Friday, March 28, 2008
from The Cyclopaedia, or Universal Dictionary of Arts, Sciences, and Literature, 1819
We ought probably to rank with meteoric stones the ignited bodies, or fire-balls, which are not only distinguished from them by their substance not being metallic. Like meteoric stones, they generally fall in the warmest months, and in calm weather; they burn in the same manner, and traverse their path with the same velocity; their explosions are nearly similiar, and that of 1772 had a rotation round its centre. These ignited globes have a roundish form and gelatinous consistence. A globe of fire which fell in the East Indies, in 1218, left, after a dreadful explosion, a round large heap of gelatine, of tolerable consistence. A similar mass, but grey and spungy, was found at Coblentz, after the explosion of a ball of fire.