On the first evening of 2020, at 18h 26min UT, a -10 fireball was observed and recorded by PRISMA video network over Northern Italy. After careful trajectory analysis and having make the public aware of potential meteorite fall in the region of Cavezzo (Province of Modena), two pieces (55 g) of the fresh meteorite fall were recovered on January 4th.

The New Year fireball was recorded by 8 PRISMA/FRIPON video stations, including Loiano station. Credit : PRISMA/FRIPON

On Wednesday January 1st, at 18h 26min UT, a very bright and long lasting fireball was reported by nearly 50 witnesses over Northern Italy, and recorded by 8 cameras of PRISMA (Prima Rete per la Sorveglianza sistematica di Meteore e Atmosfer)/FRIPON (Fireball Recovery and InterPlanetary Observation Network) video network.

Map of visual witnesses who reported their observations of the January 1st, 18h 26min UT fireball over Northern Italy. Credit : PRISMA/IMO/AMS
PRISMA/FRIPON video stations which recorded (in green), the January 1st, 18h 26min UT fireball. The recordings of the 8 of them allowed to calculate its atmospheric trajectory, and potential meteorites fall area. Credit : PRISMA/FRIPON

Analysis of recordings show the 6-second long fireball reached a magnitude of -8 that dropped to -10 during a last fragmentation, near 32 km altitude. Final visual altitude was estimated to be 20 km.

January 1st, 18h 26min UT fireball trajectory calculated from the 8 PRISMA/FRIPON video detections. Credit: PRISMA/FRIPON

The calculated entry speed of the 8 kg meteoroid was close to 12 km/s, and its entry angle was 68° relative to the horizontal, which explains the strong ablation process: only 150 g of meteorites were expected to have survived the atmospheric entry.

On Thursday 2nd, Prisma published an article explaining the observed fireball. After fireball trajectory analysis, they also alerted people that some meteorites may have fallen around Disvetro village, a few kilometers North-West of Cavezzo (Province of Modena), in the Po valley, with an uncertainty ellipse of 2.2 x 1.5 km. Two days later, having heard of this piece of news, Davide Gaddi, who walked along Secchia river with his dog found two starnge rocks, which were quickly confirmed to be meteorites by Daniele Gardiol, the whole weighting 55 g! Trajectory analysis show this object came from the asteroid belt.

55g of very fresh meteorites were discovered by a jogger and his dog on January 4, 2020, in the city of Cavezzo. Credit : PRISMA

A great news for the beginning of this New Year that congratulate PRISMA and FRIPON/Vigie-Ciel teams!

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