On 10 February 2020 people from India were witnesses to a bright fireball event. It was visible from a large part of the country. The event occurred around 23:48 UTC, or at 05:18 IST on 11 February 2020. Although the fireball was only visible for a few seconds, there are videos of the event that cause a lot of chatter in social media.
It is under discussion if some of the meteoroid remnants, that survived the meteoroid’s path through the atmosphere, crashed into a factory leaving a crater in the ground, as suggested e.g. by The Watchers. Nonetheless, we do not expect that the fireball and the crater are actually related, but rather a coincidence of place and time.
The entering object was large enough to be detected with US government sensors. They published coordinates of 28.2° N, 76.7° E, a velocity of 31.7 km/s, and an energy of 95 t TNT of the entering object.
It could also be measured by infrasound stations. The closest station of the International Monitoring System of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organisation was almost 3000 km away from the event but in its waveforms a signature of the fireball could be identified.
We were able to calculate a source energy of the entering meteoroid of about 53 t TNT. With the velocity published from CNEOS and an assumed density of 3000 kg/m3 the size would be around 0.7 m diameter, with a mass of about 440 kg.
Even orbital elements were determined and posted by vareck on Twitter:
New CNEOS meteor, and an interesting one. This for the 2020-02-10 23:48:17 dated one – possibly visible near New Delhi, India. Back of napkin elements: a=1.40 AU e=0.82 i=2.04547° ω=311° Ω=321° q=0.24 AU Q=2.55 AU close pass to moon inbound (?) enough for a slight deflection pic.twitter.com/JMIVP6FdKb
— vareck (@vareck) February 12, 2020
AMS/IMO has only two witness reports so far. Let’s change that!
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