Baton Rouge Astronomical Society Forum

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PostPosted: March 19th, 2010, 2:45 pm 
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Location: Baton Rouge, LA
There were a group of fireball sightings during the daylight hours of Sunday, 14 March--roughly from 10am to 2pm CDT. These sightings occurred in South Hattieburg and Jackson, Mississippi and also in several Louisiana towns including Ball, Bossier City, Baton Rouge, Farmerville and Watson. Most of the witnesses discerned a yellow, orange or yellow-orange glow. Most gave a duration of two to three seconds.

What makes these so intriguing, in addition to being in the daytime, is there are no major shower maximums--or showers!--in the month of March.

"Fireball" is the nickname for a very bright meteor.

Any local fireball sighting should be reported both as a continuation of this thread and to the American Meteor Society.

AMS Fireball Reporting Form:
http://www.amsmeteors.org/fireball/report.html

(This isn't actually the original message in this block. I was attempting to edit and lost the original message. Sorry for the inconvenience.)


Last edited by Christopher K. on August 3rd, 2010, 9:10 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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PostPosted: August 3rd, 2010, 8:25 pm 
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On 19 March a fireball was witnessed by someone outside Zachary. The data sent to the AMS includes a five- to ten-second duration and a "fiery" reddish-yellow trail.

On 25 March a fireball was witnessed by someone in Slidell. The data sent to the AMS includes a five- to ten-second duration and a yellow trail.

On 14 April a fireball was reported to the AMS by a New Orleans witness. It apparently went east to west at ~9:30pm CDT for two to five seconds and had a faint orange color.

On 17 April a fireball was reported by a Metairie witness. It apparently appeared a few minutes after midnight and lasted for about five seconds. The AMS associates it with a similar sighting that took place in Madisonville (between Ponchatoula and Mandeville) at roughly the same time; both people discerned a greenish glow.


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PostPosted: August 3rd, 2010, 9:17 pm 
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On 21 July at ~11:25pm CDT a fireball sighting occurred in Houma. The witness describes an object glowing for three seconds with a green-blue tail and a persistent train.

The American Meteor Society associates this incident with one reportedly occurring five minutes later in Secrest Beach, Florida. In both cases the witnesses report a green tail and a fragmenting of the object.

I don't whether this is related to the Perseids. Though a minor shower, the Alpha Capricornids were also well under way by the 21st.

Tom and I will attempt to post in this thread all AMS-reported fireballs within 300 kilometers of HRPO.


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PostPosted: September 2nd, 2010, 10:03 pm 
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On 20 August at ~11:30 CDT a fireball sighting occurred in Lafayette. The witness describes an object glowing for two to five seconds with a persistent train and terminal burst. The object traveled from west to east.

The American Meteor Society does not associate this incident with any other sighting.

Both the Delta Aquarids and the Perseids were technically still in action, though each ending just a few nights later.


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PostPosted: September 4th, 2010, 12:58 pm 
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Well...Fred asks "Seen any good fireballs lately?" and now I can answer yes!

Thursday night (2 September) at ~11:13pm CDT I was driving north on Siegen Lane. I was almost to the Perkins intersection when I saw a blue-green dot zip across the sky. Due to my looking through a windshield I don't know when the fireball "started".

I've reported to the American Meteor Society. I heard no sound (I was in a car, and sound isn't heard during most sightings) and saw no trail (light pollution). I estimate the brightness at -4 magnitude and estimate direction as from fifty-degrees northeast to twenty degrees northwest. It's surprisingly difficult to be confident of your altitude and azimuth estimate when your sighting takes place while driving.

1 September was the peak of the minor Aurigid shower; I don't know this was an Aurigid.

AMS reporting form:
http://www.amsmeteors.org/fireball/report.html


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PostPosted: September 22nd, 2010, 12:47 pm 
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Two local events to post.

On 11 September none other than our own BRAS VP Ben Toman was driving ~65 kilometers east of Baton Rouge with his wife when they spotted a -7 magnitude white object with a persistent train. The "streak" lasted two to five seconds and went from eight degrees in the west to thirty degrees in the west.

On 16 September a fireball sighting occurred in New Orleans. The witness describes an object glowing for two seconds with a persistent train and terminal burst; the streak was white, the explosion was blue-white. The object traveled from the observer's zenith to the north.

The American Meteor Society does not associate either incident with any other sightings. There are no major showers during September. The so-called September Perseids peaked on the 9th and ended on the 13th. The Southern Taurids last from the first week in September to the third week in November, but do not peak until October.


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PostPosted: October 8th, 2010, 2:37 pm 
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I saw a brilliant fireball last night just after I got home from imaging out at the HRPO. I was taking my dog out and looking up at the area of the sky that 103/P Hartley was currently visiting when it seemed to come right out of that area and fall straight down.

It had a very long tail that sparkled white and just before I lost sight of it behind the tree line, the "head" started flashing green and little "sparks" were falling off of it. I wish the trees hadn't gotten in the way and may have been able to witness it exploding!


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PostPosted: November 11th, 2010, 11:24 am 
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The American Meteor Society associates Ben's sighting (see previous post) with one just north of College Station, Texas.

The witness saw the fireball travel from 90° west to 65° east and turn from yellow to white with a persistent train. The duration was two to five seconds and the estimate magnitude was -11. Unlike Ben, this witness heard accompanying sound.

The variable Draconid meteor shower peaked the morning of these sightings, and the minor Southern Taurids peaked on 10 October.


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PostPosted: November 17th, 2010, 2:55 pm 
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There was a nice one reported to AMS for 7pm Daylight Time on 8 October.

The Moss Point, Mississippi witnesses describe it as very bright, about five seconds in duration and moving from thirty degrees east to twenty-five degrees west. There was no train, burst or sounds but the object was reported as "dark body surrounded in white, red, orange and yellow flames and black streaks in the tail". Wow.

AMS associates this sighting with sightings just outside of Magee, Mississippi, and in Gulf Breeze and Pensacola. Only the Gulf Breeze witness claims a persistent train.

The Orionids were occurring on 8 October, though that was far from the peak. 8 October was about forty-eight hours before the Southern Taurids peak, and the same day as the peak of the variable Draconids.


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PostPosted: November 28th, 2010, 10:29 pm 
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Two local events to post.

The night of 9 November a witness sighted a fireball in Thibodaux with an estimated -13 magnitude traveling from 45°in the northwest to the zenith. The duration was four or five seconds and the object was described as "white with orange tail". A persistent train and terminal burst but no sound. The AMS does not associate this with any other incident. On 9 November the Leonids and Andromedids were just beginning, the Southern Taurids had past their peak, and it was three mornings before the peak of the Northern Taurids.

The night of 10 November a witness sighted a fireball in DeRidder with an estimated -27 (-27?) magnitude traveling from 45° in the east to 25° in the east. The duration was three to four seconds and the object was described as "white, light yellow, orange". No persistent train, terminal burst or sound. The AMS does not associate this with any other incident. On 9 November the Leonids and Andromedids were just beginning, the Southern Taurids had past their peak, and it was two mornings before the peak of the Northern Taurids.


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