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Wednesday, 5 November 2008

Fireball report, October 29-30

The reply I recieved about the small fireball I see on 29-30 October...

Dear Colin,

Thanks very much for your fireball report from October 29-30. Much appreciated, and congratulations on spotting such a fine meteor!

Unfortunately, but as is so often the case, I've not had any other sightings from around 18:06 UT that night as yet, but your report will stay on-file in case anything more turns up. I'll add it to the SPA's "Recent Fireball Sightings" page in my next update as well, which should hopefully be online in a day or two, and which may bring in some belated observations.

Your description makes clear this meteor cannot have originated from a radiant in Cygnus, because meteors from a given shower are always very short when their paths start close to their radiant. Such a very long path as you mentioned is only possible for the random sporadic meteors, or a shower whose radiant is low in the sky. From the details you sent, this particular meteor may have been a Taurid, since although you suggested it was of speed class 3 or 4, a 60 to 70 degree path taking about 10 seconds to accomplish is meteorically slow to very slow (so, of class 1 or 2). I'd need more precise details on just where the apparent path started and ended in the sky (RA and Dec positions for both points ideally) to determine if it was a probable Taurid or not, however.

If you did record, or can recall, more information on the object's sky-path, I'd be pleased to see it, though I appreciate the problems of trying to remember such information exactly enough this long after the event, if it wasn't noted at the time.

Good luck for more such sightings before too long, and all best wishes, Alastair.

Alastair McBeath,
Meteor Director, Society for Popular Astronomy.
Meteor homepage:
E-mail: <> (messages under 150 kB in size only, please)

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