On December 31, 2017, at 17h 33min UT, a few hours before we entered 2018, a very bright fireball was observed over the United Kingdom (mainly from England and Scotland)! In less than 2 hours after the event, more than 400 reports were sent to the International Meteor Organization. The count now stands at over 800 reports. It was also recorded by UKMON video network.

Map of the witness and trajectory of the December 31, ~17h 35min UT fireball over Great-Britain. Credit: IMO/AMS
Map of the witness and trajectory of the December 31, ~17h 35min UT fireball over Great-Britain. Credit: IMO/AMS

According to reports and videos (see below), the greenish/reddish fireball was quite slow moving, lasted more than 10 seconds, and it fragmented in smaller parts at the end of its luminous path, before vanishing.

Rough automatic analysis of the reports received until now show the meteor started being luminous 80 km offshore Hartlepool, and traveled from East to the West to disappear 100 km onshore and 20 km South of England/Scotland border, halfway between Penrith and Carlisle (Cumbrie county). At the end of its luminous path, the meteoroid was nearly 50 km in altitude, which gives no chances for any meteorites to reach the ground.

Cropped picture of the December 31st, ~17h 35min UT fireball, captured by Haylie Campbell, from Harrogate, England. Credit: Haylie Campbell

If you observed, photographed, or filmed this fireball, please report it! This will help to improve the calculations of the atmospheric trajectory of the meteoroid.

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