Friday, January 02, 2009

Colour Out of Space: 6 December 2008

The Colour Out of Space ranks as one of Chrispy's favortie Lovecraft stories. Lovecraft was also partial to it, I think because it brought back fond memories of his grandfather's tales of the west in Idaho and the SnakeRiver. It also features one of the strongest descriptions of chemistry - a rarity in his fiction, but a subject close to Lovecraft's heart (and mine!).

I've had conversation with some of you, and I've done a great deal of research and have yet to find a smoking "New England" sighting of a meteorite that fits the exact (1882) details. My favorite possibility was of Willamette Oregon published about 1904.

If you type in "meteor" in the search funcion {above} you'll find numerous other discussions of meteors and The Colour Out of Space.

Dateline: Colorado.
Early Morning of 6 December 2008
100 times brighter than the moon.

... the Colorado skies played host to a dazzling fireball event. The meteor blasted through the atmosphere, detonated and outshone the Moon by 100 times. ... the Cloudbait Observatory (5 km north of the town of Guffey, CO) ... managed to capture an all-sky camera video of the early morning explosion.

The Colorado fireball comes shortly after a similar event over Canada on November 20-th, where over two dozen meteorite fragments have been recovered from agricultural land. We wait in anticipation to see if this huge Colorado fireball produced any similar fragments, but eyewitness accounts will be critical to aid such a search. ... All in all, North America is having a great meteor season with no lack of observers, eye witnesses and all-sky cameras. ... astronomer Chris Peterson describes the event: "In seven years of operation, this is the brightest fireball I've ever recorded. I estimate the terminal explosion at magnitude -18. ... Fireballs are defined as meteors that are brighter than the planet Venus. Saturday's fireball was probably caused by a rocky asteroid that was several meters across, said Steve Lee, curator of planetary science at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science. ... "They're not entirely rare - it's probably several times a year somewhere on the globe," Lee said. "It's not something that happens every day." ...Fragments of the fireball, if anything survived the explosion 54 miles above the Earth, would have fallen between Pueblo and Penrose, Peterson estimates. Some pieces may have even landed on Fort Carson.

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