Bright fireball recorded on January 9th, 12h 41min UT by 2 video stations of the Brazilian EXOSS Citizen Science Project. Credit: EXOSS

Some bright meteoric events lit up the sky all over the world over the last week. Here is a summary of the most impressive.

Interesting coincidence was observed on January 11th, 2017 over the Netherlands and Germany, when 2 nice fireballs were observed within 4 hours, on the same evening! The first fireball was the most widely observed, at around 16h 07min UT, while the sky was not dark at all, as the Sun had just set. This nice meteor was reported by more than 30 people over the netherlands and Belgium on the IMO/AMS Fireball Report Form. Thanks to these reports, and despite no videos are available (due to the bright sky), a preliminary trajectory could be deduced from the witness reports. Calculations show that the fireball started its bright path above the Western parts of the Markermeer, 10 km South-East of Hoorn. It then flew with a South-Westwards direction (~240° azimuth) to be last visible, after fragmenting, when it was at a ~40 km altitude, 10 km North of Amsterdam.


IMO Event #132-2017 – Over the Netherlands, Germany and Belgium – Witness location and preliminary ground trajectory

Second fireball, observed 4 hours later, around 20h 08 UT, was less widely reported, as nearly 10 witnesses sent their observation to the IMO (again from the Netherlands and Belgium). The trajectory is indeed less precise, but preliminary results indicate the fireball flew over Western Germany, going from the triple point between North-Rhine Westphalia, Lower Saxony and Hesse states with a Eastward flight direction, to end 25 km North of Essen, at an altitude close to 30 km. But more reports would be necessary to have a more accurate atmospheric entry for this object!


IMO Event #135-2017 – Over the Netherlands, Germany and Belgium – Witness location and preliminary ground trajectory

Over North-Eastern United States, South of the Great lakes, another fireball was widely observed on January 8th, around 11h 15min UT, from people located in Wisconsin, Iowa, Illinois, Michigan, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania and near Toronto (Canada). Nearly 150 persons reported having observed this bright meteor, which seemed to have been luminous above Grand Rapids, then flying on a South-South-Western trajectory to end above the Michigan-Indiana border, at a ~40 km altitude.


IMO Event #51-2017 – Over US & Canada – Witness location and preliminary ground trajectory

Further South on the same continent, 2 video stations (in Ciolatina and Vitória cities) of the Brazilian EXOSS project recorded a bright fireball on January 9th, 2017, at 12h 41min UT. This sporadic fireball, which entered the earth atmosphere with a 60° angle and a 18 km/s speed has been flying over Espirito Santo region, on a Northward trajectory on a distance greater than 50 km. Unfortunately, the two cameras did not record the whole meteor path, but a few persons did report the whole trajectory of the fireball. But it’s not yet enough to have an accurate ending point for this object. So if you observed it, do not hesitate to report it on the IMO/AMS Fireball Report Form!

And last, but not least, a daylight fireball was observed on January 15th over Norway! An article on the tiopic should be posted as soon as we have some more information about it. But as no cameras were active at the time, visual witnesses are strongly encouraged to report their observations as soon as possible on the IMO/AMS Fireball Report Form! It’s the only way for us to try to determine the trajectory of the entering meteoroid, and thus calculate its orbit, to determine from which Solar system regions it originated, and where potential metorites could have landed…

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