Sigma Hydrid Fireball on 5th December 2016

Fireball date: 5 December 2016 at 02:23:37 UT

Fireball ID: M20161205_022337

Just before 2:30 on a chilly December morning a meteoroid weighing just a few grams burned up high over central Wales. Because of its high velocity of 58 kilometers per second it was completely vaporised in little over a second, producing a meteor significantly brighter than Venus, and bright enough to be called a fireball.

It came from the Sigma Hydrid meteor stream, which was originally detected from photographic observations in the 1950s. With a rate of just a few meteors per hour it isn’t a spectacular shower, although it does produce a few bright meteors.

Three UKMON cameras recorded the event

Wilcot, Wiltshire

East Barnet, London

Clanfield, Hampshire

Ground Image

This meteoroid had travelled from the distance of Saturn to within Mercury’s orbit for thousands of years before Earth got in the way on December 5th. The parent body hasn’t been identified yet but the shape of the orbit suggests it came from a now inactive comet.

Orbit Image