I think I just saw a meteorite

Well, maybe not but it sure looked like it. I glanced out my window towards Lake Huron and watched this very bright line very slowly eek down towards the ground over the course of 5 min. It’s a holiday weekend here but I know it wasnt fireworks. It just sort of burnt out just above the tree line and the trail of it blurred away into the clouds and sunset. Of course my digicam was 3 ft away from me but I was too engrossed. :smack: Likelihood? :slight_smile:

I can say with certainty that the likelihood of your seeing a meteorite in the sky is exactly 0%.

You might have seen a meteor, but they don’t become meteorites until they hit the ground.

There is a meteor shower that runs this time of year called the Perseids. It is a great show that I look forward to every year.

Rats! I wanted to be the snide pedant! :smiley:

Seriously, meteors are fairly common. It is quite possible to see them outside of the spectacular showers. IIRC something on the order of several tons of debris lands on the earth each day. (Or is that year? I can’t recall, and it’s not that important, really.) The unusual meteors are the ones that actually make it to ground level to become meteorites. The REALLY unusual ones are those that are large enough to be seen over a large area.

Ooh cool link-thanks! The first pic pretty well matches what I saw.

Ok, ok, how about potential meteorite? :smiley:

Five minutes seems like an awfully long time for a meteor to be viewable in the sky - even meteors with tails tend to be gone in seconds. Are you sure about the time?

Hmm…I could be wrong but the trail end of it was definitely visible that long, before blending in with the sunset and clouds. It certainly wasn’t what anyone would call “fast” though.

Chances of being a meteor are also 0%. They are literally flash-in-the-pans. It takes a really huge make-the-news-in-several-states metero to even last a half minute.

You saw a plane or other man-made object. (Unless you are really bad at Astronomy and saw a planet/bright star sinking in the sky.)

I’m inclined to agree. Under the right circumstances, high-altitude aircraft can leave very short contrails that can certainly look like the sort of trails one might expect to see behind large, bright meteors. Even very bright meteors, however, are seldom visible for more than a few tens of seconds. They move VERY fast.

Sounds to me like you spotted a sattelite.

Or a satellite even. (Mumble mumble typing thumbs defunct brain no preview.)

We’re going over to Eastern Washington to see the Persieds. Or Oregon or maybe even Idaho. There’s less chance of clouds over in that general direction anyway. Can’t wait to go!

I agree that it sounds like a satellite that you saw. There’s lots of 'em up there.

Am I the first to suggest…

Ok, I’ll go get caffeine and come back later… with pie.

“metero”? I’ll admit that I am both a bad typist and speller, but that’s getting pretty weird even for me.

It wasn’t a satellite. Very few (if any) satellites are naked-eye objects, they don’t leave trails, and even those very few you might be able to see wouldn’t be visible until well after dark.

WTF, dude? There are hundreds of naked eye satellites (http://www.assa.org.au/observing/iridium/). Lie outside on a dark night and you’ll see one every few minutes. Not to mention the ISS and MIR. You’d be unlikely to see most satellites during twilight, but you can easily see anIridium flare which can be up to -8.0 magnitude (e.g. very, very bright).

While I agree that something that left a trail over a course of five minutes was not likely to be a satellite, but rather a contrail or a flare of some kind, you’re mostly wrong about the details.

I’ve searched for awhile trying to find a cite verifying a meteor or fireball sighting over Lake Huron or in the vicinity recently but I’ve had very little success. The only sightings I did run across were all UFO’s of the ET type. So, Clayton, perhaps you’re onto something here. Try a search on Lake Huron and sightings…and see what I mean.
A fireball lasting five minutes is unheard of in my recollection. I watched the Space Shuttle when it went down and it didn’t last nearly that long. It was directly overhead at my place just north of Palestine, TX.
However, it did take at least that long for the trail to dissipate.

Relax dude. QED’s just bucking for a membership in the club They kinda ousted him the other day and he’s just showing 'em his worthiness. :wink: