Anonymous asked in Science & MathematicsAstronomy & Space · 8 years ago

Trying to find the name and date of a comet...?

Around 1996 or so, plus or minus a few years, i was out camping in minnesota with my family. Around 11pm (so im guessing), me and my father were walking down a trail in the campsite while all of a sudden a comet flew through the sky and lit up everything like it was day. It was the most extraordinary thing i have seen in my entire life (other then the birth of my daughter). I was trying to see if anyone had any information or any clue to what it was that i had seen. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

3 Answers

  • GeoffG
    Lv 7
    8 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    That was not a comet, but was probably a bright meteor, sometimes called a bolide or fireball. Comets are slow moving bodies that take weeks or months to change their positions and brightness. Bright meteors like you describe happen quite often (dozens every year) and are not given individual names. They are local objects, visible only within a few hundred kilometres of where they enter the Earth's atmosphere. If you can narrow down the date, you could check newspapers from that area to see whether others observed it.

    Bright meteors are really remarkable to see, but they are not important enough to astronomers to warrant special names, unless they actually reach the surface of the Earth, when they are usually named after their point of impact.

  • 8 years ago

    Comets don't fly "all of a sudden". They are in the sky for months at a time.

    What you saw was a meteor burning up in the earths atmosphere

  • ?
    Lv 7
    8 years ago

    Comets do not "suddenly fly through the sky". They are normally visible for several weeks on their way to and away from the sun.

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