Scottish Fireball – Meteor hunt.


On the 29th Feb about 6.45pm a large fireball was spotted by a number of observers streaking across the sky in Scotland.  Along with the bright streak that lit up the sky there was also reports of a following sonic boom bang.  The event was captured on a number of dash cams as well as static cameras making it possible to try and narrow down where to look for any meteorite debris from this event.

The hunt is now on for any meteorites, with excitement building over who will discover any debris first.  Last night’s BBC TV magazine program called the oneshow even featured a Scottish meteorite hunter.  Whom had a interesting if a little unusual golf club technique of finding meteorites.

One meteor hunter online suggests that the meteor seems to have disintegrated during descent in a ESE to WNW track and a good place to look for meteorites is roughly in a line between Aberdeen-Aviemore-Fort Augustus…but it also could be further west than this, too.   The map above has also been produced with examples of where meteorites can be found from this event.  All of this is a little ambiguous at the moment.  So anyone who is going out there hoping to strike the cosmic jackpot – I say happy hunting to you.  As you really are looking for a needle in a haystack! 

A 6 tailed comet

On the 1st March 1744 comet C/1743 X1 reached perihelion.  Although only the 6th brightest recorded comet.  It will be remembered for its striking 6 tails which developed.  It reached a blazing apparent magnitude of -7 and was visible during daylight, after it passed by the sun a relatively close 0.2 AU.  It has been suggested that the multiple tails occurred due the at least 3 active nucleus, maybe as the comet tore itself apart during perihelion.

It was spotted by a young Charles Messier on whom it had a great effect and lead him down the road of becoming an astronomer.

Comets as bright as these are rare events.  A similar but more recent example was comet Mcnaught or the great comet of 2007 as it became known.