General Question

u101547's avatar

Was Chicken Little right: Is the sky falling? Every morning, pre dawn, for the past several weeks I have seen meteors falling.

Asked by u101547 (193points) November 8th, 2007

I walk, jog and run early in the morning (4:30 – 5:30) before I leave for work. The sky is beautiful when cloudless, which it has been often this past month. There have been mornings when everywhere I look there are meteors burning through the sky, and other mornings when the “show” is less exciting but still “showing”. Why now? Why is it lasting so long?

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14 Answers

bpeoples's avatar

The fact that you say “burning” and not “streaking” makes me think maybe they’re not meteors?

What are you seeing (streaks, fireballs, glowing spots?), and where are you located?

You may also be having a stroke, but maybe you are seeing meteors =)

u101547's avatar

Sorry…the visual experience takes my breath away sometimes. I was just waxing poetic…or prosaic…or something like that.

I see streaks of bright light moving very fast toward the horizon. Suddenly they disappear, I assume burning up. I am also assuming they are meteors

u101547's avatar

Gailcalled! I knew it wouldn’t take you very long to stop by.

bpeoples, I live in the Denver, CO metro area, 5600 feet altitude.

gailcalled's avatar

Where DO you live? Do you have a dark sky and “good seeing?” Are there city, home, street lights, etc.There’s the possibily that you are seeing the southern Taurids; there have been some fireballs spotted this year.

Taurids

u101547's avatar

Dark sky, thin air, great viewing, some city light interference, but the air is so clean there isn’t much for the light to reflect off, I guess.

u101547's avatar

One morning in particular I saw (easily) 20 in a 45 minute jog. I had a hard time keeping my eyes on the trail…almost fell down a few time! :-)

gailcalled's avatar

This site is dated. I just checked out “This week’s sky at a glance” from Sky& Telescope.com. It mentions the Taurids as showing up on Nov. 5

http://www.skyandtelescope.com/observing/ataglance

Meteors ignite particles of dust in the atmosphere…it has nothing to do w. light pollution.

Are you near a college or University. Call the physics or astronomy dept.

gailcalled's avatar

Lucky you, whatever you are seeing. Jogging and looking up are antithetical, but if you are seeing some spectacular stellar sights, count yourself fortunate. Jog later..

Can you find the constellation Taurus the Bull in the sky? If you are seeing the Taurids, their radii should point back to Taurus. There are lots of northern sky maps on line. Tauris is bright and easy to spot, w. or w/o fireballs.

u101547's avatar

I am familiar with the big and little dippers, the Pleiades, Cassiopeia, Orion, but not Taurus. Must do some research.

gailcalled's avatar

If you can spot the Pleiades and Orion, Taurus is easy. There is another star cluster in it, a little bigger than the Pleiades, called the Hyades. It is a triangle with a really bright star, Aldebaran, (the eye of the bull) to help find it. All you need is the general direction. Don’t trip over a shoelace. Call U. Denver or U Col. to get further info.

Tauris

gailcalled's avatar

Keep me posted. I am still trying to see comet Holmes; it is either cloudy or below freezing so far. Never say “die”, I guess.

u101547's avatar

Aldebaran…the eye…shoelaces…U of D or C…got it. Merci

bpeoples's avatar

That’s cool!

Sounds like just some great viewing at altitude!

gailcalled's avatar

@u101547: je t’en prie.

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