Re: Distinguishing Fireballs

Lew Gramer (
Tue, 09 Jul 96 15:59:02 -0400

>I have two questions.
>Question 2:     I am looking for visual ways to distinguish natural
>meteoric fireballs from re-entering man-made debris fireballs. Does anyone
>know references for this information?
>Tom Ashcraft

I second Tom's question! This topic has come up before on the meteorobs list, 
but the answers were somewhat inconclusive. These events are rare enough that 
this hasn't bothered meteor observers much. But there's actually now a quite 
practical reason for asking it again of a broader audience.

Another related question:
Question 3: Is there a reliable software application and/or internet source for 
decay predictions? Meaning a program which scans two-line elements of many, many 
satellites, and perhaps some other input data, and makes predictions of likely 
decay objects, times, and trajectories? (Magnitudes would be great too, but I 
wonder if there are any good models of burn intensity for decay objects yet?)

Thanks in advance!
Lew Gramer