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Bolide over Scotland 14th July 23:00 BST

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Hello all,

a quick report of a bolide visible over Scotland last night (14th July 2019) at 23:02 local time.  I was parked up in a garage forecourt to collect my son from back shift.  The car was parked facing almost due north and I was looking towards the northern horizon for noctilucent clouds as the sky was so clear.  The lat long location was at 55.7116, -3.8319.

The bolide appeared visible through the windscreen of the car.  It was travelling a few degrees west of north and was large and relatively slow travelling for a meteor.  It had an observable shape, being round and intensely bright, several magnitudes brighter than the nearly full moon behind me.  It was yellow-orange with some hint of green at the margins.  Towards the southern (lower) portion of the object there appeared to be a partial halo or arc that appeared to shimmer (much like a bright planet low to the horizon through a 'scope).  At the tips of this arc there were streams of plasma following the object.

The sighting lasted perhaps a second at most before it dissipated in an intense flash.  There was no fragmentation that I could see.  I first observed it at around 25 degrees above the horizon and lost it at about 10 degrees.  The angle of viewing meant it appeared to be heading almost straight  "down" towards the horizon.

There was no sonic boom that I could hear, even though I had the window of the car wound down.  There was passing traffic however, perhaps masking any low rumble.

This was very different to the "normal" meteors that one sees, even during the summer months when there are several showers and something that was quite unusual.

I've submitted a report to the UK MON this morning and it will be interesting to see if any other lucky amateur astronomers saw the object.


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Hi Richard. There is a sighting of a large meteor reported in the Astro lounge. I was out observing at the time but did not see it, but was mostly facing South. There was a nice noctilucent cloud display just after midnight.

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Just seen that post and think it was the same object.  It was just one of those incredibly lucky things to be looking in the right direction at the right time.

I've witnessed several good displays of noctilucent clouds over the summer while on late night "Dad's taxi duty", but the displays are getting later in the night now and I couldn't stay up after we got home.

The bolide was the brightest I've seen and was quite unlike normal meteors.  I'd estimate it's velocity to be perhaps half or less that of the classic streaks of light such that "normal" meteors appear as.  Still, it was very fast, covering around 1/5th of the elevation of northern sky in a second or so.

There was no central plasma trail visible, but it was viewed in the bright afterglow of the sun which was only just below the horizon.  There were streamers emanating from the tips of what appeared to be an arc of light on the leading edge and that arc was shimmering, like Venus or Sirius does at low elevations in a scope: almost like a tumbling object showing brighter facets at times.  I was looking through the windscreen of the car, so there may have been some aberrations induced by the curved glass and dead bugs.

I'll ask my son if the CCTV at the garage captured the object and if it did, if he can obtain a copy of the video.


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