(meteorobs) Interesting facts about meteor showers
Bias, Peter V
pbias at flsouthern.edu
Wed Sep 1 21:45:24 EDT 2004
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.
(Charley got us and Frances is coming. Sheeesh.)
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 ?
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