Sept 21/22 Meteors

The weather continues to be great in Tucson. As the Moon passes its 3rd Quarter phase, sky conditions are improving for meteor observing. Last night was very productive with 25 meteors being detected. There were also a few nice ones in the mix and I will try to get videos of those posted soon.

Date                     TotalTime      TOT    SPO     ANT     DAU

2008-09-22 UT    10h 14m        25      24        0          1

TOT – total # of meteors detected
SPO – Sporadics (meteors not affiliated with any particular meteor shower)
ANT – Antihelions (meteors coming from the opposition region, opposite the direction of the Sun)
DAU – δ-Aurigids (Delta Aurigids)

About Carl Hergenrother
I am a professional astronomer specializing in the study of comets, asteroids and meteors. This blog will focus on my professional and amateur work in this field

12 Responses to Sept 21/22 Meteors

  1. lucy says:

    at around 8.30 i saw four what looked like fireballs falling from the sky..very strange as have never seen anything like it…i line on an island called west mersea , south east england. was it something falling from space?

  2. Carl Hergenrother says:

    Hi Lucy,

    I can’t say for sure, but your description matches the appearance of a fireball. There is a possibility that it was not caused by a meteoroid or small asteroid, but rather by a re-entering piece of an old satellite or rocket booster. Both can be quite spectacular. In either case, it was something falling into the Earth’s atmosphere and burning up. Thanks for the comment!

    – Carl

  3. Largo says:

    Hi,
    At around 9.30pm Sept 22 I seen a spectacular sight in the sky. I thought it to be a firework but quickly realised it was to big and too far away. It was a ball of fire with a bright tail. I could clearly see 3 or 4 colours. The centre was white. It onle lasted a few seconds and disapeared over a building. I was standing SW Scotland (Hamilton) facing SSW I think.
    The most spectacular thing I have ever seen in the night sky.
    Largo

  4. Debbie says:

    Hi
    I also seen the fireball at around 21.40 hrs, i live in Northern Ireland, in Islandmagee, Co Antrim.
    It was amazing, travelling east to west, a ball of flames with a tail,
    breathtaking.

  5. Largo says:

    Thanks Debbie,
    I was thinking it a figment of my imagination. Everyone I speak to thinks ‘yea right,’ Nobody in the rest of Scotland seems to have been watching the sky at that time. East to West is spot on, I got the compass out today.

    Thanks for the confirmation.

    Largo

  6. Carl Hergenrother says:

    Largo and Debbie,

    Thanks for the reports. Looks like it’s been a busy few nights over the UK. I have posted a longer piece on your fireball and 2 others that have been observed the past few days.

    Thanks again,
    – Carl

  7. RW says:

    Found your site looking to explain some strange phenomenon last night in the Newtown of Edinburgh, Scotland. A number of small rocks hit the side of our flat in the dead of night, waking my partner and I up from sleep; 4:00am or so. Three or four small stone strikes, four stories up, about 10 minutes apart, with each event seeming to have a few small stones the size of peas. We live high up with no one in throwing distance, so doubt it was a prank. We have not found any evidence, though, but we do not have access to the courtyard below us where anything might have fallen.

  8. Carl Hergenrother says:

    RW,

    Interesting story, though I’m not sure what to make of it. What makes me doubt it is a meteorite fall are the 10 minute intervals between rock strikes. Meteorites have been known to explode in flight and shower the ground with as many as 1000s of small stones. Usually though, all of the stones come down within a few minutes of each other.

    I’m not ruling out a meteorite fall, but I have some reservations.

    Were you able to find any interesting rocks in the general vicinity? If your flat was hit multiple times then there were undoubtedly many more stones falling within kilometers of your home.

    Thanks for the report and let me know if you found anything,
    – Carl

  9. DeAnn says:

    Sept 22, 2008 around midnight I thought, give or take an hour, I was goung to a friends house and it was night, but not paying attention to time.
    I am in Oregon, USA and was driving west about 50 miles from the Pacific coast. I saw a huge fireball with a tail and was trembling at the sight of it because it was so big and I thought it would cause a massive earthquake or something.

  10. DeAnn says:

    It could have been the night before, I was keeping my writings and I forgot about it and wrote it down a couple of weeks later, so I was trying to remember the date.

    • Carl Hergenrother says:

      Hi DeAnn,

      I looked through the reports submitted to the American Meteor Society’s Fireball Report page and could not find any reports that matched your fireball. That doesn’t mean that you didn’t see a fireball on Sept 22, just that no one else saw it or reported it. There was a report of a fireball as bright as the Full Moon over Oregon on Sept 12 at ~9:15pm.

      From your descriptions you saw a fireball caused by a very small asteroid burning up in the atmosphere. The asteroid was probably no bigger than your fist and probably completely burned up in the atmosphere.

      Thanks for sharing your report,
      – Carl

  11. jamie says:

    hi i seen a ball of fire move quickly across the sky, duller at first then get brighter as it seemed to fall with a trail coming from it.

    It happened on thursday 9th july, as i was on way home from work around 23:15. It was above Dunfermline area in scotland i seen this. Can anyone explain or let me know if they seen it aswell.

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