October Fireballs!

Several BAS members have reported fireballs and bright meteors during their observing sessions at the Fox and elsewhere. I even got a phone call from a pure stranger recounting a bright fireball he and his father (at a different location) observed on Oct 12. If one goes back in the records (see UWO Meteor Group, in particular) there appear to be larger than random numbers of bright fireballs in the fall months. The famous Peekskill fireball happened on Oct 9, 1992 and the Grimsby fireball on Sep 25, 2009, both which dropped meteorites on the ground.

The fact that there are several meteor showers active in Oct may be a contributing factor. On OCt 21 we expect the peak of the Orionid shower and early in Nov, the N. and S, Taurids are active. These showers all have broad activity profiles and contribute to the fireball show through late Sep and Oct.

More information can be found in this good article from Universe Today:
Fireballs of October

Images below are two separate photos of a Perseid fireball in August 1992 taken by Doug Cunningham (lower shot) and me (B&W image) from Lion's Head and Shallow Lake, respectively. You can see that the star background is different in each shot. The brightest star in the colour image is Capella in Auriga. Two shots like this can be used to triangulate on the trail and determine its height accurately. This fireball, like the majority from well-known meteor showers, did not drop any meteorites.

John H.

2 fireballs