The Meteor Procession of 1913

On the evening of February 9th, 1913, one of the greatest meteoric events of the modern era occurred when tens of millions of people witnessed dozens of brilliant meteors moving slowly across the sky. Beginning somewhere in western Canada and extending all the way to the Atlantic Ocean just east of Brazil, the meteors followed one after another on an almost identical flight path and extended from horizon to horizon, with individual ones being visible for more than 30 seconds. The entire procession took five full minutes to travel all the way across the sky.

The objects appeared in many different colors depending on where they were observed, but most can agree that the most brilliant parts of the procession were observed over the northeastern United States – even though as many as 30 million people could not see them due to the cloudy winter weather. Observation was also limited due to the procession crossing sparsely populated parts of Canada as well as vast parts of the Atlantic Ocean. Despite this, many in the United States and elsewhere believed that it was the beginning of the end of the world, due to the extremely rare and bizarre spectacle caused by the procession.

The procession was meticulously documented by observers all throughout the Western Hemisphere, but until recently, the full picture of the event was not truly understood. Luckily, several researchers recently took up the task and completed a comprehensive study of all recorded observations of the procession just in time for its 100th anniversary. By correlating the locations of the observations as well as historical meteorological data, they were able to draw the most likely flight path of the procession in its entirety. Needless to say, those who were alive and living beneath the skies of the procession in 1913 were some damn lucky folks.


One thought on “The Meteor Procession of 1913

  1. Although now-a-days, “wishing on a falling star” is not so lucky. They are fortunate that the “caravan” burned up in the atmosphere instead of the Tunguska event or Moscow hit!

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