I want to find a fallen star

Maybe she will be as pretty as Claire Danes :wink:

I picked my daughter up from a concert last night in Southampton. As we drove home at half-eleven, heading north-ish, we saw a meteor. This was no streak of light across the sky, but a bright dot (no trail) about the (apparent) size of jupiter falling vertically down before we lost it behind the trees.

My daughter made the Stardust quip, and I would have loved to go looking, but we have no real idea how far away it actually was (and it was late). However, it must have been pretty large and have re-entered the atmosphere pretty deeply to be falling straight down.

I’ve been scanning the news but nothing so far. So I am still in with a chance :smiley:

Si

Well, for heaven’s sake, don’t forget your glass snowdrop…

It might just have been a jet engine falling off a plane, or aliens…

Trouble is with objects like that - unless you actually have a view of the ground where they touch down (or unless they’re big enough to make a big ass crater), it’s almost impossible to judge how far away they are. It might have been just the other side of the trees, or it might have been ten miles away.

If it’s stardust you want though, you can find iron micrometeorites quite easily - just get a bunch of strong magnets, fix them to a board, put it in a strong plastic bag and drag it around over some soil where there isn’t likely to be too much artificial contamination (so a road, or the site of an old scrap heap would not be good, but an area of sand dunes or short, dry grass might be).

Then wash the bag under running water to remove any non-metallic particles and let it dry thoroughly

Then turn it inside out carefully, as you remove it from the magnet board - hopefully trapping any metallic particles in the bag, where you can examine them with a hand lens or microscope.

They look like little black spheres, apparently.

Guess what my project is for this weekend…

I want one of those magic strings…

And if it means being chased by Michelle Pfeiffer :wink:

I half expected an “earthshattering kaboom” - it really looked big. I thought about a plane as we live just off the landing path for Southampton airport, but the news reports nothing.

I really need to fly over the area, it probably landed on farmland somewhere - why isn’t Google Earth realtime.

Si (starstruck)

As you probably know, most meteors never make it to the ground. Even ones that look very big and bright usually burn up completely (or, just turn into stardust…).

Could it have been some sort of firework or flare? What you’re describing doesn’t sound exactly like a meteorite.

Wow, Mangetout, sounds like fun! Let us know what you turn up!

I think that if a jet engine falls off in flames there’s a good chance you’d hear about it.

Seemed to be too high, and we did not see anything going up, either. It really was pretty odd, and I would of dismissed it as a visual artifact, except that my daughter saw it, too (and in contrast to the last concert she went to in Southampton, she was sober).

It came down really fast, so it didn’t travel overhead and to the horizon. And way to fast for a plane. And it descended (apparently) vertically to the north, not east/west like satellites. No trail, but bright, and no fireball at the end.

I’m still unsure about what we did see, but we did see something.

Si