Have you witnessed a bright fireball meteor event in the UK?
Have you ever seen a very bright meteor? Congratulations, you most likely saw a fireball! A fireball is simply a bright meteor streaking across the sky. Compared to the planet Venus which is about -4 magnitude, a fireball has to be brighter than Venus. Fireballs come in a variety of speeds and even colours. Bright meteors, fireballs, occur randomly throughout the year and we tend to see small explosions. UKMON usually records half a dozen of these types of events.
Compared to a fireball, a bolide is even brighter than the fireball, which is brighter than a normal meteor. I know, we could not make this simpler. Bolide fireball meteors are those heavyweight class of fireballs, brighter than the moon, with ability to cast a shadow. With Bolide fireballs, it also tends to be a case where we can see a large terminal explosion and seen fragmentation. These events happen fairly rarely, maybe once per year or two. The last one we recorded was the St. Patrick's Day fireball.
The United Kingdom Meteor Observation Network (UKMON) collets public reports on behalf of the International Meteor Organization (IMO) and contributes to a global database of fireball reports. Even if you are not quite sure what you saw, we still would like to hear from you and collect your witness report of the event you saw. It's always something interesting going on up there like International Space Station passing through, Iridium satellites flashes or Elon Musk's Starling satellites.
You witness report observation and report can help us identify the type of the event, intensity and rough location. UKMON has 30+ cameras but some events still slip through and don't get recorded. In this case, public fireball reports can help identify the area and even roughly triangulate the event.
UKMON does not record or keep any of your data provided. The form is integrated with our website and you are providing data directly to the International Meteor Organization. This International Fireball Program was initiated in 2013 by the American Meteor Society (AMS).
Yes of course! If you'd like to set up a meteor detection camera we have put together some guidance to help you with equipment choices and setting up the various components. Join our community or citizen scientists and contribute to science with the data you gather.