[meteorite-list] Fireballs Sighted Over New Jersey?
From: Ron Baalke <baalke_at_meteoritecentral.com>
Date: Thu Apr 22 09:43:33 2004
UFO sightings at dusk, dawn
July 18, 2001
Most UFO sightings in the New Jersey-Pennsylvania sky occur either at dawn
or dusk when objects high up in the stratosphere, such as airplanes or
meteorites, are more likely to refract sunlight back to earth, astronomers
That's one of the things that puzzles Kirk Alexander, director of the
Amateur Astronomy Association of Princeton, who notes that Sunday's unusual
sighting occurred in the middle of night.
Alexander said many UFO sightings turn out to be small meteors which split
up, fall back into the stratosphere and burn brightly for several minutes.
"The larger meteorites can explode and the pieces burn in unison as they
fall through the atmosphere," he said.
That's basically the description the 70 or so people gave when they
described the brightly burning lights they observed near Carteret at 12:30
Alexander also noted that the cool, crisp weather last weekend enabled
people to see for miles, something which can't happen onhazy cloud-filled
"There have been incidents where aircraft eject small objects out of their
exhaust which can been seen for miles," he said, adding one more explanation
to the long list of possibilities.
The Amateur Astronomy Association group has 150 members. They meet twice a
month, usually at one of the group's two observatories inWashington Crossing
State Park in New Jersey or Jenny Jump, New Jersey.
"As astronomers, we try to look at these weird happenings as a way to learn
something, and we usually do," he said.
Received on Thu 19 Jul 2001 12:13:33 PM PDT