Thursday, December 4, 2008
from The Intellectual Observer, 1864
Now and then, however, the meteor lasts for a minute. Much more remarkable cases are, however, recorded. Thus, on the 7th January, 1856, at 4:50 p.m., a fire-ball appeared in the sky in the South of England, being seen at various places between Wiltshire and the east of Kent. The sky was clear, and the fire-ball appeared to burst out from the sky as a brilliant globe of light. It remained visible everywhere for more than ten minutes before it finally disappeared. In Wiltshire it was seen for twenty minutes, at Brighton for fifteen minutes, at Sevenoaks for ten minutes, and at Blackheath for the same time. Its size was estimated at four times the diameter of Jupiter. In most places it suddenly appeared from the clear sky, but at Blackheath it emerged from, and was lost behind clouds. This very remarkable meteor is one of the best and most distinctly recorded of those which have been seen at great distances apart, and which, being seen for some time, could be clearly identified.