Brilliant Meteor

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Abstract

LAST night about 10.0, the moment after leaving the room in which I had been lecturing, at Wordsley, near Stourbridge, the ground about me was lighted up as by the sudden flash of a near lantern or the emergence of the full moon from a bank of cloud. On looking up at the sky, I saw a rocket-like object shooting down with a slightly zigzag motion like that of a fish, and leaving behind it a trail of mingled and mingling tints of green, purple, and yellow of nearly the semi-diameter of the moon. After a first thought about fireworks, I felt sure it was a meteor, and looked about for the constellations, so that I might be able to describe its path. The sky, however, was covered with clouds, only a star here and there being visible, and the moon, though easily seen, presenting a very hazy appearance. From inquiry at the Rectory as to the aspect of the schoolroom from which I had just come out, I judge that the course of the meteor must have been from north-west to west. When I first saw it, it was about 40° or 50° above the horizon, and it traversed about half the remaining space before disappearing, occupying, I estimate, about six seconds in doing so. Its path formed an angle of about 40° with the horizon.

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ST. CLAIR, G. Brilliant Meteor. Nature 7, 262 (1873) doi:10.1038/007262b0

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