For the first time ever, a meteor has grazed in and out of Earth's atmosphere, slowing enough to become a temporary satellite that lasted a full orbit.
Martin Goff, an officer with the Greater Manchester [England] Police, was making his rounds when he spotted a dazzling meteor at 22:55 p.m. (21:55 Universal Time). "I immediately pulled the van over to better see the fireball," he recounts. "Although not an experienced astronomical observer I was able to log relevant information such as altitude and azimuth relative to the straight road I was on and to trees and streetlights nearby." He estimates it was about as bright as a full moon and remained visible for 35 to 40 seconds, fragmenting for at least the last half of that. "I was just flabbergasted to have seen it!"
He was hardly alone in his amazement. Friday-night crowds were out and about when the bolide appeared, delighting and amazing untold thousands as it broke into dozens of pieces as it glided east to east across the sky. Dirk Ross, who tracks bright meteors and meteorite finds worldwide, logged 564 eyewitness reports from England, Scotland, Ireland, France, Belgium, The Netherlands, and Norway.
More - Link >>> http://www.skyandtelescope.com/news/Amazing-Meteor-Boomerangs-Around-Earth-172332451.html
Source: Sky and Telescope Magazine.
Related Blog Post:
New Analysis: UK Fireball Didn't Skip Around World (2012 October 9)
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