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(meteorobs) METEORS VS FIREBALLS/BOLIDES



Hello all

I have followed the numerous comments and questions regarding "fireballs"
and "bolides" with some interest and a little humor.  I was not going to
comment on the subject; just sit back and hope someone would get it right
and everything would be fine.  However, a recent comment attracted my
attention, along with a little ire, and I felt compelled to say something.

The comment suggested that anyone wanting to report bolides and/or
fireballs (actually one in the same) should do so at some other site.
Well, I couldn't let that one go.  It was my impression that this was a
site for the reporting of meteors (someone please correct me if I am
wrong), hence the name METEORobs.

Now, for everyone's edification:

A BOLIDE (FIREBALL) IS A METEOR AND IT DOES NOT HAVE TO EXPLODE
(DISINTEGRATE VIOLENTLY) TO BE CLASSIFIED AS SUCH.  WHERE ELSE IS A BETTER
PLACE TO REPORT A LARGE AND/OR DENSE METEOR?

For information:  fireballs/bolides are created when the density and/or
size of the meteoroid exceeds the normal low-density (usually less than
water), highly friable particles providing us with what we refer to as
meteors.  The entry velocities of the objects (velocity combines speed and
direction) are no different, in the main, than any of the meteors we
usually see.  Indeed, many of them come from the same radiants and at the
same speed (interesting?).  The majority of the exceptionally bright
(occasionally brighter than the sun) "burn-out", some explode (not many,
and there are very good reasons for this), perhaps providing us with some
meteoritic material of measurable size, and a few impact directly.  After
impact I agree it should be reported elsewhere (especially to me!), if
there is anyone left to receive the report.

J. Richard Jacobs

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