(meteorobs) Interesting facts about meteor showers

Bias, Peter V pbias at flsouthern.edu
Wed Sep 1 21:45:24 EDT 2004

Hi Larry,
We really don't need another explanation since we already have the correct one.  
You are right that meteors will appear all over the sky--they do during meteor showers.  BUT they appear to be coming from the direction of the radiant, not directly starting out of the radiant itself.  That is, only if you trace the meteor trails back will you find that they more or less intersect in a small section of the sky, the radiant.
You are also right that the earth will pull the meteoroids toward its center as they approach, BUT that won't be very obvious to a single observer that is able to see only a very small section of the earth's atmosphere.  All the meteors visible from a particular location will be pulled about the same amount and thus still remain parallel to one another in space.  If you could view the meteors from all sides of earth at once you probably would be able to see differences in how they approach.  We simply don't have this opportunity.
Pretty sure we've at least figured this part out about meteors.
    Pete Bias
    Lakeland, FL
    (Charley got us and Frances is coming.  Sheeesh.)
-----Original Message----- 
From: meteorobs-bounces at meteorobs.org on behalf of LarryFarma at aol.com 
Sent: Wed 9/1/2004 5:02 PM 
To: meteorobs at meteorobs.org 
Subject: (meteorobs) Interesting facts about meteor showers

	                When the earth encounters a swarm of meteoroids, 
	i.e.,  a so-called "meteor shower,"     the meteoroids would enter the
	atmosphere at random locations and the meteor trails should
	therefore appear to start all over the sky,   not just in the
	vicinity of a single constellation ( as you  know,  showers
	are named for the constellations that the meteors appear to
	radiate from)        Meteor trails start about 50 miles up,   and
	ANY randomly located events occurring about 50 miles up
	are going to appear to an observer to be occurring
	all over the sky ---- there is nothing mysterious
	or deceptive about my reasoning here.   
	           Meteoroids in a swarm,   when encountering the
	earth's gravity,    would not maintain their directions
	but would be deflected in differing directions by the earth's
	gravity,    with the result that the meteoroids would be
	coming from every which way,   and hence the meteor
	paths could not all be directed away from a central point.    This
	fact and the fact that the meteoroids would enter the
	atmosphere all over the sky  clearly show that the
	notion that so-called "meteor showers" ---  where the trails
	all appear to diverge from a small area of the sky --- are
	caused by swarms of meteoroids is ABSURD.
	           Any alternative explanations as to what REALLY
	causes meteor showers ?
	Larry Fafarman
	Mailing list meteorobs
	meteorobs at meteorobs.org

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