Re: (IAAC) Green Meteors and optical rods.
Hello Lew and group,
Interesting thoughts about the different variations in colors you have
received in your meteor showering surveys.....
For the most part, "my" meteors are whiteish, greyish, or perhaps
orangey-yellow, I have rarely seen the greenish color. According to my
meteor showering friends, different showers sometimes provide prominence in
a color group or spectrum, why I don't know, perhaps having to do with the
angle and velocity of entry. I think but correct me if I am wrong, that the
Leonids, for instance, sometimes provide a prominent amount of blue-tinted
I have also heard that age and therefore the age of our retinas, rods and
cones, has a lot to do with color perception. My father sees all stars and
even the planets are white. I have heard instances of astro clubs holding
star parties for kids and 10 year olds exclaiming about the red, pink, blue
and green colors of the Orion nebula. Being I am not THAT young anymore, I
will settle for the naked-eye reddish tint, and keep my eyes opened for more
green fireballs, or will even take some yellow or orange ones, too:)
From: Lew Gramer <email@example.com>
To: Internet Amateur Astronomers Catalog - Discussion
Cc: Lew Gramer (me) <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Thursday, March 19, 1998 1:22 PM
Subject: Re: (IAAC) Green Meteors and optical rods.
>The issue of meteor colors and individual perception is actually a fairly
>one among amateur meteor observers... For some years I've been taking an
>informal survey at Star Parties and other observing events where many
>amateurs gather: frequently during a long New Moon night's observing, a
>fireball (meteor brighter than -3) is seen by more than one member of the
>group. Immediately after the "wows!" and "ahhhs!" die down, I ask each
>experienced telescopist privately what colors (if any) they saw in the
>fireball. Almost invariably, there are 5 answers for every 6 observers.
>This same effect can be readily seen in the observing reports of even very
>reliable meteor observers: the scatter of visual colors is very large from
>observer to the next, even for the same meteors. I honestly don't believe
>is an indication that these colors aren't "real": rather, I think it is a
>SYSTEMATIC scatter, related to the thousand tiny variations in spectral
>response from one observer to the next, and from one wavelength to the
>There are a few studies to back this up for meteors, and comments like
>about M42 seem to support the same conclusion for deep-sky objects.
>Just an interesting aside,