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Re: (IAAC) Green Meteors and optical rods.



The issue of meteor colors and individual perception is actually a fairly hot 
one among amateur meteor observers... For some years I've been taking an 
informal survey at Star Parties and other observing events where many grounded 
amateurs gather: frequently during a long New Moon night's observing, a 
fireball (meteor brighter than -3) is seen by more than one member of the 
group. Immediately after the "wows!" and "ahhhs!" die down, I ask each 
experienced telescopist privately what colors (if any) they saw in the 
fireball. Almost invariably, there are 5 answers for every 6 observers.
This same effect can be readily seen in the observing reports of even very 
reliable meteor observers: the scatter of visual colors is very large from one 
observer to the next, even for the same meteors. I honestly don't believe this 
is an indication that these colors aren't "real": rather, I think it is a 
SYSTEMATIC scatter, related to the thousand tiny variations in spectral 
response from one observer to the next, and from one wavelength to the next. 
There are a few studies to back this up for meteors, and comments like Penny's 
about M42 seem to support the same conclusion for deep-sky objects.
Just an interesting aside,
Clear skies!
Lew

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