The Great Meteor Procession of 1913

On the night of February 9, 1913, inhabitants of a large portion of the northeastern United States and southeastern Canada witnessed a meteoric spectacle that has been described by astronomers as one “without parallel”.

As it was a cloudy winter night, most people were likely indoors and didn’t see anything. But a few lucky individuals with clearer conditions noticed that around 9 PM, a procession of 40 to 60 bright fireballs appeared in the dark sky moving slowly “with peculiar, majestic, dignified deliberation” from one end of the horizon to the other, on a perfectly horizontal path until they disappeared in the distance. The procession was soundless but at least eight stations in Canada picked up rumbling noises accompanied by shaking of buildings. In many other places loud, thunder-like sounds were heard, occasionally by people who had not seen the meteors themselves.

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The Great Meteor Procession of 1913

Painting by artist Gustav Hahn who was fortunate enough to witness the event first hand.


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