Announcements

New year starts with a bang in Romania

Never mind the new year fireworks, the start of 2015 happened with an even bigger bang, at least if you happened to be in Romania, Moldova or the Ukraine. The early hours of January 7th saw a massive fireball over the region, culminating in an explosion loud enough to wake people, and causing many to call the emergency services to report the event. In Romania reports of sightings have come in from across the country, putting the time of the explosion at 3:05 EET (01:05 UT), with people hearing the explosion in the counties of Buzau, Vrancea and Covasna.

So far over 50 recordings and eye witness reports have been collected by the IMO, many from surveillance cameras recording sudden brightening of whatever outside area was being monitored. A compilation of videos of the event, as recorded by security cameras, has been posted on youtube. The map below shows the location of the reports received so far, red dots are from surveillance cameras, the blue markers are visual reports from witnesses, and the green dots are reports from those who heard the terminal explosion.

Map of reported fireball sightings from Romania
Image by Raul Truta, compiled from online reports.
Red: detections by cameras, blue: visual observations, green: reports of sound heard.

The reports from Romania of the January 7th fireball put the maximum apparent magnitude of -16, brighter than the full Moon (-13). Roughly one in 1,200 meteors is brighter than magnitude -5, while only one on 12,000 meteors reaches magnitude -8 or brighter, so fireball events like this one are rare.

So far, information on the event is sparse. The explosion appears to have occurred at a height of roughly 55 kilometres and, although some fireballs do result in meteorite fragments reaching the ground, it is likely that in this case the meteoroid completely disintegrated.

Whether a fall occurs or not, the details of events like this can only be determined from combining the information from many eyewitness reports. If you see a bright fireball event like this, you can help researchers by reporting what you saw in as much detail as possible. You can find further information on meteors and other related events, and advice on how to observe and report them, visit the observations section of the IMO website.

WGN 42:6 out now

WGN 42-6

The December 2014 issue of the IMO Journal is now in print. It will be mailed shortly and subscribers can also immediately access the journal in PDF format. The contents this month:

  • From the Treasurer — IMO Membership/WGN Subscription Renewal for 2015 (M. Gyssens)
  • Solar Longitudes for 2015 (R. Arlt)
  • Details of the Proceedings of the International Meteor Conference, Giron, France, 18–21 September 2014 (J.-L. Rault, P. Roggemans)
  • A possible new shower on Eridanus-Orion border (D. Šegon, P. Gural, Ž. Andreić, D. Vida, I. Skokić, F. Novoselnik, L. Gržinić)
  • Observation of April alpha Capricornids (IAU#752 AAC) (SonotaCo, C. Shimoda, H. Inoue, T. Masuzawa, M. Sato)
  • Results of CMN 2013 search for new showers across CMN and SonotaCo databases III (D. Šegon, Ž. Andreić, P. Gural, I. Skokić, K. Korlević, D. Vida, F. Novoselnik, D. Gostinski)
  • Results of the IMO Video Meteor Network — July 2014 (S. Molau, J. Kac, S. Crivello, E. Stomeo, G. Barentsen, R. Goncalves, A. Igaz, C. Saraiva, M. Maciewski, M. Maslov)

Front cover photo: Bright fireball on 2014 February 24 at 01h45m UT from Milton, VT, USA. Photo courtesy: Ethan Rogati.


WGN 42:5 out now

WGN 42-5

The October 2014 issue of the IMO Journal is now in print. It will be mailed shortly and subscribers can also immediately access the journal in PDF format. The contents this month:

  • Letter — Meteoroid streams, meteor showers (J. Rendtel)
  • From the Treasurer — IMO Membership/WGN Subscription Renewal for 2015 (M. Gyssens)
  • Letter — The CMN catalogue of orbits for 2012 (J. Rendtel)
  • International Meteor Conference 2014 report (A. Egal)
  • First announcement of the International Meteor Conference 2015 (T. Weiland)
  • Details of the Proceedings of the International Meteor Conference, Poznań, Poland, 22–25 August 2013 (M. Gyssens, P. Roggemans, P. Žołądek)
  • Various meteor scenes I: the perception and the conception of a ’meteor shower’ (M. Koseki)
  • Various meteor scenes II: Cygnid-Draconid Complex (κ-Cygnids) (M. Koseki)
  • Meteorite producing fragment on the Apophis’ orbit (A. Terentjeva, E. Bakanas)
  • Results of the IMO Video Meteor Network — June 2014 (S. Molau, J. Kac, S. Crivello, E. Stomeo, G. Barentsen, R. Goncalves, A. Igaz)

Front cover photo: Bright meteor on 2014 May 29 at 03h33m UT from Observatorio del Teide, Tenerife, Spain. Photo courtesy: Jürgen Rendtel.

