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Major Fireball Over Northern Britain, September 22


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  • Location: ilminster Somerset
  • Location: ilminster Somerset

    yeahbabyyeah mentioned theat he had seen this fireball over in the solar activity thread,so i thought i would post this extract from the news letter of the society for popular astronomy, interesting read

    Here is the latest round-up of news from the Society for Popular

    Astronomy. The SPA is Britain's liveliest astronomical society, with

    members all over the world. We accept subscription payments online

    at our secure site and can take credit and debit cards. You can join

    or renew via a secure server or just see how much we have to offer by

    visiting http://www.popastro.com/


    By Alastair McBeath, SPA Meteor Section Director

    At 20:31 UT on September 22-23, a brilliant fireball, estimated as

    brighter than full Moon by several witnesses, appeared over northern

    Britain. Reports are in to the SPA so far from twelve sites from near

    Newburgh on the coast north of Aberdeen, south to Accrington in

    Lancashire, and west as far as Co Antrim in Northern Ireland.

    Suggestions are the object peaked perhaps in the range magnitudes

    -14 to -18, lighting up the whole sky from some places, as the very

    slow-moving meteor crossed on a general westerly to easterly track,

    probably across southern Scotland and perhaps the far north of

    England. The fireball was visible for around 5 or 6 seconds judging by

    the better estimates, with colours suggested as orange-yellow for the

    head of the object, and a blue-green tail following. Several people saw

    it fragment, maybe into 3 or 4 pieces, towards its end, and it may have

    left a persistent train for some seconds too. There was one report of

    simultaneous sounds which may have been associated with the event,

    but curiously this was from one of the most distant observers. No other

    reports of sounds simultaneous or some time later (due to normal

    sound waves from a sonic boom) have yet come through. Further

    details to try to refine the possible track are still being sought from the

    lucky observers. Thanks are due especially to the witnesses, and

    Darren Moody, President of Aberdeen AS, for rounding-up and

    forwarding many of the Scottish sightings.

    Ten days earlier, on September 12-13 at around 19:02 UT, so still in

    daylight, three witnesses in Kent, Hampshire and Dorset, reported a

    magnitude -4/-6 or brighter fireball probably out over the Channel or

    northern France. No further information has been established for this

    meteor as yet however, nor have any sightings from the Continent

    been recovered on it.

    Anyone else who spotted either event, or any other fireballs - meteors

    of magnitude -3 or brighter - from the British Isles or nearby is welcome

    to send a full report to the Meteor Section as soon as possible. The

    minimum details I need from you are:

    1) Exactly where you were (name of the nearest town or large village

    and county if in Britain, or your geographic latitude and longitude if

    elsewhere in the world);

    2) The date and timing of the event (please be sure to state whether this

    was in clock time, currently BST in Britain, or GMT/UT, which is BST

    minus one hour); and

    3) Where the fireball started and ended in the sky, as accurately as

    possible, or where the first and last points you could see of the trail

    were if you didn't see the whole flight.

    More advice and a fuller set of details to send are outlined on the

    "Fireball Observing" page of the SPA website, at: http://snipurl.com/3wyh4 .


    By Alastair McBeath, SPA Meteor Section Director

    A wholly unexpected meteor outburst happened for at least a few hours

    centred around 08h UT on September 9. It was observed and recorded

    by several video systems and visual observers across North America,

    and by radio meteor observers in Europe and North America. Reports

    indicate the event produced a high proportion of magnitude +1 and

    brighter meteors. The brightest so far seem to have been about

    magnitude -8. Initial claims that this was due to the usually-minor

    September Perseid meteor shower (SPE), which peaks around

    September 9, remain unconfirmed, because estimates of the radiant

    position for the outburst meteors suggest it was some way from the

    expected SPE radiant, and the meteors, although swift-moving, may

    have been somewhat slower than the typical 66 km/sec SPE velocity.

    Further investigations have suggested the shower was active in video

    results over Europe on the previous two nights, September 7-8 and

    8-9, and it may have been detected previously, as International Meteor

    Organization (IMO) results originally presented to the 2006 International

    Meteor Conference, found a minor radiant centred at 03h08m RA, +39

    deg Dec active around September 8 or 9, with an atmospheric velocity

    of 61 km/sec. This position seems quite close to the details as

    currently estimated.

    Please bear in mind the following data are all very preliminary still, and

    are subject to confirmation and change, but there does seem a growing

    consensus. The first information was from 25 video meteors caught on

    camera by the Marshall Spaceflight Center in the USA. These

    suggested the outburst radiant was around 03h20m RA, +43 deg Dec.

