I got to say “bolide” on the air tonight. It’s not commonly used, but very descriptive. A bolide is a meteor that burns brightly as a fireball, often splits into pieces and is accompanied by a sonic boom.
A bolide was widely seen in Nevada and Central California Wednesday night. Welcome to the Internet age, there are reports.
Cale – San Ramon, CA – Brightness equal to Full Moon, initial flash may have been brighter as it caught my attention
Ed Silvius – Sunnyvale, CA – yes split into 3 to more chunks as it changed from green to orange and the trail appeared
Laura – Tulare, CA – it looked like a shooting star at first, it kept getting bigger and it turned wgite, and then green with a firey tail behind it, it was a circle shape, as far as i could tell it did’nt burn up, no sound that i could here.
Meteors like this happen all the time. The Earth is constantly gaining weight from incoming!
This meteor had nothing to do with the Orionids meteor shower which comes Early Sunday morning. I am excited about Orionids and hope to photograph it.
This meteor shower of 30 meteors per hour (give or take) happens when the Earth passes through the orbit of Halley’s Comet. The comet is gone, but little specks of dust and debris are in the orbital track and get sucked up in our gravitational field. Because of the makeup of meteor showers, all their meteors burn up harmlessly before getting close to the ground.
Moon sets around midnight Saturday night/Sunday morning. That means darker skies! All indications say they’ll be clear.
This is as close to perfect as we get in Connecticut!
Though all the meteors can be traced back to the part of the sky occupied by the constellation Orion, they’re seen everywhere! All you need do is go outside in a dark spot and look at the sky. No telescope, binoculars or equipment is necessary.
Clicky and I are excited.