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Mon, 30 Jun 2014 - Spectacular fireball seen from SW England

Spectacular fireball at  03:04 BST (02:04 GMT) on 2014 Jun 30th 

Will Gater (near Wheddon Cross, Somerset) observed this spectacular fireball while driving home from Exmoor and has supplied this detailed description:

"I did not see the beginning of the fireball; I was alerted to it as the sky/clouds, treetops and road in front of me started to flicker with green-blue light. I initially thought it was lightning, but it continued and as I quickly leaned forward to see what was going on the ‘body’ of the meteor descended into my view. From the moment I saw the sky light up to the moment I lost the bright fragments from view I would estimate at roughly 4 seconds. I’m not sure how to accurately gauge the magnitude of such a bright meteor – the flashes clearly illuminated the treetops/ground around like you see on a full-moon night. I couldn’t see any persistent train (probably due to the cloud), but the fireball was fragmenting from the moment it became visible through the windscreen to the moment it faded from sight. Just before it disappeared, the main ‘body’ of the meteor looked like it was composed of several fragments travelling in quite a compact group; there was clearly one fragment that was much brighter than the others too. The fragments were bright white with the smaller, outer ones fading to orange as the fireball descended. It descended almost vertically downwards. The cloud made recording the direction very difficult, but I believe I was able to identify the Great Square of Pegasus right after the sighting. My guess is that the fireball was in the vicinity of Mirach in Andromeda"

Richard Fleet has posted images on Twitter from the Wilcot South West and West cameras of the UKMON network. Each showed a part of the fireball's path. A video, showing both views of the fireball, can be found at vimeo.com/99522465

A BBC news report, including a video of the fireball captured from the Norman Lockyer observatory in Devon, can be found at www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-28090174

Part of the fireball's path can be seen through cloud gaps near the southern edge of an image star.herts.ac.uk/allsky/imageget.php captured by the Hemel all-sky camera of the Univ of Herts system at this time.

 

 

Added by: Tracie Heywood