Distance illusion for fireballs

From: Thomas Goodey via Seesat-l <seesat-l_at_satobs.org>
Date: Sat, 28 Feb 2015 09:46:44 +0900
On 27 Feb 2015 at 13:09, Frank Reed via Seesat-l wrote:

>They [fireballs] "appear" to be quite close by. I would
>speculate that it's because we're familiar with common
>fireworks which have a certain brightness to distance
>correlation which meteor fireballs do not match at all... I
>have found that it is very hard to convince observers who have
>recently seen a fireball that they're not going to find a
>meteorite on the ground in their neighbor's backyard... 

I have experienced this myself. A few years ago, in Kent 
(England) I saw a spectacular bolide fireball while I was 
driving along at night, at about 25 degrees elevation. I 
really thought it was a firework. Later I reported it and 
was congratulated on "seeing such a spectacular object". In 
fact the meteor in question was about a hundred miles away, 
over northern France and Belgium. One really cannot tell 
how far away something in the sky is.

Thomas Goodey

The introduction of a multiplicity
of objectives into a problem not
only destroys its unity, but also
increases markedly both the
time necessary for, and the
actual personal danger involved
in, its solution.
------------ Nadreck of Palain VII

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