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Sun, 25 Sep 2016 - Bright Fireball @ 23:34 BST on Fri Sep 23rd

There were many reports of a very bright fireball seen from England, France, Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands at this time.

Richard Fleet (Wilcot, Hants) recorded the fireball via one of his video cameras and a still image of the fireball is shown to the right.

Richard has uploaded this video clip of the fireball to Flickr.

Many witnesses reported their visual sightings of the fireball:

For Emma Laflin (Cambridge), the fireball was heading downwards in her southern sky, just to the left of due south. Her description of the fireball was "It was coming straight down and as it fell the light got brighter and flashed a blue/green/red, orange colour as it got close to the ground. It then disappeared."

Jane McB (Jersey) saw the fireball start in her north eastern sky. She reported the fireball's colours as Light Blue, Light Green, Orange and White and described it ending with a blue green and orange terminal flare.

For Karl Leach (Chastleton, Gloucs) the fireball was in his south eastern sky. His description was "A light green trail finishing in a really bright flash. The flash lit up the whole sky briefly."

Adrian Bradley (London) saw the fireball in a direction between ESE and SE and gave this description "It looked like a molten line of light as it went through the sky. It ended in a bigger flash".

Phillip Dyte (London) also saw the fireball, describing it as being light blue in colour. Unfortunately, nearby buildings obstructed his view of most of it.
For Rob McConachie (Worthing, Sussex) the fireball started high in his NE sky and ended lower down in his eastern sky. His description of the terminal flare was "Bright 'teardrop' flash. White in colour."

Diane Evans (Beaulieu, Hants) saw the fireball start in her north eastern sky and end just to the right of east and described the fireball in this way "glowing blue green train flashed and became bigger as it moved. Then appeared to turn to a smoke grey trail as it travelled across the sky."

Simon Wood (Denny Lodge, Hants) gave this description  "long bright white tail with a ball of an explosion. the top part appeared white grey but the bulk was various shades of blue with a green tinge. Coming from the ball in the direction of travel was a small trail fading in colour from blue to white."

Jim Slight (Lowestoft) described the fireball in this way "Bright red turning to green fireball going through Capricornus heading south towards the horizon. Exploded and fragmentation in a bright white light."

Peter Triffitt (Enford, Wiltshire) described its terminal flare "a very bright flash seemed to leave speckly train", adding that it was bright enough to spoil his night vision for several minutes.

Pete Blakemore (driving south along the M4 near Oxford) saw it as being green in colour and described its fragmentation "sparks from the sides which quickly vanished"

John Hulse (Trefriw, N Wales) saw the fireball in his SE sky and estimated it to be of magnitude -7, describing its colours as "Green, Light Green, Yellow".

Paul Money (Lincolnshire) described the fireball via a Facebook post "At 23:34 BST the sky lit up with the best fireball I've ever witnessed. Almost falling vertically for around 30 to 40 degrees over about 4 seconds and starting as a yellow orange streak then bursting into the brightest fluorescent green I've ever seen ending about twenty or so degrees from the horizon. Reckoned it reached from mag -2 at start to -6 when it flared with what seemed like smaller short lived chunks falling close to it."

The fireball was also imaged by two observers in the NEMETODE video camera network James (Chelmsford, Essex) captured an image of the most of the path of the fireball near the edge of his SE facing camera, while Stephen Bosley (Clanfield, Hants) reported that the fireball entered his SE facing camera's field of view just as it was ending.  Allan Carter (Basingstoke) reported that his cameras recorded the flash from the fireball but, very frustratingly, the fireball itself evaded the fields of view of all of his cameras. William Stewart (Ravensmoor, Cheshire) reported that the fireball would have been outside his camera's field of view, but he did detect it at radio wavelengths.

A large number of reports were submitted to the IMO database. These can be viewed here

The fireball can also be seen in these images from the University of Hertfordshire's all sky cameras at Bayfordbury and Niton (Isle of Wight)   

Richard Kacerek reported his analysis of the fireball in this MeteorNews report . Richard took into account the fireball's path as seen by two cameras of the UK Meteor Observation Network (UKMON) and determined the fireball's trajectory to have been heading in an approx SSE direction roughly midway across the English channel. The fireball was probably of magnitude -6, with the terminal flare reaching mag -10. The fireball's terminal height was found to be approx 50km. The ground track is shown on this map:

If you saw this fireball, but haven't reported it yet, please do so via this easy to use  report form

Reports of other fireballs reported to the section during August and September can be found here  .


Added by: Tracie Heywood