Sunday, December 11, 2005

Great Meteor Display of 1913


While searching for information on C.A. Chant I found a fascinating publication on a meteoric display unlike any seen before or since. This occurred on February 9th 1913. C.A. Chant was instrumental in collecting, analyzing and publishing information about the event which was seen from Saskatchewan to Bermuda.

C.A. Chant's name came to my attention while I was writing up the text for ‘Venus' Phase Naked Eye?’

A facsimile of the book, including eyewitness reports, published by C.A. Chant is viewable online. Here's the site where the facsimile can be found:

‘Facsimile Books & other digitally enhanced Works from:

Here is a short description of the event from W.H. Pickering:




This remarkable phenomenon was in no sense a meteoric shower. It was a different kind of event altogether, and while undoubtedly much less spectacular than a great shower, such as that of Nov. 1833 was in some respects more interesting and instructive.

It consisted of a procession of fire balls and meteors all moving very slowly, in practically the same path across the sky, from horizon to horizon. It was first seen near Mortlach, 65 miles west of Regina, Saskatchewan, lat. 50°.5 N., long. 106° W. It traversed successively Manitoba, Minnesota. Michigan, Ontario, New York, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey a few miles to the south of New York City. It then went out to sea, and appeared next in Bermuda, was seen from the steamship Bellusia, lat. 17° 35'N., long. 51° 11'W., and last from the steamer Newlands, lat. 3° 20' S., long. 32° 30' W.

The distance between the first and last stations is 5,659 miles. Computation indicates that the meteors traversed several thousand miles more, While still within the limits of the earth's atmosphere, thus forming prior to their final destruction a series of minute temporary terrestrial satellites.

Click iconpdficon_large.giffor a PDF version of the document without bookmarks.

The following bookmarked texts (viewable with DjVu) are from the same publication. Listed below are links to each section within the facsimile. The text spans from pages 1/61 - 61/61.

An Extraordinary Meteoric Display
by C.A. Chant, May-June 1913 (1 - 40/61)
Notes on the Gt. Meteoric Stream of 1913, Feb. 9th
by W. F. Denning, Sep. 1913 (41 - 45/61)
The Great Meteor of 9th February, 1913
by W.H.S. Monck, Mar. 1914 (46 - 48/61)
The Meteoric Procession of Feb. 9, 1913
by William H. Pickering., Part I, 27 Sep. 1922 (51 - 53/61)
The Radiant & Orbit of the Meteors of Feb. 9, 1913
by C. C. Wylie, 27 Apr. 1939 (55 - 61/61)

1 Comment:

Rosemary said...

I would have like to have seen that! It sounds very interesting. However, I'm very busy trying to report the events of the world! Aye, it does get rather overwhelming at times. lol.

Let me know if you hear about new visuals. Have a good day.