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IMO Event#2563-2017 – Witnesses location and first estimated ground trajectory

More than 60 reports

The International Meteor Organization have received 65 reports so far about of a fireball event seen above Southern France on August, 4th 2017 around 23:10 French Time (21:10 UT). The fireball was seen primarily from Southern France – witnesses from Biarritz to Montpellier and even from Lyon reported the event. The majority of the reports have been submitted through the REFORME (FR) version of the AMS/IMO online fireball form.

If you witnessed this event please
Submit an Official Fireball Report
If you have photo and/or video of the event, please use the AMS version of the form (English only).
Si vous avez été témoin de ce phénomène
Envoyer un rapport d’observation
Si vous avez une photo ou une video de cet évènement utilisez cette version du formulaire (en anglais uniquement).

Estimated Trajectory

The map on top of this article shows the witnesses location with the first estimated trajectory. The preliminary estimated trajectory plotted from the witness reports shows the meteor was traveling from the Southeast to Northwest and ended its visible flight near La Douze (Dordogne – south east of Périgueux).

Below is the first 3D trajectory estimation of the event (available in KML format from the American Meteor Society page of the event). This trajectory still need to be redefined.

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IMO Event#2563-2017 – First 3D Trajectory Estimation

 

UPDATE (06/08/2017)

There are currently more than 170 reports that have been submitted to the IMO/AMS, and a lot of them are still being submitted. In the meantime the team in charge of FRIPON network published their results by taking into account detections of the fireballs on 10 of their stations. The trajectory deduced from these analysis is much more accurate than the ones deduced from the visual reports. According to calculations, the meteoroid entered the Earth atmosphere with a speed of 16.8 km/s and a 20° inclination relative to the horizontal. The meteor started its bright path at the border between the two departments of Tarn and Tarn-et-Garonne, between Bruniquel and Septfonds villages (lat. ~ 44° 06′ N ; lon. ~ 001° 39′ E). The meteor itself remained visible for approximately 7 seconds, while it crossed around 120 km of atmosphere, with a North-North-West direction (Azimuth ~ 335°), before starting its dark flight at a 37 km altitude and at a 7.8 km/s speed, above the Vézère river, near Peyzac-le-Moustier village (lat. ~ 44° 59′ N ; lon. ~ 001° 04′ E). According to all those parameters, meteorite recovery seems very unlikely.

Images showing the video detections of the FRIPON cameras that were used to determine the trajectory of the fireball and the orbital elements of the meteoroids that was the source of the August 4th fireball. Credit : FRIPON

Images showing the video detections of the FRIPON cameras that were used to determine the trajectory of the fireball and the orbital elements of the meteoroids that was the source of the August 4th fireball. Credit : FRIPON

Orbital elements of the meteoroid are the following:
Time (MJD)  = 57970.6878125
Perihelion distance, q = 0.82832832682 AU*
Semimajor axis, a = 1.87360561305 AU
Eccentricity, e = 0.557896111621
Inclination, i = 4.30274091339°
Longitude of the ascending node = 312.440141826°
Argument of perihelion = 60.7900369827°
True anomaly = 343.799618006°

* AU = Astronomical Unit

Light curve f the August 4th, 21h12m UT fireball deduced from FRIPON video records. Credit : FRIPON

Light curve of the August 4th, 21h12m UT fireball deduced from FRIPON video records. Credit : FRIPON
Altitude curve of the August 4th, 21h12m UT fireball deduced from FRIPON video records. Credit : FRIPON

Altitude curve of the August 4th, 21h12m UT fireball deduced from FRIPON video records. Credit : FRIPON

9 comments

  • Hello
    just to inform you of two mistakes in the article.

    Bruniquel and Septfonds villages (lat. ~ 44° 06′ N ; lon. ~ 001° 39′ W) => longitude is 001°39’E (not W)
    Peyzac-le-Moustier village (lat. ~ 44° 59′ N ; lon. ~ 001° 04′ W) => longitude is 001°04’E (not W)

    Reply to Pierre-Marie Pelé
  • j étais à fumel vendredi 4 aout à 23h10..je suis sorti regarder la lune et les étoiles..la lune était presque pleine…j ai pensé à ET…le vélo devant la lune et j ai vu cette boule arriver,j ai cru qu elle était basse..elle s est disloquée en 3 boules en flamme..et elles disparurent dans la nuit…ce fut magique

    Reply to lowell
  • 10/12/17 Thurs night/Fri morning, I saw this around 2 or 3a EST Pittsburgh, PA. The sky was totally dark and cloudy, no stars or moon b/c of cloud coverage. It looked like a vibrant green cluster that appeared, then disappeared (like a bunch of people didn’t turn their flash lights on or off at the same time, but close). No trails that I could see. Just green lights coming on shutting off, 2x. Almost in the same place in the atmosphere. It was the only light that came through the clouds, or I suppose possibly from below, but there were no light sources. They just appeared for a few seconds as a cluster, then “shut off,” not simultaneously, but close. Kind of like the end of a fire cracker. Very defined vibrant green circles, not geometric. Thinking some kind of meteor cluster that burned up maybe? I’ve been googling it for WAY too long. Time to talk to humans…

    Reply to elyse

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