Full report on Meteor spotted in night sky in England and Wales 8 May 2013

09 May 2013

Yesterday at 9:47pm Twitter media and public responded to a sighting of a large meteor fireball, spotted over England and Wales. UKMON cameras managed to get a video recording of this event, although only partially visible from the videos but we still managed to pull out some scientifically valuable data.

An exact time of this fireball was 21:47:13 BST.

The meteor was confirmed to be a Sporadic meteor and not associated with any known meteor shower. It is not part of the eta Aquarid meteor shower associated with Halley’s comet as previously reported.

A camera at the Norman Lockyer Observatory only just recorded the meteor (top left corner of the field of view) and another camera based in Fleet has captured the beginning of this event (bottom left of the field of view).

According to our calculations the meteor stopped burning at around 28 km above the ground, unusually low and what we call: “almost impact”.  The velocity was around 14 km/s, around 41 times the speed of sound.

Image from Norman Lockyer Observatory camera:

Image from Norman Lockyer Observatory

Image from Fleet camera:

Image from Fleet

Using a clever triangulation from two cameras we managed to draw a ground map:

Fireball ground map

Unfortunately due to the angle between the cameras and poor weather conditions there is likely to be a small margin of error in our calculations.  Also, two cameras have picked out non-overlapping segments of the trail.

Do not be alarmed, the fireball signings and reports are fairly normal at this time of year.

As seen in press, here are the videos:

Fleet camera:

Norman Lockyer camera:

Our thanks to the Solar, Planetary And Meteor (S.P.A.M) team at the NLO for sharing its data.

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