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Meteor Explosion In China, Article Spaceweather.com

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My daily wake up includes a trip to spaceweather.com as well as here and news sites.¬† Today they had a rather cool article and video or a meteor explosion in China I thought to transcribe here and share ūüôā

Article from Spaceweather.com and link to video from their gallery *they have a lot of cool stuff there* :

AN EXPLOSION OVER CHINA: Every night, the Chinese Meteor Monitoring Organization (CMMO) runs an automated camera in Shandong Province, monitoring meteor activity above the coast of the Yellow Sea. On Aug. 16th, it caught the brightest fireball in years. The night sky turned blue when a space rock exploded hundreds of times brighter than a full Moon:
"The meteor illuminated the whole earth and shook the landscape with a loud sound," reports CMMO staff member Zhou Kun. "The flash of light, which peaked at 22:59 pm local time, was widely observed across the Shandong and Jiangsu provinces of China."

Kun estimates the astronomical magnitude of the flash to be -20, more than 900 times brighter than a full Moon (albeit not as bright as the sun). If so, that would make it a rare fireball indeed. According to a NASA computer model of Earth's meteoroid environment, a fireball of that magnitude could be a decade class event.

More information about this event (including a possible meteorite debris zone) may become available as the CMMO team analyzes "a large number of eye-witness reports," says Kun. Stay tuned.



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22 hours ago, DDancer said:

Kun estimates the astronomical magnitude of the flash to be -20, more than 900 times brighter than a full Moon

One thing to keep in mind when using astronomical magnitudes and the associated comparisons with known objects (like the sun and moon) -- point sources and extended sources give different impressions/effects when viewed.  The sun and moon are good examples of extended sources.  Stars are points sources.  The brighter planets (Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn) are in-between but as your eyes and brain tell you -- much closer to point sources than extended ones.

Magnitude is measured by summing at a given location (your eye, a camera lens, a telescope mirror,...) all the light detected in a unit of time.  A star of a given magnitude compared to a comet (another example of an extended source) of the same magnitude will appear much brighter to a human.

So, was the exploding meteor's angular extent in the sky comparable to the moon's coverage?¬† If 'yes' then the comparison "900 times brighter" is directly relatable to human naked eye experience.¬† But if the meteor's flash covered less of the sky then the impact (bad choice of words when talking about meteors/meteoroids? ūüėĀ) on a viewer would be even more spectacular.

Bottom line is that this must have been an amazing, once-in-a-lifetime experience!  (Video on the site DDancer links indicates it, but imagine if you saw it in person.)


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That would count as a once in a life time experience indeed ūüôā¬† As to magnitude I'll just say that was pretty darn bright to pulse the sky blue like it did.¬† Doubtful any of us will get to pick that strew field but at the end of the video it looked like a fair bit shot off.¬† Wonder if we'll get any info on it.¬† Maybe one day one will hit close enough to me to get in there quick like the one up in Michigan *I think thats were it was* not to long ago.

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Fascinating information,that link makes great reading....many thanks

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