Possible Bolide Contrail over Utah. Oct 2 2014

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
unnamed.jpg

Above Oct 2 image from Martin van Hemert, who writes via email:

I found your website the other day when researching some unusual contrails I've seen. I live in Payson, Utah (about 50 miles south of Salt Lake City). In the early morning of November 18, 2009 I saw and photographed some unusual contrails to the east of where I live, unusual in that they had a distinctly bluish cast and a very erratic pattern. Later that day I learned that a very bright meteor was seen in the skies at 12:07 am local time. I wondered if there was any connection, but did not pursue it further.

Earlier this week on October 2, 2014 I witnessed similar contrails in the early morning light. Bluish compared to normal contrails and with an unusual pattern. I again photographed them. Later in the day I learned that a bright meteor had again made an impressive show earlier in the morning, at about 4:40 am local time. The time of my photos in both instances was about 7:00 am. I'm convinced that there is a connection and am hoping you can shed more light on the images or the phenomena. I would appreciate any information you might be able to give.

A note about the attached photos. First, regarding the 2009 contrail, the lens I had on my camera was not wide enough to record the entire contrail in one shot, so I shot 2 and stitched them together. I am a photographer, and well versed in stitching photos. The contrail in the second image (2014) was smaller and/or farther away.

Below are links to 2 local news articles about the 2 bolides. Attached are the 2 images I have spoken of.

Nov 18th 2009:
http://www.ksl.com/?sid=8714738
Oct 2nd 2014
http://www.ksl.com/?sid=31796503&nid=148&s_cid=rec3
Content from External Source
The second image here from Martin is from Nov 18 2009, and shows a trail generally believed to have been from a bolide:

unnamed-1.jpg

My initial impression was that these were rocket trails, however there is a known trail from a small asteroid over Sudan in 2008 which looks quite similar:

http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap081108.html

Explanation: On October 7, the early dawn over northern Sudan revealed this twisted, high altitude trail. Captured in a video frame, the long-lasting persistent train is from the impact of a small asteroid cataloged as 2008 TC3. That event was remarkable because it was the first time an asteroid was detected in space before crashing into planet Earth's atmosphere. In fact, after astronomers discovered 2008 TC3, the time and location of its impact were predicted based on follow-up observations. Later, the impact predictions were confirmed by sensors, including a Meteosat-8 image of a bright flash in the atmosphere. Astronomers are now hoping for more reports of local ground-based observations of what must have been a brilliant meteor streaking through Sudan's night sky. Additional reports could improve the chances of recovering meteorites.
Content from External Source
Reports of the Oct 2nd meteor can be found here:
http://lunarmeteoritehunters.blogspot.com/2014/10/ut-id-fireball-meteor-02oct2014.html

The view in the photo from Payson is approximately ENE, or around 70°



Which would seem to eliminate White Sands in New Mexico, unless the sounding rockets there fly far North.

What do people think? Another bolide trail?
 

Attachments

  • upload_2014-10-6_12-39-57.png
    upload_2014-10-6_12-39-57.png
    251.9 KB · Views: 534
Last edited:

MikeC

Closed Account
That's an amazing array of wind directions to twist it so much!!

I looked up "twisted meteor trail" and found this article of one over Arizona September 2012 (with associated conspiracy theory!!) -

The article has a number of photos of other instances as well.
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
That's an amazing array of wind directions to twist it so much!!

I looked up "twisted meteor trail" and found this article of one over Arizona September 2012 (with associated conspiracy theory!!) -

The article has a number of photos of other instances as well.

SOTT is not a good source. That one is probably a rocket launch.
 

Pete Tar

Senior Member.
Is the wispy appearance because it is literally smoke and more easily wafted around as it's lighter than typical contrails and also lacks their ice crystal structure?
 

Jason

Senior Member
Is the wispy appearance because it is literally smoke and more easily wafted around as it's lighter than typical contrails and also lacks their ice crystal structure?
Does the fact that they are going "up" as opposed to how a plane travels have anything to do with why rocket "trails" always look so pronounced and zig zaggish?
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
Is the wispy appearance because it is literally smoke and more easily wafted around as it's lighter than typical contrails and also lacks their ice crystal structure?

I'm not entirely sure, I think some rocket trails actually are ice clouds. Higher up clouds tends to be wispier though, maybe because there is less air.

The zig-zag is because they are vertical though, passing though layers of air that move in different directions.
 
Top