This is a planned article. The idea is to investigate the history of meteors as a comparative case to the current scientific situation of earth lights, Will-o'-the-wisps, and the other phenomena covered by this site. It was held for many years that meteors were a geophysical phenomenon, being generated by the earth, before it was calculated that they actually came from space. Indeed, it wasn't until 1802 that Edward Howard read a paper in front of the Royal Society with the belief of extra-terrestrial origins of meteors, and it wasn't until 1833 that Prof. Denison Olmstead finally resolved the matter to the satisfaction of the scientific community.
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We are not, historically, very good at identifying what comes from the sky. Meteors were for a long time dismissed as myth or misunderstanding of other natural phenomena, but we now know them to have a definite cause. But though meteors are explained, both the history the explanation and the other anomalous and quasi-anomalous aspects of meteor sightings that still exist merit research.
The Blobs; Education Guardian:
This description of a spectacular meteorite fall is a fine example of the phenomenon named by Welsh shepherds, pwdre (sometimes powdre) ser or "the rot of the stars" and also known as star slough, star shot, star spawn or star jelly. These gelatinous blobs, usually whitish, translucent and foul smelling, have been associated with meteorite falls for centuries.
Selected cases of Star Jelly. Pwdre Ser or 'Star Jelly', by Bill Baird. mucilage atmosphe/rique.
Star Jelly - On the evening of October 8, 1844 two men were walking in a field near Coblentz, Germany, when they observed something luminous fall to the ground. It was too dark to see the object, so the men marked the spot and came back by daylight to look at it. What they found was a mass of gray jelly which quivered when they poked it with a stick.
- The UnMuseum
"A substance which fell from meteors, or was found where the latter had fallen, was formerly known as "Tripa'r Ser," or "star-jelly." It was considered very fortunate to find it." - Heavens and Earth.
"she recalled it mentioned a poem by Tennyson which made reference to a star jelly" - The WHY-Files.
As he whose quicker eye both trace A false star shot to a mark't place Do's run apace And, thinking it to catch, A jelly up do snatch. - Sir I. Suckling, Poems Farewell to Love - 1541.
- Weird Science
* http://science.nasa.gov/headlines/y2001/ast26nov_1.htm * http://www.jas.org.jo/radio.html * http://users.hunterlink.net.au/~ddcsk/
@@Sean B. Palmer