Attached below, is an email from my friend Nicolas Biver, an astronomer at the Univ. of Hawaii, IFA. He is undoubtedly the best witness to Friday night's incredible fireball, since he had clear skies and actually directly observed it. (I was clouded over, but saw the end of it through a clearer patch). Based on his refined observations, and mine on Maui, I have recalculated the probable location and height of this monster. Its end point was at a height of 33.9km, 64km NE of Hana on Maui. That puts it 145km due N of Mauna Kea, 235km due E of Honolulu. I am rather surprised at the lack of further reports or media attention to this event. If it was bright enough to cast shadows in Honolulu, surely many people would have noticed it. Maybe its low altitude in the E may have restricted visibility there, because a part of Honolulu and Waikiki eastern horizons are obstructed by mountains and the Diamond Head. Mike.
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- To: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Subject: Re: Amazing FIREBALL 100km N of Big Island???
- From: Nicolas Biver <biver@IfA.Hawaiidot edu>
- Date: Mon, 7 Feb 2000 09:16:08 -1000 (HST)Hi mike, I have just completed a FIDAC report, having now my notes with me. I just found that the trajectory I noted is RA/Dec 11h40/-2 to 12h25/-4 (off by 1h from what I told you before - sorry), but since I missed more than half of it, it must have begun higher in the sky. Converted into Azimuth/elevation it gives Az=100 +18 down to az=98 +7 degrees, compatible with my rough estimate of 15 to 5 degrees, azimuth 95 (instead of 85 as I may have said - from memory). So that must be good within 3-4 degrees. What do you call a VIR ? Sorry for not having told you much about it earlier (I did not come much here to look at my e-mail this week-end). Otherwise, I looked for other witness saturday at the HAS star party: I only found information from Warren (if I am right about his first name...) who, after I told him about it, did not really see it, but realize that at that time he saw something casting clear shadows of trees on his wall (or something like this), moving - which he did not think initially to be a fireball, but then he said that it must have been quite impressive to cast shadows so clearly! He also suggested (or someone else) that police may/should have received some phone calls, since people travelling eastbound on the H1 freeway (at least), shouldn't have missed it, as it was low, very bright (as car high beam headlights) due east... Nicolas
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