FWD (SK) Re: Leonids: Imperfect Storm 'Casting

From: Terry W. Colvin (fortean1@mindspring.com)
Date: Tue Dec 11 2001 - 21:39:20 MST

>Last line states reported no time between sighting a meteor and "hearing"
>the sound of it.

According to the theory of "electrophonics" postulated by astronomer Dr
Colin Keay (a member of Australian Skeptics committee) and which has
achieved a fair amount of acceptance in the scientific community, the
"noise" from meteors is propagated as electromagnetic waves, not as sound
waves, so there should be no discernable time between sighting and hearing.
(If I have misrepresented Colin's theory, he will let me know.)

>< http://www.wired.com/news/technology/0,1282,48671,00.html >
> Leonids: Imperfect Storm 'Casting
> By Noah Shachtman
> 2:00 a.m. Nov. 28, 2001 PST
> It turns out the scientists predicting meteor showers aren't any more
> accurate than the TV talking heads who say when it's going to rain.
> The four major forecasts of the timing and strength of mid-November's
> Leonid meteor shower "all were wrong," according to Bill Cooke, a
> scientist at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center, who helped make
> one of the predictions.
> Cooke and the other scientific teams successfully predicted when the
> meteors would fall, preliminary evidence and eyewitness accounts
> suggest. It's the intensity of the storms that they got wrong.
> Peter Jenniskens, from NASA's Ames Research Center, forecasted up
> to 4,200 meteors per hour above North America; the real number was
> more like 1,000. Cooke said that there would be an hourly peak of
> Leonid activity near Hawaii of around 1,300 meteors; instead, only
> about 300 per hour fell.
> "We sort of blew it there," he said.
> Like all meteor showers, the Leonids are caused by the Earth passing
> through the ice and dust left behind by a comet -- in this case, Comet
> Tempel-Tuttle. Every 33.25 years, Tempel-Tuttle comes close to the
> sun. The proximity causes the comet to eject a mass of particles.
> These particles then form bands of debris that orbit around the sun.
> On Nov. 18, Earth passed through at least three such bands. The ones
> from Tempel-Tuttle's solar encounters in 1699 and 1866 went over Asia.
> The band from 1767 could be seen over North America.
> Despite their less-than-crystal-clear predictions of the Leonid
> action, researchers are still heartened by the results. The art of
> forecasting meteor showers is extremely young; the first accurate
> prediction of a shower's timing came just two years ago, when an 1899
> Leonid trail passed over Israel.
> "Before that, no one knew when or where on Earth the shower could be
> best seen. We only knew what day it would come," said the[52]American
> Meteor Society's Robert Lunsford.
> Adds Cooke, "It's only in the last half-decade or so that we've had
> the computing power to try these forecasts."
> Since 1996, Cooke's colleague, Peter Brown, has been assembling a
> computer model of 1 million particles from a comet over a 1,000-year
> period.
> Data from the most recent Leonid shower -- NASA had observers
> stationed from Florida to Guam to the Gobi Desert in Mongolia with
> specially designed, low-light cameras recording the event -- will be
> used to enhance the model, to try to make it more accurate. The other
> scientific teams are also using computer modeling in their work, but
> they all follow different approaches.
> Comets remain objects shrouded in mystery to scientists; the core of a
> comet, for example, was viewed for only the second time ever in
> September by NASA's Deep Space 1 probe.
> One of the biggest mysteries is why people are not only able look at
> meteor showers, but can sometimes listen to them as well.
> "I just walked outside at 4:46 a.m. EST (on Nov. 18) ... and it's
> actually loud. There's a solid stream of hissing.... Is it possible to
> hear meteors?" asked Chris Hahn of Lawrence, Massachusetts, in an
> e-mail to NASA's Spaceweather.com.
> Stranger still, witnesses are reporting no lag between the sight of
> the meteor and the sound of it, as there is with lightning and
> thunder.
> [Part 2 of this story at:]
> < http://www.wired.com/news/technology/0,1282,48671-2,00.html >


What is the mechanism that converts electromagnetic waves into physical
sounds? Do our bodies now have "radio" capability?



Here's a bit more on the subject of talking meteors.


< http://science.nasa.gov/headlines/y2001/ast26nov_1.htm >

Listening to Leonids
NASA Science News

On Nov. 18, 2001, millions of sky watchers saw a dazzling storm of Leonid
meteors. Some observers heard them too!

November 26, 2001: All at once there was a eye-squinting flash of light and
a strange crackling noise. Puzzled sky watchers looked at one another ...
and confessed: "Yes, I heard it, too."

Hearing meteors? It could happen -- and indeed it did, plenty of times
during this month's Leonid meteor storm.

...Full story at URL above...

Terry W. Colvin, Sierra Vista, Arizona (USA) < fortean1@mindspring.com >
     Alternate: < terry_colvin@hotmail.com >
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