[meteorite-list] Rochester Meteorite - NPA 12-22-1876 - Decatur, Il.

From: MARK BOSTICK <thebigcollector_at_meteoritecentral.com>
Date: Sat Feb 18 08:38:32 2006
Message-ID: <BAY111-F357C8ECC8CC236DD1B69A5B3F90_at_phx.gbl>

Paper: Decatur Daily Republican
City: Decatur, Illinois
Date: Friday Evening, December 22, 1876
Page: 2 (of 4)

     PANA, Ill., Dec. 21 - Passengers on the southward bound Illinois
Central train were treated to a fine view of a brilliant meteor, just as the
train was approaching Macon. A young lady was the first to discover a large
ball of fire coming directly towards the train moving from west to east,
midway between the zenith and horizon. It burst just before reaching the
train, and gradually descended.


     LINCOLN, Ill. Dec. 21 - A large meteor passed over this city about nine
o'clock this evening, in a northeasterly direction, and is supposed to have
struck the earth some thirty miles away. Its passage through the air
sounded like the rumbling of a train of cars; the explosion was like the
roar of cannon. As it passed over us the earth trembled and houses shook.
For nearly a minute the heavens were ablaze and it was light as day.

Paper: Decatur Daily Republican
City: Decatur, Illinois
Date: Friday Evening, December 22, 1876
Page: 3 (of 4)


     ...Everybody is talking about the meteor.



     Last evening the attention of people who happened to be out doors about
eight o'clock was attracted by a huge ball of fire rising in the west,
which, when at an angle of about forty-five degrees, seemed to burst,
sending out innumerable jets of light similar to what appears when a rocket
explodes is the air. The immense body of light, with its thousand or more
attendants, moved rapidly in an easterly direction and disappeared over the
eastern horizon at about the same altitude which it had reached in the west
when first seen.
     In about four or five minutes after the light was first seen, followed
the report of its explosion, which was similar to two discharges of a
cannon, causing the buildings and ground to tremble, as would the shock of
an earthquake.
     Those who saw the light, of course associated the sound with it as it
origin; but those who were inside and simply felt the shock, had an idea
that an earthquake had taken place, until they learned of the meteoric
display which immediately preceded it.
     From the length of time which intervened between the appearance of the
light and explosion and the report which followed, it must have been many
miles away, and we shall probably hear of the phenomenon from remote parts
of the country.
     One very interesting fact that goes to show the distance of the
luminous body from this locality, is that its appearance at Wapella was
telegraphed at this station, and the telegram was read to bystanders before
the report reached here.
     These fire balls or shooting stars are fully described in
Encyclopedias. They are said to be generally from fifty to one hundred feet
in diameter, their size to the eye of an observer, of course, depending upon
their distance from him.
     Humboldt claims that some of the largest of these shooting fire balls
must have had a diameter of from five hundred to two thousand feet. Their
height at the points where they begin and finally disappear, is said to be
from fifteen to one hundred and fifty miles, and their velocities are said
to vary from eighteen to thirty-six miles per second. They sometimes appear
singly - as was the case last evening - and sometimes in large numbers, as
was the case in November, 1833, when the most remarkable meteoric shower
ever witnessed on this continent took place.
     It is supposed that there is in all these fire-balls solid matter,
which finally falls to the earth, numerous specimens of which have been
found from time to time - many of which are in the cabinets of our colleges
and other institutions of the country. In most instances these specimens
are composed of about ninety parts of iron, to ten of other metallic matter.
  Various theories have been suggested as to the origin of these aerial
travelers, which we have not room to notice, all of which will be found
fully stated and discussed in the standard Encyclopedias of the day. The
study is an interesting one, and especially so at this time, when everyone
is talking about the wonderful phenomena of light and sound.


     A Good Joke. - One of our citizens who had retired at the time the
meteor passed over the city last night, upon hearing the report and feeling
the shock, thought that his chimneys had fallen down, and got up and went to
the roof of his house to satisfy himself that all was right.


Clear Skies,
Mark Bostick
Wichita, Kansas


PDF copy of this article, and most of those on my website, are available
upon e-mail request.

The NPA in the subject line, stands for Newspaper Article. The old list
server allowed us a search feature the current does not, so I guess this is
more for quick reference and shortening the subject line now.
Received on Sat 18 Feb 2006 08:38:29 AM PST

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