[meteorite-list] Meteorites 101
From: lebofsky at lpl.arizona.edu <lebofsky_at_meteoritecentral.com>
Date: Sat, 15 Jan 2011 21:25:16 -0700 (MST)
Last statement on this topic (to avoid more crossing emails).
The definition I have seen is that a fireball is defined as something
brighter than Venus (so yes, about -4).
Yes, the term bolide is generally avoided, but it is still used: People
who study cratering events will use the terms impactor or bolide for the
thing tghat makes the hole in the ground. This avoids having to deal with
the object being a big meteoroid, an asteroid, or a comet.
> Note, however, that the IAU defines "fireball" but is silent about
> So if the context demands some precision, "bolide" is best avoided.
> Chris L Peterson
> Cloudbait Observatory
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Sterling K. Webb" <sterling_k_webb at sbcglobal.net>
> To: "Chris Peterson" <clp at alumni.caltech.edu>;
> <Meteorite-list at meteoritecentral.com>
> Sent: Saturday, January 15, 2011 8:04 PM
> Subject: Re: [meteorite-list] Meteorites 101
>> The term was first used, in the French language, in 1834.
>> The French is derived from classical Latin bolis (generally bolidis),
>> fiery meteor, originally from the classical Greek, ??????????, missile,
>> or flash of lightning, akin to ballein, to throw.
>> Definition: a brilliant meteor with a magnitude exceeding -4,
>> especially one that explodes; a very bright fireball. Most dictionary
>> definitions mention explosion or fragmentation.
>> Sterling K. Webb
> Visit the Archives at
> Meteorite-list mailing list
> Meteorite-list at meteoritecentral.com
Received on Sat 15 Jan 2011 11:25:16 PM PST