Sat, 15 Feb 2014 - Fireball at 18:30UT on 2014 Feb 15
A bright fireball at 18:30 GMT on Saturday 15th February was seen by many observers, with early reports to the SPA Meteor Section being received from Michael Bonnin (Wells, Somerset), Louise & Ivor Saunders (Saltash, Cornwall), and Terry White (Southampton).
These reports, along with other sightings reported on the Armagh Fireball Reports web page, show the fireball to have been descending towards the southern or south eastern horizon (depending on how far east or west the observers were located). Many observers mentioned the fireball's green colour and some also comment on it having a yellow/orange tail.
A search of Twitter gave an indication as to how much of the country it was seen over (cloud being a limiting factor in some areas). The report locations range from Cornwall in the west through to Essex in the east. It also appears to have been seen from as far north as Cheshire and Yorkshire, although it was lower in the sky from these locations.
The timing of the fireball - during astronomical twilight, together with a bright Moon low in the eastern sky and cloudy skies in some areas - reduced the chances of the fireball being imaged. However, an image (18:30:20 UT) from Devon
showing part of the fireball's path was posted on Twitter ( @nlospam , http://twitter.com/nlospam
). The image shows the fireball descending from Gemini and passing to the left of Procyon.
Two of the Univ of Herts all-sky cameras
had significant cloud interference.However an image http://star.herts.ac.uk/allsky/imageget.php?jde=2456704.27107&c=1
with a 10 second duration and a timestamp of 18:30:20 UT
from the Bayfordbury
camera does show a short bright trail at its southern edge (although with a time gap until the next image, we can't rule out this being part of a trail left by aircraft lights). It was initially believed that the fireball hadn't been recorded by the Niton (Isle of Wight)
camera. However, William Stewart
subsequently spotted that the web page from the camera was showing times in BST (approx!) rather than GMT and there was indeed an image http://star.herts.ac.uk/allsky/imageget.php?c=3&day=15&month=02&year=2014&time=1930
Observations by experienced observers can be particularly valuable. Damian Peach
(Sussex) has posted on Twitter ( @peachastro , http://twitter.com/peachastro
) a chart showing the path of the fireball against the star background. The chart shows the fireball passing to the left of the Pleiades and then just to the right of the point of the "V" of the Hyades.
Added by: Tracie Heywood