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Otsego Herald

May 23, 2013

Meteors Strikes

From the Otsego Herald

for Saturday, May 22, 1813

Compiled, with comments

by HUGH C. MacDOUGALL

Meteor Falls in Connecticut

New Haven, April 26. A short account of a METEOR, which was seen in this city by a number of gentlemen, on the evening of Saturday the 20th ultimo. [last].

The time of its first appearance was about 15 minutes before 10 o’clock. It continued visible for 6 or 8 seconds ... The writer saw the light which it yielded from the first; although he did not see the body itself until it had been in sight from 2 to 3 seconds.

It consisted of a body and a tail. The body was an ellipsis, with the ends of the transverse somewhat pointed ... The length of the tail was not far from five times the apparent diameter of the sun ... For two-fifths of its length it was an acute decreasing cone; the remainder was an uniform stripe of light. The color of the body was yellower than that of the moon, and its brilliancy obviously greater than that of the tail. The illumination was so strong that standing objects cast very distinct shadows.

Soon after the writer first saw it, numerous sparks of fire apparently snapped from it, and went out immediately. A short time before the meteor disappeared, three much larger pieces separated from it ...

The meteor was itself visible a second or more after their separation from it. It disappeared all at once ... It seemed suddenly to have left the atmosphere, and to have gone in an instant behind some substance absolutely opaque.

A short time after its disappearance, a bright flash was seen in that part of the sky where the meteor was first discovered — this lasted perhaps a second.

About eight minutes after the meteor was gone, a very loud report was heard in the direction of that part of the sky where it vanished. This was accompanied by a very sensible jar, but had little or no roar or echo. The sound was not like thunder, nor like the report of a cannon. It was sharper and quicker than either ...

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