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Strange object 'burning' up last night in Wicklow

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Hi there,

Just picked up my first scope (a lidl skylux special) second hand.
I'm completely new to the whole activity of observation but have long been fascinated by astronomy.

When I was setting up last night, I saw an object coming from the west, heading east and breaking up into several pieces over the wicklow mountains (from my perspective).
I actually heard a 'rumble' like faint thunder as it broke up.

Time was approx 20:45 (07/02/05).

I'm flabbergasted that the first time I went out to observe, I saw somthing I can't explain with my naked eyes!

I'm hoping someone else out there saw it as my wife thinks that the coincidence is too fantastic.

Thanks,
Pete
17 years 11 months ago #8873

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Firstly, welcome aborad!

Secondly, it sounds like you saw a particularly bright fireball. I have heard that they can make thundery sounds but have nev er been lucky enogh ot observe a big enough one to hear them. I have seen fireballs break up before and it really does look very cool!

Could you estimate how bright it was and hoe fast it was moving across the sky?

Bart.
My Home Page - www.bartbusschots.ie
17 years 11 months ago #8875

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Pete,

You seem to have seen a fireball, and by the sound of it, quite a spectacular one too! A nice bit of beginner's luck! :) Anyone else see it?

We in the South Dublin Astronomical Society (SDAS) are planning an observing night in the carpark at Cloon Wood, Co. Wicklow (between Enniskerry and Glencree) on either Friday or Saturday night, if you want to come along. Which night we pick will depend on weather, and at this stage may turn out to be Saturday, as rain is forecast for Friday night.
Paul Tipper,
South Dublin Astro. Soc.
17 years 11 months ago #8876

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Replied by Peteinwicklow on topic Re: Strange object 'burning' up last night in Wicklow

Hi Bart,

Thanks for replying...
At first I thought it was an aircraft breaking up and got a bit of a fright.
So it was larger than any star, bright orange and moving I would say at about 200 to 300 miles an hour. I'm sorry that information isn't very helpful...

Excuse my ignorance, but can you direct me to more info on the phenomenon of fireballs?

Thanks again.
Pete
17 years 11 months ago #8878

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  • johnflannery
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hi Pete,

welcome to the board and congrats on getting the 'scope.

to catch a fireball like that was very lucky. Normally, anomalous sounds associated with fireballs would indicate they were likely to have dropped some fragments because they would need to be close to the ground to see and hear the object simultaneously. Most meteors burn out about 60-80km up where it's unlikely you'd see/hear the thing at the same time.

more on meteors and fireballs are at the web site of the International Meteor Organisation www.imo.net or at Gary Kronk's site comets.amsmeteors.org/

all the best,

John
John Flannery ( aurorawatcher - at * gmail - dot * com ... remove hyphens/asterisks/spaces for email)
The chicken's motive for crossing the road would not be questioned in an ideal world
17 years 11 months ago #8881

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more on meteors and fireballs are at the web site of the International Meteor Organisation www.imo.net
John

Specifically www.imo.net/fireball/

You are luck to see that. I've seen several really bright meteors, some with trails that lasted for several seconds, but nothing that visibly was breaking up.

Cheers,
~Al
Albert White MSc FRAS
Chairperson, International Dark Sky Association - Irish Section
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17 years 11 months ago #8882

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Replied by Seanie_Morris on topic Re: Strange object 'burning' up last night in Wicklow

Got to see 1 myself with a couple other TAS members back in '95. We had one of our Perseids Barbeques. 4 of us saw one bright fireball zoom horizontally across the tree tops (so it seemed!) and split in 2. We got a huge burst on the radio at exactly the same time for about 8 seconds too.

I t was brilliant, but not as good as Pete's here!

Seanie.
Midlands Astronomy Club.
Radio Presenter (Midlands 103), Space Enthusiast, Astronomy Outreach Co-ordinator.
Former IFAS Chairperson and Secretary.
17 years 11 months ago #8883

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  • DaveGrennan
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Congrats on the fireball sighting Pete. In over 15 years observing, I've only ever see anything that bright once. Aout 8 years ago I was out watching the geminid meteor shower on the hill of tara. Suddenly a fireball about as bright as the full moon shot across the sky. It broke into three pieces. It was so bright it cast shadows that people who had their backs to the fireball could see!! I'll never forget that.

Take your good fortune as the celestial whatevers telling you that this is the hobby for you:)
Regards and Clear Skies,

Dave.
J41 - Raheny Observatory.
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17 years 11 months ago #8908

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Replied by Peteinwicklow on topic Re: Strange object 'burning' up last night in Wicklow

Thanks for all the great replies everyone.... I won't forget that night in a hurry!

John & Al:
Thanks, very interesting reading about the phenomenon on those websites.

Paul:
Thanks for the invite to the meeting in Wicklow, unfortunatly I'm busy on both nights this weekend. However, I would be very interested in tagging along some evening and getting some tips on equipment and the heavens.
Do ye have another meeting planned anytime soon?
Could you 'pm' to me and I'll send you my email address... cheers

I wonder does anyone have a copy of the SKYLUX refractor owner's manual? I might put up a post for that later....

again, many thanks to all who replied with shared experiences/helpful info

Pete
17 years 11 months ago #8913

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It was so bright it cast shadows that people who had their backs to the fireball could see!!

Don't you just hate it when something like that happens and you're facing the wrong way? :lol:
Everyone in Ireland buys Meade, and they all buy them from Lidl.
17 years 11 months ago #8917

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