Jump to content
Nugget Shooter Forums

Recommended Posts

Morlock , it's my understanding the sounds they make are perceived as a Sonic Boom.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The El Paso bolide sounded like a giant vacuum leak. Kinda like a big vibrating hiss. 

There were two fires along the southern flanks of the Organ Mts. and one near Hueco Tanks that started within a few seconds of the El Paso bolide.

The bolide exploded directly over west Las Cruces and landed (by the best guess) about 50 miles SE near Hueco Tanks.

No mets were ever found but it is the opinion of many experts and professional met hunters that lots of material hit the ground somewhere near Hueco. Many still search for it. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 hours ago, homefire said:

Morlock , it's my understanding the sounds they make are perceived as a Sonic Boom.

I know that but that's not the issue. I spent many nights outside observing the heavens while out west and never once saw or heard a bolide. And yet someone has seen and heard dozens. It almost seems like you'd have to know ahead of time when one was coming and be near that location at the same time.

  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Morlock said:

I know that but that's not the issue. I spent many nights outside observing the heavens while out west and never once saw or heard a bolide. And yet someone has seen and heard dozens. It almost seems like you'd have to know ahead of time when one was coming and be near that location at the same time.

I have seen one bolide directly overhead and two meteorites actually hit the ground. One within a few yards of me. So it is not all that rare.

Over the years I have seen plenty of big flashes with breakups and vivid colors. Those are bolides in my book. Just too far to hear them if they made a sound. 

I would assume the sound they would make would depend on the same factors as velocity decay. The angle of entry, the shape and composition of the object and if it fragmented would all have a big effect on what a bolide sounded like.

The El Paso sounded like a big hiss. Or a flag flapping in a hurricane wind. It wasn't an impact noise like a "boom" but it was a loud chaotic "explosion" noise. More like a roar than a boom. And one hell of a big flash of light in the bright afternoon sky. It was brighter than the New Mexico sun on that clear day. And it freaked out about 3 million people in the immediate area.

So I know 3,000,000 that have witnessed a bolide that didn't know it was coming and were not expecting it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

By my definition, a bolide is a meteor that explodes in the ATMOSPHERE. To me that means you actually have to hear it. And if you actually hear it, there's a good chance there's meteorites that  hIt the ground. I've never witnessed one in all my years observing the skies.

So I'm skeptical of anyone who says they've witnessed dozens of bolides.

Edited by Morlock

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, Morlock said:

By my definition, a bolide is a meteor that explodes in the ATMOSPHERE. To me that means you actually have to hear it. And if you actually hear it, there's a good chance there's meteorites that  hIt the ground. I've never witnessed one in all my years observing the skies.

So I'm skeptical of anyone who says they've witnessed dozens of bolides.

That may be your definition of the word "bolide". Could it be that is where the disconnect is? I am fairly certain your definition is incongruent with the actual definition but I might be wrong.

A bolide that explodes in the atmosphere over Tucson and is audible (to someone) wont be audible to the folks in Las Cruces who see it on the western horizon. But it is still a bolide isn't it? 

All meteors that bolide explode by virtue of hitting the atmosphere. An explosion sometimes results in the complete (or very near) vaporization of the object. Sometimes a stone slows and does not create a bolide and still reaches the ground.  

Yeah, you would assume anything left after a bolide event would probably make the ground because it has slowed to terminal velocity. If anything made it past the bolide event. 

Dozens of times I have witnessed bright flashes after a long streak, resulting in multiple fragments. Dozens of times I have witnessed a long streak with a bright flash and no fragments. I always thought that flash was called a bolide. I did not realize there was any other kind of bolide. Nor did I know there was a sound requirement. 

Were these events that I have witnessed not bolides?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm quite sure I experienced that HISS sound one event.  Did not relate it to what I was seeing.  And yes it was a Local type event not hundreds of miles distant. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have read all sorts of definitions of the term "bolide" today. To some it is an air burst greater than twice the magnitude of the moon. To others it is a bolide only if it is audible. To others it is "any extremely bright meteor". To others it is only an "impactor". To others (including me) it is the bright flash of light when any big meteor blows apart or vaporizes in the atmosphere regardless of size or sound. 

I would doubt anyone who told me they had witnessed dozens of bolide events that they could hear or that were visible on a sunny day. But if someone told me they had seen dozens of meteors bolide I would assume they meant one of those big bright meteors that go critical and explode in the atmosphere. 

So I suppose I may have only seen one by Morlock's definition of the word. I have seen dozens by mine. Several of them have been at least the magnitude of the moon but I don't carry my magnitude-of-the-moon-ometer with me everywhere I go so it is hard to say exactly how bright they were. Certainly several would cast a shadow or light up the surroundings for an instant.

So what does bolide mean to you? I guess it is up to each of us to sort that out on our own. If you gotta hear it you gotta hear it. If it has to be no less than twice as bright as the moon then so be it. If you gotta feel the gravel hitting your face to call it a bolide then that is just groovy too! 

Until they come up with a cooler name I am pretty satisfied with calling any airburst caused by a falling space rock a bolide.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, Bedrock Bob said:

I wonder what kind of store that is at the .30 second mark? :idunno:

Hmmmmm? I wonder too?:idunno::idunno:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My definition of a bolide is one where it makes an audible noise when it enters the atmosphere. So if it hisses, goes kabam or kapow, makes a boom, or any other audible noise, it would qualify as a bolide. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
14 hours ago, Bedrock Bob said:

I have read all sorts of definitions of the term "bolide" today. To some it is an air burst greater than twice the magnitude of the moon. To others it is a bolide only if it is audible. To others it is "any extremely bright meteor". To others it is only an "impactor". To others (including me) it is the bright flash of light when any big meteor blows apart or vaporizes in the atmosphere regardless of size or sound.

