Thursday, December 4, 2008

from Glasgow Mechanics' Magazine, 1826

(page 255)

Luminous Meteor—On the 2d of January 1825, about 5 o'clock in the evening, M. Antonio Brucalassi, observed between S. Giovanni and Montevarchi, a singular electrical phenomenon. About an hundred paces off, and at the height of ten fathoms or less from the ground appeared, on a sudden, a luminous meteor of the form of a truncated cone. This meteor appeared to be formed by a globe of fire situated in its fore part, which was the narrower, and which, by its rapid motion, left behind a track of light, which gave it the appearance of a cone. This light became gradually less intense towards the base and seemed to be split into rays issuing from the opposite extremity. The whole of the surface was illuminated, an sent out brilliant sparks, like those of electricity, although in the effect shewn, they rather resembled the appearance of iron filings when thrown upon a flame. The whole length of the meteor appeared to be about two fathoms, and the diameter of its base half a fathom. It proceeded from East to West, rather inclining, from the horizontal position, towards the earth; it moved with great rapidity, in 5 seconds going over a space of about 350 paces;—and as it moved it shed a most brilliant light upon a considerable extent of land which it illuminated as in full day light. Its emanations were lost in the air; it did not produce any explosive or hissing noise, and it left no smell behind it; it occurred in a calm, cold night, during a clear sky, and a great number of shooting stars were observed before and after the appearance of this phenomenon.”

No comments: