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Bolide Over Yucca Valley?


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Around 1830hrs on Tuesday 2-6-18 a friend of mine and I witnessed an extremely bright round ball of fire shrouded in fairly thick dust or smoke.  We heard no explosion or shock wave.  We stopped our truck and got out to watch but the fireball rapidly diminished in intensity then disappeared leaving only a rather large cloud of ??? (dust, ash, smoke?) that continued to be visible for a minute our two in the night sky.  Hard to estimate the altitude but it was WAY higher and BIGGER than any flare -- probably several thousand feet overhead.  The mountain road we were traveling on is over 5000' elevation.  The brightness was comparable to a very bright halogen headlight.  Anyone see or hear about this?

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Martin, no, I did see this episode here in YV. Several years ago I witnessed a similar event during the day, all but knocking me off of the ladder. No report in the High Desert Star, but a Marine buddy of mine confirmed that a Marine jet had exploded in midair. Such events are never publicized. Perhaps another such incident? We'll likely never know. HH Jim

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Thanks for that feedback Jim.  There was no explosion in the event we witnessed.  Just the sudden appearance of an extremely bright light (imagine the full moon shrunk down to about half-size, only much brighter).  We wondered if it was the Elon Musk heavy lift rocket that was fired off, but that was in Florida six hours or so earlier.  The dust or smoke cloud was big -- like a regular cloud.  I'm thinking this was a bolide or a bolide-like event, i.e., a meteor that entered earth's atmosphere basically coming right at us (as we viewed it through the front windshield immediately as it was happening).  As it traveled deeper into the atmosphere it must have begun heating up and vaporizing whatever material it was composed of, thus creating the dust cloud that rapidly spread out at first but then only darkened in the center.  This latter phenomena would have been caused by the increasing atmospheric pressure as it approached earth's surface.  Weird stuff happens out in the desert!!

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No, it is not Elon Musk.

It is a true bollide witnessed in 7 states and Mexico starting off the coast of Long Beach, Ca and terminating near Laughlin, NV/ Bullhead City,  AZ.  It was seen as far away as El Paso, TX to northeastern Colorado, but mostly in the CA, AZ, NV region.

Please add your report to the growing list of over 30 reports on the amsmeteors.org website at https://www.amsmeteors.org/members/imo/report_intro  .In this way we will be able to triangulate a possible strewnfield to go hunt for rocks and to learn of its possible orbit.

billpeters

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Thanks for that Billpeters.  What you say makes a LOT of sense as the road we were on had us heading roughly parallel to a line between Long Beach and Laughlin.  Thus, putting this per our perspective, what we first saw was the fiery bright light of a bolide heading AWAY from us, not toward us.  The cloud it formed thus was blooming BEHIND it as it traveled away from us.  That would account for the dimming of the bright light.  The increasingly darker smoke trail thus would have been caused by the extra 150 miles of smoke it produced going almost directly away from us toward Laughlin.

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Micro Nugget,

I have to apologize. This actually was the Tesla Space X flight headed upward towards Kingman, AZ into space and not a meteorite fall. Everything else about distance, observation, and direction, though, is correct.

billpeters

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Well, this just goes to demonstrate the frailty of human perception -- especially at night looking up into the night sky.  Trying to estimate distance in these circumstances is rather like estimating nighttime distances at sea on a very dark night.  Okay then!  On two new adventures...

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I believe Richards allsky cam got it from Riverside, Ca, and not sure if Robby Hoover allsky cam got it in Yucca Valley. My allsky cam in Las Vegas did not c

apture, but my archive did capture it, just a small portion of it. All our meteorite captures for the allsky cameras are downloaded to : http://goskysentinel.com/clusters

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