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September 25, 2010 September 25, 2010

Posted by orionrising in Observing.
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Object: Meteor

Site: Kennedy Subway Station

Seeing: 3

Magnitude: -4 (Estimated) Rivals Venus in Brightness

Transparency: Bad (Partially Cloudy)

Type: Outer Solar System Object

Observing Time: 9:30pm

Notes: I saw my first shooting star tonight!  Oh it was beautiful!  It was likely a fireball, since it was bright enough to outshine Jupiter at magnitude -2.78, and rivaled Venus in brightness.  Fireballs make light in the same way that meteors do, by burning up in Earth’s atmosphere, but since they are made from larger source material, they burn much brighter. In essence they are very bright meteors.  Some fireballs can rival the full moon in brightness, but seeing one is relatively rare.  It was extremely fleeting, only after it passed did I realize it was a meteor.  My guess was that it lasted only eight tenths of a second.  I was observing Jupiter with the naked eye at the time, and serendipitously saw the fireball zoom across the sky west of Jupiter with a brilliant white streak, covering about 20 degrees of the sky.  Had I not decided to wait for the bus outside Kennedy Subway Station, I would have missed this opportunity.  Like a little kid I also made a wish immediately after I saw it =D  I’m very excited now, and will observe future meteor showers with passion (provided the weather cooperates). awesome Awesome AWESOME!

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