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Bright object crossing Zeta Eridani?

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Well, this is my first ever topic on Stargazer's Lounge! I'm really enjoying these amazing forums only after a matter of minutes on the site.


I was out stargazing tonight with my Celestron 114LCM 4.5 inch reflector. I was surprised to see a clear sky after the constant rain showers we got earlier today. I looked to the east and I seen the beautiful constellation that is Orion. Something I haven't seen in a while! But after I aligned my telescope, I looked around Orion and I started to look at Eridanus the river. A constellation that never really gets much attention ( except for Epsilon Eridani which I also observed tonight:icon_biggrin: ) So I started at Beta Eridani and made my way down the river observing each star in the constellation that made up the Eridanus figure.


When I got up to Zeta Erdani ( Zibal ) I observed it's lovely orange hue for a few seconds until a HUGE orange fireball crossed it!! It was at least -1 magnitude! I jumped out of my skin when I seen it through my telescope. It couldn't of been a plane or helicopter cause it was going way to fast to be one!


It was a crazy event to witness alright but it was also pretty cool. The fireball was seen in South East Ireland in Eridanus at about 11:15.


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Interesting observation on the fireball and nice report on the River , I have seen a few from here over the years and agree it is a constellation that is over looked, I for one am not even sure where it runs other than it is about the biggest in the sky. I must put it on my to do list, even if I only look at the stars using my goto on the scope, the Meade system has a constellation guide that will tick off the best 7/8 stars in any given pattern.


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Welcome to SGL!  Nice report; that must have been quite a moment!  Once you're dark adapted anything that "invades" the eyepiece like that can be a shock.  It must have been rather exciting.  I think technically a fireball is any meteor that's brighter than a planet, so brighter than mag -4.

Like Alan, I've always overlooked Eridanus.  I guess it's brighter (and higher) Winter neighbours tend to steal the glory but I think it's got to be worth another look!


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