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A Nineteenth Century Daylight Meteor

Yesterday I came across this image in Astronomy, by George F. Chambers,  1914(?).   The caption reads:

Daylight meteor seen at Penshurst, Kent, June 20, 1866.  Length of coloured portion 1 degree; space traversed in 2 seconds, 80 degrees.  (J. Nasmyth)

A quick search led to The daylight meteor of 1866 June 20, Chris Trayner, WGN, Journal of the International Meteor Organization, vol. 32, no. 4, p. 122, 2004, from which comes the following account by Nasmyth:

While walking in my garden at about a quarter to eleven on the forenoon of June 20th, I was startled to see a bright red comet-shaped object rapidly moving across the clear blue sky about 35 degrees above the horizon.  The length of the meteor was about 1 degree, or twice as long as the Moon appears in diameter.  The motion was majestic, yet rapid, for it traversed a space of 80 degrees in rather less than two seconds.  The direction was from N.W. to S.E.  The advancing end of the meteor was brilliant red, with a white or shining envelope or head; the after part, or tail, was a ragged fan-shape, with a waving motion, accompanied by white vapours, and followed by a faint white vapour-trail.  It disappeared from my sight behind a mass of clouds, and I listened for some time to catch any report or sound of explosion, but I heard none.  The passage of the meteor was nearly parallel to the horizon, but with a slight dip or decline to the S.E.  It is impossible to convey by words the impression left by the appearance of this mysterious object, majestically traversing the clear blue sky during bright sunshine.  Had it made its appearance at night, the whole of England would have seen more or less of its light.

Trayner states that the meteor was seen over Sussex, Kent and from the coasts of northern France, Belgium and even Holland.  "J. Nasmyth" was almost certainly the scottish engineer James Nasmyth, who moved to Kent and took up astronomy after he retired in 1856.

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