22 November 2009

Meteor shower sighted in Gauteng

Last night a few friends and I were having a much deserved party after finishing this year's studies. We were sitting outside on the stoep smoking hubbly and having a few drinks. At approximately 11 pm, the sky lit up, becoming almost as bright as daylight. I turned around, having observed the light as coming from behind me, and saw a bulb on the horizon. The bulb was a bright light, with the rest of the sky glowing in blue and green colours, almost as big as the ass of Jennifer Lopez. Astonishing!

Meteor shower
This is not what it looked like at all. We could not observe any particles, only a very bright glow in the entire sky. This picture is from the BBC article to give you an idea of what it was.

A few girls were at the opposite end of the building. They came running around, asking if we'd seen the UFO. Apparently they also observed a bulb on the horizon, with the exception that the glow had been red and orange instead of our green and blue.

Naturally, we were curious to find out what this UFO is. We knew it couldn't be ESKOM's doing because they don't have that kind of power. Some party-goers suggested that it's time to go to church, but I pointed out that this would raise more questions than it could provide answers. What is the nature of the UFO?

The Leonids Meteor Shower

It appears that we were fortunate enough to witness the Leonids. The Leonids get their name from the constellation Leo, from which their stream of meteors appears to originate at roughly 17 November each year. The Leonids are a result of the comet Tempel-Tuttle. Tempel-Tuttle is a comet that passes the earth each 33 years. Tempel-Tuttle last passed the earth in 1998. The Leonids are debris in the trail of the comet. Every time the earth passes through the trail, we get a meteor shower.

We thought it could be the end of the world. Naturally this made the beer taste better and forced me to stop giving the other people a chance at Tekken 6. Yes, the Mash Master showed no mercy.

Further Information About the Tempel-Tuttle Comet

1 comment:

jeannine davidoff said...

this happened on my birthday. i was not in gauteng at the time - so i missed it

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