Stephen James O'Meara's Secret Sky: Strange meteors
May 2010: Unusual shooting star trails have perplexed, and fascinated, for hundreds of years.
March 29, 2010
We expect meteors to move against the stars in straight lines. But these swift streaks of light, poetically referred to as "shooting stars," don't always meet our expectations — at least not in the opinion of some skilled observers.
B. J. Hopkins observed three meteors in the late 19th century that displayed zigzagging or wavy paths, as shown here. Hopkins noted that “for the sake of clearness” the bends in the paths are shown greatly exaggerated.
Photo by Stephen James O’Meara collection
You are currently not logged in. This article is only available to Astronomy magazine subscribers.
Already a subscriber to Astronomy magazine?
If you are already a subscriber to Astronomy magazine you must log into your account to view this article. If you do not have an account you will
need to regsiter for one. Registration is FREE and only takes a couple minutes.
Non-subscribers, Subscribe TODAY and save!
Get instant access to subscriber content on Astronomy.com!
- Access our interactive Atlas of the Stars
- Get full access to StarDome PLUS
- Columnist articles
- Search and view our equipment review archive
- Receive full access to our Ask Astro answers
- BONUS web extras not included in the magazine
- Much more!