History of Meteoroid

Seen any good fireballs lately?
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Fliptop
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Joined: December 9th, 2010, 8:12 pm

History of Meteoroid

Post by Fliptop »

Although meteors have been known since ancient times, they were not known to be an astronomical phenomenon until early in the 19th century. Prior to that, they were seen in the West as an atmospheric phenomenon, like lightning, and were not connected with strange stories of rocks falling from the sky. Thomas Jefferson wrote "I would more easily believe that (a) Yankee professor would lie than that stones would fall from heaven." He was referring to Yale chemistry professor Benjamin Silliman' investigation of an 1807 meteorite that fell in Weston, Connecticut.[28] Silliman believed the meteor had a cosmic origin, but meteors did not attract much attention from astronomers until the spectacular meteor storm of November 1833. People all across the eastern United States saw thousands of meteors, radiating from a single point in the sky. Astute observers noticed that the radiant, as the point is now called, moved with the stars, staying in the constellation Leo.

The astronomer Denison Olmsted made an extensive study of this storm, and concluded it had a cosmic origin. After reviewing historical records, Heinrich Wilhelm Matthias Olbers predicted its return in 1867, which drew the attention of other astronomers. Hubert A. Newton's more thorough historical work led to a refined prediction of 1866, which proved to be correct.[29] With Giovanni Schiaparelli's success in connecting the Leonids (as they are now called) with comet Tempel-Tuttle, the cosmic origin of meteors was now firmly established. Still, they remain an atmospheric phenomenon, and retain their name "meteor" from the Greek word for "atmospheric".

It is important to realize that meteoroids do not, strictly speaking, "crash into" the earth. A more accurate concept is that the earth sweeps through their paths. Our planet travels at about 107,200 kilometres per hour (66,600 mph) around its orbit, collecting meteors in much the same way that a speeding car collects insects on its windshield.

Christopher K.
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Joined: October 12th, 2009, 3:28 pm
Location: Baton Rouge, LA

Re: History of Meteoroid

Post by Christopher K. »

Some people seem to be born rockhounds. Many are members of the Baton Rouge Gem and Mineral Society...
http://brgemandmineral.org/meetings.htm

As as alternative to standard Summer Camp, Highland Road Park Observatory is researching the possibility of offering remote ninety-minute modules. If the idea gains traction, one such module will be "Rock Hounds". Campers will discuss different types of rocks and where they are formed. They will learn about crystal formations and the hardness scale. They will assess samples owned by HRPO as well as samples gathered personally. This module would be offered Mondays at 9am and 11am. Specific weeks of offerings, age ranges, prices and registration procedure will be found at...
http://hrpo.lsu.edu/programs/camp.html

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