these fireballs fall from the sky. It was seen early in the morning, rushing over Winchester eastward, a line of flame high in the atmosphere. Hundreds must have seen it, and taken it for an ordinary falling star. Albin described it as leaving a greenish streak behind it that glowed for some seconds. Denning, our greatest authority on meteorites, stated that the height of its first appearance was about ninety or one hundred miles. It seemed to him that it fell to earth about one hundred miles east of him.

But very early in the morning poor Ogilvy, who had seen the shooting star and who was persuaded that a meteorite lay somewhere on the common between Horsell, Ottershaw, and Woking, rose early with the idea of finding it. Find it he did, soon after dawn, and not far from the sand pits. An enormous hole had been made by the impact of the projectile, and the sand and gravel had been flung violently in every direction
over the heath, forming heaps visible a mile and a half away. The heather was on fire eastward, and a thin blue smoke rose against the dawn.

The Thing itself lay almost entirely buried in sand, amidst the scattered splinters of a fir tree it had shivered to fragments in its descent. The uncovered part had the appearance of a huge cylinder, caked over and its outline softened by a
thick scaly dun-coloured incrustation. It had a diameter of about thirty yards. He approached the mass, surprised at the size and more so at the shape, since most meteorites are rounded more or less completely. It was, however, still so hot from its flight through the air as to forbid his near approach. A stirring noise within its cylinder he ascribed to the unequal cooling of its surface; for at that time it had not occurred to him that it might be hollow.

I'll try to write more tomorrow when I've had a chance to consult with several authorities.

Funny. (1)

artifex2004 (766107) | more than 9 years ago | (#13959073)

We were talking about The War of the Worlds [imdb.com] last week on our mailing list [yahoo.com] , too, after these [arksky.org] pictures [arksky.org] came out showing the new dust cloud quickly forming.

Holy crap!!! My mom isn't crazy after all!!! (1)

technoextreme (885694) | more than 9 years ago | (#13958798)

She had been telling me about seeing these bright lights appear quite recently. She asked people in the parking lot what it was and they thought it was Mars. Now at least there may be another plausible answer.

Re:Holy crap!!! My mom isn't crazy after all!!! (1)

Mr2cents (323101) | more than 9 years ago | (#13958866)

Mars doesn't 'appear', it's just like a bright star when looking with the unaided eye. A bright red star. You can't miss it.

Re:Holy crap!!! My mom isn't crazy after all!!! (1)

technoextreme (885694) | more than 9 years ago | (#13959274)

Mars doesn't 'appear', it's just like a bright star when looking with the unaided eye. A bright red star. You can't miss it.

Yeah. I know that's why she called me.:) She knew it wasn't Mars because it was something in the sky she has never seen before.

Sigh... (2)

FourStarGeneral (851478) | more than 9 years ago | (#13958842)

These meteor sightings have also, of course, sparked UFO speculation.

Oh, boy. Why don't these people just GROW UP!?!?!?!?! If there were UFOs "out there", at least the sort we could recognize, they would surely have either made themselves known, conquered, or otherwise interactred with us by now. Of course, since the probability of a humanoid ET is extremely small (something like a billion to 1), the probability is likewise that any ETs that exist would interact with us in a manner detectable by our three-dimenstional senses. Additionally, with the incalculable vastness of space, the chances of an ET being in our little corner of it are even smaller. So, no UFOs. Sorry, guys.

Offtopic or insightful, it's your call, mods.

oh insightful, absolutely (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13958942)

As an alien trying to infiltrate your planet, I certainly think your comment should be modded Insightful.

Oops. Er, could you all just pretend I didn't say that? Or mod me way, way down? Damn.

I kinda doubt it too. (1)

game kid (805301) | more than 9 years ago | (#13958951)

The UFOs would surely avoid meteor showers like these. Either that, or we are seeing UFOs that have been struck by these meteors and are falling into our environs (in which case I must get a picture of them, the GIMP, and the Impact font ready so I can add to my personal MeteOWN3D!!1 gallery).

Re:Sigh... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13959032)

Human societies have been around for a wopping 10,000 years (give or take). That's equivalent to the blink of an eye relative to the 23,000,000,000 years the universe has been around. Just because your life span is a very small fraction of humanity's recorded history doesn't make 10,000 years a long time. Nor does it make humanity an incredibly developed intelligent life form, and consequently something a more advanced life form might take an interest in.

Furthermore, I'm curious what you are using as a reference to determine how extra-terrestrials communicate? While I don't believe we are aware of all the aspects of the univerese (wavelenghts, gravity, etc..), I do believe that life would evolve along the same basic lines life on earth developed, and hence extra-terrestrial life would be more than capable to communicate with us in observable manners.

I'm no UFO nut, but your logic for reasoning that extra-terrestrials do not exist, or would not be able to communication with us, is flawed.

Re:Sigh... (1)

DustMagnet (453493) | more than 9 years ago | (#13960374)

If there were UFOs "out there", at least the sort we could recognize

If you recognize it, it's not an unidentified flying object.

As a skeptic I love when people ask me if I believe in UFOs. I always say "Yes." They look at me funny until I say, "I believe people see flying objects they can't identify. I don't believe these objects are aliens tourists." UFOs exist. They will always exist. Aliens visiting Earth? lol

That explains it.. (1)

Vellmont (569020) | more than 9 years ago | (#13958871)

I saw what I thought was a fireball a few days ago, but wasn't sure since it was so bright. It was a big streak of green across the sky I saw in my peripheral vision clearly through the city lights. I thought it might be just fireworks, but now a fireball seems a much more likely explanation.

