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Bright Meteor Joburg

DanDango

Executive Member
Joined
Sep 4, 2013
Messages
6,471
#42
On RSG a lady from Lichtenburg North West phoned in. She said, around 10:20 she saw something bright in the sky.
 
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Gordon_R

Expert Member
Joined
Jul 5, 2009
Messages
3,746
#45
There is one other possibility, which I presume you have discounted: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Satellite_flare#Iridium_flares

The Iridium communication satellites have a peculiar shape with three polished door-sized antennas, 120° apart and at 40° angles with the main bus. The forward antenna faces the direction the satellite is travelling. Occasionally, an antenna reflects sunlight directly down at Earth, creating a predictable and quickly moving illuminated spot on the surface below of about 10 km (6.2 mi) diameter. To an observer this looks like a bright flash, or flare in the sky, with a duration of a few seconds.

Ranging up to −8 magnitude (rarely to a brilliant −9.5), some of the flares are so bright that they can be seen in the daytime; but they are most impressive at night. This flashing has caused some annoyance to astronomers, as the flares occasionally disturb observations.

As the Iridium constellation consists of 66 working satellites, Iridium flares are visible quite often (2–4 times per night). Flares of brightness −5 magnitude occur 3–4 times per week; −8 magnitude may be visible 3–5 times per month for stationary observers.
 

JimboBob

Expert Member
Joined
May 16, 2010
Messages
1,430
#46
Thank you for this thread!!! I also saw it, bright blueish streak and very brief. I was walking outside and it caught my eye, I kind of just stared at the sky thinking wtf was that and I looked around to see if anyone else saw it and of course the answer is no...

Even told my wife and she just laughed at me (I was drinking a beer) and she said she'll ask me about it again tomorrow

Then I found this thread which has vindicated me!!! Except she thought all the sarcastic comments in here were more interesting
 
Joined
Apr 22, 2010
Messages
3,295
#47
Ah, OK. Two other people at least saw it.

It was at around 10:25 by my reckoning, so lady in NorthWest probably saw the same thing and we forgot to synchronise our watches.;)

Gordon_R, thanks for the possibility - but this had a tail on it, as of something entering the atmosphere, so I doubt iridium flares, although that's fascinating in itself.
 
Joined
Apr 22, 2010
Messages
3,295
#49
Just a quick update on this.

I filled out the Astronomical Society's form for reporting objects like this, and Tim Cooper of the Shallow Sky Survey got back to me.

Apparently, mine was the third report he had received by Friday.

I've been able to fill him in on some more of the details, from which he will hopefully be able to calculate a trajectory.

Thanks, Gordon_R, for your helpful suggestions; and JimboBob - you were obviously not that drunk. :)
 
Joined
Apr 22, 2010
Messages
3,295
#51
Fireball 2018 July 12.jpg

This is the result of Tim Cooper's triangulation for the meteor of 12th July, taken from 4 reports.

He believes the meteor fell somewhere south of Coligny.

He's busy writing up a report for the Shallow Sky Survey.
 

Gordon_R

Expert Member
Joined
Jul 5, 2009
Messages
3,746
#54
ATTACH 538185

This is the result of Tim Cooper's triangulation for the meteor of 12th July, taken from 4 reports.

He believes the meteor fell somewhere south of Coligny.

He's busy writing up a report for the Shallow Sky Survey.
Great! I'm glad I pointed you to the ASSA.

I saw something last year, but there were not enough reports to write up. In any case it would have been over the Atlantic Ocean...
 

Shaun108

Executive Member
Joined
May 11, 2009
Messages
7,478
#55
I'm pretty sure I saw what I saw.

And yes, just a cigarette was smoked.:)

But, for all it was extremely bright, it was also very quick. If you weren't looking at the sky you wouldn't have seen it, probably.

I've also been googling around, with no luck, but that's not very surprising I guess, given the brevity of the incident.

Oh well - something to remember into my old age then. I've swept the sky for comets, timed meteor showers for years of my life and never before seen one in broad daylight.
In the Old Religion, meteors and comets are ill-sighted harbingers of doom. Be careful for the next few weeks.
 
Joined
Apr 22, 2010
Messages
3,295
#56
Great! I'm glad I pointed you to the ASSA.

I saw something last year, but there were not enough reports to write up. In any case it would have been over the Atlantic Ocean...
I'm glad you jogged my memory, too.

It seems I can go decades without remembering the ASSA, but then I belonged to the time of Jack Bennet, Johan Wolterbeek and Peter Bennewith.:crying:
 
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