Anomalous Meteor Phenomena
- Subject: Anomalous Meteor Phenomena
Now slides the silent meteor on wrote Alfred, Lord Tennyson (1809-1892), and for the most part he was perfectly correct: meteors do slide silently through the upper atmosphere. But every now and then a report comes to light of a meteor emitting sound which is variously described as “hissing”, “crackling” and “humming”. Furthermore, audible meteors are only one of a whole range of anomalous meteor phenomena (AMP) recorded by observers throughout the world.
By and large, AMP have been ignored or dismissed by writers on meteor astronomy: as far back as 1719 Edmund Halley regarded sounds as “the effect of pure fantasy.” Scientists have always had difficulty with phenomena that do not conform with generally accepted theory, and where the science is dominated by amateurs – as with meteor astronomy – the observational methods and analytical techniques employed are often questionable, to say the least. As a result, most AMP have not received the thorough investigation afforded to other unusual astronomical and meteorological phenomena.
In these pages we take a look at some of the phenomena that have been reported – and at some of the possible explanations.
Copyright 1996 Philip M. Bagnall