Re:That explains it.. (1)

saskboy (600063) | more than 9 years ago | (#13959541)

The one I saw years ago in southern Saskatchewan was definitely green and bright enough to be seen during daylight in the early evening. It tore through the clouds and lasted for at least a few seconds which was long enough to realize what it was.

UFO's... (2, Funny)

sadler121 (735320) | more than 9 years ago | (#13958954)

With the emergence of "Bird Flu" that is spreading rapedily across the world and now 'fireballs' appearing in the sky, all I have is one thing to say...

Hallowed are the Orii

Re:UFO's... (1)

jacen_sunstrider (797955) | more than 9 years ago | (#13960351)

SG-1 is old and busted, BSG's the new hotness

Saw several last Saturday night. (1)

artifex2004 (766107) | more than 9 years ago | (#13959019)

We [texasastro.org] were having our annual picnic out at our dark site last Saturday. The night was a little cool, seeing was decent with some very high north-south haze that was almost overlapping the Miky Way when it came up.

Anyway, I saw a couple myself, one headed south to north that had a huge shedding tail and moved very fast, (I actually mentioned to another observer that it looked almost like another shuttle breaking up, with smaller pieces) and later one in the south skies headed east to west that looked very like a very fast satellite, with no perceptible tail.

If I remember right, that's one of the things about Taurids I always thought was weird; because of the angle in which they come in, they can hit the atmosphere going any which way.

Anyway, all this brouhaha over the shower internationally makes me think it's time to rent The Day of the Triffids [imdb.com] , again.

I saw one of these last Tuesday (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13959037)

I can see how someone might think they are UFO's. At first, I thought it might have been a fighter jet from Miramar AFB but it was moving way too fast and was much too large. While driving along a busy street I saw it almost directly overhead to the north over the San Diego/Encinitas area. It was burning with blue flames and pieces of it were falling off and burning up. The smoke trail left behind must have been 100's of miles long. When it moved out of site there was a very bright flash on the horizon. Lots of traffic stopped when the flash occured. I am sure it scared some people as it certainly did scare me.

Flat Earth Society (1)

Seumas (6865) | more than 9 years ago | (#13959578)

Hi, I'm some douche with a telescope who is easily impressed by things that have been around for billions of years, like meteors. Also, I'm constantly baffled by that big yellow glowing god that comes out during the day time before the moon goddess arises and protects us in our slumber.

Yeah, so I was drunk (2, Funny)

DoctaWatson (38667) | more than 9 years ago | (#13959810)

I'm glad to hear the fireball I saw in the sky last night wasn't just a figment of my tequila-soaked imagination.

5 in about 3 hours (1)

aneroid (856995) | more than 9 years ago | (#13959994)

me and a bunch of friends were at a hill station sorta place (on nov. 3rd, 0100-0400). very little ambient town light so it was those typical starry nights u never see in the city...really starry.

between the 5 of us we saw 5-6 of these. none of them were bright enough to be "fireballs" but of one them, which i missed, was bright enough for me to see the area light up from the flash.

this was before we got drunk.

Re:5 in about 3 hours (1)

saskboy (600063) | more than 9 years ago | (#13960494)

What's it with people getting drunk, and then bragging about it on the Internet? This is no less than the third alcohol related posting on this thread alone? Are almost all astronomers trying to look like jocks by getting plastered before they impress the ladies with their large scopes?

Re:5 in about 3 hours (1)

aneroid (856995) | more than 9 years ago | (#13963075)

pointing out the fact that i/we weren't under the influence while the observations were made. we weren't there to see the stars or look at anything specific...so there goes ur "astronomers trying to look like jocks" theory.

bragging about getting drunk...? talk about projecting!
Freudian Projection:
"The individual perceives in others the motive he denies having himself. Thus the cheat is sure that everyone else is dishonest. The would-be adulterer accuses his wife of infidelity."

"A defense mechanism in which the individual attributes to other people impulses and traits that he himself has but cannot accept. It is especially likely to occur when the person lacks insight into his own impulses and traits."
more info on ur issues here. [heretical.com]

Re:5 in about 3 hours (1)

saskboy (600063) | more than 9 years ago | (#13963202)

Far be it from me to start a flame war over fireballs and highballs, but I don't get drunk, and don't care to. Talk about a waste of money, time, and health.

I was simply pointing out that not everyone is impressed with random peoples' ability to consume too much alcohol and then brag in public how little self control or good sense about alcohol they have.

Nah... (1)

lengau (817416) | more than 9 years ago | (#13960493)

Someone just invented some REALLY good fireworks for (Guy Fawkes|Bonfire Night) [wikipedia.org] . No alien conspiracies here.

That's no space station.. (1)

Rob T Firefly (844560) | more than 9 years ago | (#13960873)

..damn, I blew it.

Lucky me (1)

dtfinch (661405) | more than 9 years ago | (#13961312)

It's been cloudy and raining for several days now.

Borg Cube (1)

boldra (121319) | more than 9 years ago | (#13961686)

Look at the B&W picture in the article. A Borg cube is quite clearly visible.
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