From a purely linguistic point of view, all of the above is the correct answer.  Bolide is not a particularly precise word.  I blame Noah Webster for failing to chisel the word into his 1828 stone tablets.  From the point of view of you meteor hunters, who knows?  Folks who spend so much time chasing stardust are bound to suffer effects from breathing in all that ether.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks Rocky!

That is precisely what I have always called  bolide. I guess I am not so far out in left field after all. :rolleyes:

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Morlock said:

My definition of a bolide is one where it makes an audible noise when it enters the atmosphere. So if it hisses, goes kabam or kapow, makes a boom, or any other audible noise, it would qualify as a bolide. 

Just for the sake of discussion... What would you call an airburst with no sound, or that was too distant to hear the sound that it made?

If a meteor exploded over the forest and there was no one to hear it would it still make a sound? Would it be a bolide?

If people heard it in Tucson but could not hear it in Las Cruces is it a bolide in Tucson but not a bolide when viewed from Las Cruces?

It seems the sound requirement would be entirely subjective. There would be no bolides unless there were people there to hear them. That is what I just can't wrap my mind around. :idunno:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

And would a dead hearing aid battery transform a 200-decibel bolide into a mere wannabe?  And if whales hear it but people don't?  So many pressing questions.

  • Like 1
  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
14 minutes ago, Saul R W said:

And would a dead hearing aid battery transform a 200-decibel bolide into a mere wannabe?  And if whales hear it but people don't?  So many pressing questions.

No batteries no bolide bro. You gotta hear it. Them's the rules. :idunno:

  • Like 1
  • Haha 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Bedrock Bob said:

Just for the sake of discussion... What would you call an airburst with no sound, or that was too distant to hear the sound that it made?

If a meteor exploded over the forest and there was no one to hear it would it still make a sound? Would it be a bolide?

If people heard it in Tucson but could not hear it in Las Cruces is it a bolide in Tucson but not a bolide when viewed from Las Cruces?

It seems the sound requirement would be entirely subjective. There would be no bolides unless there were people there to hear them. That is what I just can't wrap my mind around. :idunno:

Quit being so anally retentive.😉 You have your definition..and I have mine. It can be interpreted in different ways.😉

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 10/7/2018 at 3:42 PM, Bedrock Bob said:

How far do you think the stones travelled after it exploded? One mile? Ten miles? A hundred miles?

As a meteorite hunter isn't that the burning question?

Just a guess, but I would say it landed somewhere over the Rincon mts, perhaps close to Safford

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
32 minutes ago, bc5391 said:

Just a guess, but I would say it landed somewhere over the Rincon mts, perhaps close to Safford

What do you base that hypothesis on? Entry angle? Size? The compass heading of the fall? 

Unless a radio telescope can give us a fix on the last spot the radio waves were observed we are stuck with a trajectory calculation based on very limited data.  The more variables we can define in that calculation the closer our guess will be. "Just a guess" means that one or more of the factors that determine trajectory have been estimated. I would say a wild guess would assume all of the factors. An educated guess would only assume some. Where does your guess fit in this range?

Since we are constantly looking for a spot to swing the detector or hunt by eye we must ask ourselves very bluntly how many of those factors in the equation we have actually taken into account, how many are assumed and if we have enough data to justify a search. 

I have no data other than what the OP posted. My guess is it passed directly over San Diego in dark flight and splashed into the ocean precisely 1.7 miles offshore in 240 feet of water. It was a stony iron pallasite that weighed 35 pounds. It has a beautiful fusion crust and a full rollover lip on the edges of an oriented shield. Lots of contour and olivine sticking out everywhere. And it made a hissing sound as it flew through the air. But that is just my guess and that is only possible because I filled in all of the variables in the calculation with numbers that sounded good to me.

It was possible to make this guess because I had no data at all to assign to the variables in the calculation. Since it landed in the ocean it does not bother me that I don't have enough info to mount a search. If it is out there by Safford somewhere I will think about it a lot because it is a very beautiful and valuable pallasite. So I need to know how many of those variables that you took into account to come up with your guess.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Morlock said:

Quit being so anally retentive.😉 You have your definition..and I have mine. It can be interpreted in different ways.😉

Your definition is just fine with me. I am just discussing our different interpretation of the same word. It was your skepticism of anyone who claimed to have seen multiple bolides that initiated this wasn't it? I think we have found where the disconnect on that one is. And I was not retaining it in my anus.

:rolleyes:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I lived right around the corner from Thomas Ashcraft back in the day. He had heliotown and a sweet piece of equipment that could pinpoint a fall right down to the acre. I think he has evolved these days but his observations led to a lot of discoveries.

http://www.heliotown.com/Table_of_Contents.html

I often compared his data with the observed fall data from the AMS fireball site. It is amazing how far they land from some of the people who see the fireball. It tells me the trajectory and distance is highly variable from an observed fall. Unless you are very near the impact area you would have very little idea how far away it landed even if it went right over your head.

I have seen two actually hit the ground. There was no bright streak. There was a deep blue glow in the air that lingered a second or a second and a half. But not a light. Both of them were in dark flight streaking across the sky for several seconds before they landed. One was in daylight and one was at night and both left a glowing blue streak in the air that persisted a second after they hit the ground.  

No doubt they flew a long way after they stopped burning. Possibly many miles. So my philosophy is that most meteorites are considerably downrange from where the fireball was last seen.

That was the case with El Paso. It is somewhere out there and it is big. They searched an area 100 miles downrange and never found it. It is somewhere out there on the southwestern fringes of the Odessa iron. No one has ever found it yet. IMHO it is one of the best prospects to find a significant iron.

 

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×