[meteorite-list] Rochester Meteorite: 2-14-1877 NPA Edwardsville, Il.

From: MARK BOSTICK <thebigcollector_at_meteoritecentral.com>
Date: Sun Feb 19 09:58:08 2006
Message-ID: <BAY111-F1F98E272C1A6B01C6DB70B3FE0_at_phx.gbl>

Paper: The Edwardsville Intelligencer
City: Edwardsville, Illinois
Date: Wednesday, February 14, 1877
Page: 3 (of 4)

The Great Meteor of Dec. 21.

     The great meteor of the evening of Dec. 21 was one of the most
remarkable that has lately been recording in the United States; reports
concerning it have been received from about one hundred and stations. From
a brief study of these it becomes apparent that the meteor entered the
earth's atmosphere somewhere over the west of Kansas or Nebraska; its true
course was nearly due east, and it was last seen over the State of New York.
  Its visible track, as projected upon the earth, is therefore over one
thousand miles long. The times of its appearance and disappearance, as
noted by the observers, are extremely discordant. The average of about
forty-five observations, pretty uniformly distributed along its course,
gives nine hours twenty-six minutes as the Washington mean time, which may
therefore represent the moment when it was at the middle of its visible
path. No definite conclusion can be satisfactorily arrived at with
reference to its actual velocity in miles from a comparison of the records
of distant observers; but the observations of the individual observers,
taken by themselves, give velocities relative to the earth's surface of
between one and five miles per second, or two to five miles relative to the
earth's center, and as the meteor was overtaking the earth in its annual
orbit, its velocity in space relative to the sun was twenty or twenty-five
miles, its movement being toward a point in latitude 20, longitude 35,
with reference to the plane of ecliptic. When first seen, the meteor
appeared to be as large as the moon, but much brighter. In passing over
Indiana, its main body divided into two portions, and one of these
subsequently broke into a hundred fragments, which at first kept together in
one cluster, but gradually fell behind each other, forming a long train in
single file, and as such passed over Ohio into New York. The brightness of
the meteor was everywhere described as far surpassing bright moonlight. No
reliable accounts speak of any noise heard during the visibility of the
meteor; but in from two to five minutes after its passage a shock resembling
thunder was heard, which, in the majority of cases, was described as
tremendous, shaking the ground and houses, and was especially alarming to
those who, on account of the prevailing cloudiness, were unable to see the
preceding meteor. The uniform character of the sound heard at the stations
shows that it was not due to any violent explosion (properly so-called) but
was a peculiar acoustic phenomenon, depending on the fact that the portion
of the line described by the meteor when nearest to any observer became, as
it were, instantaneously along a length of several miles the origin of a
series of simultaneous sounds, which, although in themselves comparatively
feeble, were concentrated into a violent sound when they reached the
observer's ear. No records have come to hand of the finding of any
fragments of this meteor, nor is it likely that any of any size fell to the
earth, as the main body evidently passed out of the atmosphere when over New
York, and the small fragments or sparks that were seen to fly off were
rapidly burned up and disappeared in its train. - Monthly Weather Review.


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 Sun 19 Feb 2006 09:58:05 AM PST

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