WGN 42:4 out now

WGN 42-4

The August 2014 issue of the IMO Journal is now in print. It will be mailed shortly and subscribers can also immediately access the journal in PDF format. The contents this month:

  • Editorial (J. Kac)
  • News from the IMO Council (C. Verbeeck)
  • Letter — Confusion about 255P/Levy meteors erroneously labelled as December Phi Cassiopeiids and minor shower challenges in general (P. Roggemans)
  • Letter — Skydiver nearly hit by stone (S. Midtskogen, T. E. Hillestad)
  • Results of CMN 2013 search for new showers across CMN and SonotaCo databases II (P. Gural, D. Segon, Z. Andreic, I. Skokic, K. Korlevic, D. Vida, F. Novoselnik, D. Gostinski)
  • The UK Meteor Observation Network (P. Campbell-Burns, R. Kacerek)
  • Results of the IMO Video Meteor Network — April 2014 (S. Molau, J. Kac, S. Crivello, E. Stomeo, G. Barentsen, R. Goncalves, A. Igaz)
  • Results of the IMO Video Meteor Network — May 2014 (S. Molau, J. Kac, S. Crivello, E. Stomeo, G. Barentsen, R. Goncalves, A. Igaz)

Front cover photo: Very bright fireball on 2013 September 28 at 03h33m UT from Ohio, USA. Photo courtesy: Angela McClain.

WGN 42:3 out now

WGN 42-3

The June 2014 issue of the IMO Journal is now in print. It will be mailed shortly and subscribers can also immediately access the journal in PDF format. The contents this month:

  • News from the IMO Commissions (C. Verbeeck)
  • Photographic Commission: Future Plans (B. Ward)
  • Visual meteor observation data handling (J. Rendtel, G. Barentsen)
  • Call for observations of kappa-Cygnids in 2014 (WGN Editorial board)
  • Results of CMN 2013 search for new showers across CMN and SonotaCo databases I (Z. Andreic, P. Gural, D. Segon, I. Skokic, K. Korlevic, D. Vida, F. Novoselnik, D. Gostinski)
  • Camelopardalids (IAU#451) from comet 209P/LINEAR (P. Jenniskens)
  • Exceptionally Persistent Fireball Over the British Isles, 2012 September 21, 21h55m—21h58m UT (A. McBeath, E. Lyytinen, M. Langbroek, R. D. Matson)
  • Results of the IMO Video Meteor Network — February 2014 (S. Molau, J. Kac, S. Crivello, E. Stomeo, G. Barentsen, R. Goncalves, A. Igaz)
  • Results of the IMO Video Meteor Network — March 2014 (S. Molau, J. Kac, S. Crivello, E. Stomeo, G. Barentsen, R. Goncalves, A. Igaz)
  • Determination of the maximum of the Geminid meteor shower from visual observation (J. Drga, M. Janek)

Front cover photo: Frame-by-frame development of a Camelopardalid on 2014 May 24 at 01h58m08s UT. Original recording by Peter C. Slansky; compilation by Jim Albers and Peter Jenniskens.

WGN 42:2 out now

WGN 42-2

The April 2014 issue of the IMO Journal is now in print. It will be mailed shortly and subscribers can also immediately access the journal in PDF format. The contents this month:

  • International Meteor Conference 2014, 33rd edition, September 18-21, Giron, France (F. Colas, J.-L. Rault, J. Vaubaillon, S. Bouley, B. Zanda, L. Maquet)
  • Peculiar activity of the September ε-Perseids on 2013 September 9 (J. Rendtel, E. Lyytinen, S. Molau, G. Barentsen)
  • The September epsilon Perseids in 2013 (S. Gajdos, J. Toth, L. Kornos, J. Koukal, R. Piffl)
  • New showers from parent body search across several video meteor databases (D. Segon, P. Gural, Z. Andreic, I. Skokic, K. Korlevic, D. Vida, F. Novoselnik)
  • Bright Perseids 2007-2013 and artificial Earth satellites collision risk assessment (A. Murtazov)
  • Meteor showers of the southern hemisphere (S. Molau, S. Kerr)
  • Results of the IMO Video Meteor Network — December 2013 (S. Molau, J. Kac, S. Crivello, E. Stomeo, G. Barentsen, R. Goncalves, A. Igaz)
  • Results of the IMO Video Meteor Network — January 2014 (S. Molau, J. Kac, S. Crivello, E. Stomeo, G. Barentsen, R. Goncalves, A. Igaz)

Front cover photo: September ε-Perseids fireball photographed on 2013 September 9 from Gahberg observatory in Austria. Photo courtesy: Erwin Filimon.