    Next, regular Section contributor and video observer Enrico Stomeo in

    Italy imaged seven meteors on September 8-9 which gave a radiant

    near 03h13m RA, +38 deg Dec, with a mean atmospheric velocity of

    56 km/sec. Another regular Section contributor, video and radio meteor

    observer, Jeff Brower in British Columbia, Canada was well-placed to

    catch the main event. Working tirelessly and closely with Finnish

    meteoricist Esko Lyytinen in the weeks since the event, using Jeff's

    results, plus trying to analyse additional details from fellow North

    American video observers Tom Ashcraft and Ken Tapping, has now

    suggested a radiant close to 03h10m RA, +39 deg Dec, with a

    suspected mean atmospheric velocity of ~64 km/sec. Interestingly,

    Esko also caught unusual bright-meteor activity probably from this

    radiant on September 7-8 in his video observations. Other showers

    have been suspected of producing activity from near this location in

    past years too, going back to the 1950s, so it may be this is an

    occasional, perhaps periodic, source. By contrast to all these positions,

    the SPE radiant for September 9 as found in IMO visual and video

    results in recent years has been closer to 04h00m RA, +47 deg Dec.

    As for the outburst itself, Jeff Brower's all-sky video fireball camera

    recorded 13 meteors brighter than magnitude +1 between 04:12-12:26

    UT on September 9. Eleven of those happened between 07:26-09:21

    UT, and there is a suggestion in Jeff's results alone that the peak may

    have been within a few minutes of 08:01 UT. The mean centre timing

    for all the meteors like this he recorded was 08:25 UT. The IAU reported

    the peak as at 08:20 UT +/- 20 mins, with activity lasting for about four

    hours overall away from this time in their Electronic Telegram No.

    1501. The Marshall camera's meteors were recorded between 06:20-

    10:30 UT.

    IAU ET 1501 also indicated no unusual visual activity was seen by

    experienced observer Paul Martsching in Iowa, USA from 05h-06h UT,

    but he caught increased rates thereafter, with many negative magnitude

    events. Clear peaks in radio meteor echo-counts roughly coincident

    with the video outburst timings have been mentioned from their own

    results so far by Jeff, Esko and our own Assistant Director David

    Entwistle in England. Jeff mentioned Ken Tapping also recorded the

    event by radio (Ken is a professional radio astronomer), but

    investigations of this aspect are still on-going.

    More comments, including copies of David's radio graphs and links to

    other Internet sites with initial details, can be found on the SPA's

    Observing Forum topic at: http://snipurl.com/3wyik. Particular thanks

    are due to all the named observers, and especially to Jeff Brower who

    provided a series of daily updates on the latest findings to David and

    myself in mid September. Anyone else who was observing on nights

    around September 9, whether in the UK or elsewhere in the world, and

    who recorded notes on meteor activity they have not submitted yet, is

    welcome to do so as soon as possible, please.

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  • Location: Larbert
  • Location: Larbert

    Anyone contacted ATC or informed them. It might've shown on their radar screens or radar sectors.

    Alert Spaceweather.com. they'll put a post up and alert the world..surprised it's not been mentioned on there already.

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  • Location: Larbert
  • Location: Larbert

    Maybe it stalled due to encountering huge amounts of CO2 in the atmosphere?!

    Actually, yeah as soon as I posted that link, I realised how out of date it was...I've posted this topic on the SC24 forums, if interested on replies over there B)


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  • Location: Lower Brynamman, nr Ammanford, 160-170m a.s.l.
  • Location: Lower Brynamman, nr Ammanford, 160-170m a.s.l.
    Anyone contacted ATC or informed them. It might've shown on their radar screens or radar sectors.

    Alert Spaceweather.com. they'll put a post up and alert the world..surprised it's not been mentioned on there already.

    I think Yeahbabyyeah's original post said that nothing had showed up on the ATC radar.

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  • Location: Darton, Barnsley south yorkshire, 102 M ASL
  • Location: Darton, Barnsley south yorkshire, 102 M ASL
    I wonder if this is what Chassibot saw too? > http://www.netweather.tv/forum/index.php?s...c=49410&hl=

    I've seen it many more times since i posted my original thread AND it always starts and ends in nearly the same place in the sky. Chinise lanterns me thinks.

    There was a follow up article about this in the Barnsley chronicle too saying the same.

    I mean..... What sort of stupid redneck hilbilly alien race would invade barnsley eh.... they probily didn't want to be late for the shaw carpets wharehouse clearence sale! B)

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  • Location: Portlethen - Aberdeenshire
  • Location: Portlethen - Aberdeenshire

    Thanks Blackdown for the post regading the Meteor. Was interesting to find out there were so many other witnesses, the AAS has been in touch with me a few times, for some reason they seem to be taking a lot of interest i this, including directions, degrees of entry, exact time, etc etc!!!

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