[meteorite-list] Bright Meteor Observed Over Oregon
From: Ron Baalke <baalke_at_meteoritecentral.com>
Date: Thu Apr 22 10:18:28 2004
Fiery sky trail prompts police calls; meteor shower apparent source
February 17, 2003
A bright, blue-green object with a long tail,
falling from the sky, prompted numerous calls to Central
Oregon police agencies Sunday night. Authorities said it
apparently was part of a meteor shower.
Deschutes County 911 dispatchers reported receiving at
least 10 calls from people who saw the object plunging
toward Earth around 8 p.m., said sheriff's Deputy Mike
Biondi. A short time later, the dispatch center learned there
was a 3-4 hour meteor shower Sunday night.
A sheriff's deputy was dispatched to the Plainview area near
Sisters to check on the first report off Highway 20 at Rock
Island Lane, but nothing was found. Prineville police and
Oregon State Police also reported receiving calls about the
Meteors, commonly called 'shooting stars,' are a very brief
streak of light in the night sky, usually lasting less than a
second. They are caused when a particle of dust, usually
from a comet, enters the Earth's atmosphere at high velocity
and burns up, producing a flash of light.
At certain times of year, the Earth encounters dense swarms
of comet dust and a meteor shower is visible. But even at
other times of year, up to a dozen meteors an hour are
visible in clear, dark skies.
While such meteors never strike the ground, some larger
pieces of cosmic debris do survive the fiery trip into the
atmosphere and are called meteorites. They are preceded
by a much brighter fireball blazing across the sky.
Received on Mon 17 Feb 2003 05:20:03 PM PST