Meteorite from SAR2667 Found in France!

On 13th February at 02:59, a small asteroid, SAR2667, also known as 2023 CX1, entered the Earth’s atmosphere over the English Channel heading towards France. The spectacular fireball was captured on many cameras (example below) allowing trajectory analysis to be performed.

Crédit : Josselin Desmars, IMCCE (photo taken over Paris)

Now, a search team from FRIPON/Vigie Ciel have found a meteorite on the ground! The discovery was reported on 15th February. About 100 grammes of material has so far been recovered.

This is the first known fall in France since the Draveil fall in 2011, and represents a really important scientific opportunity. Lets hope more material is recovered soon!

The trajectory and orbit of the asteroid can be seen here on the UK Meteor Network’s website, along with more video and images:

  • updated 2023-02-16 to reflect the date of the Draveil fall.
Credit: vigie-ciel / Olivier Hernandez via Twitter

Meteor Notes – January-March 2023

The Quadrantids (QUA) begin in late December and peak on the night of 3rd/4th January. The best time to view will be after 5am when the nearly full Moon sets and the radiant will be high in the East. After moonset, rates of up to 20 an hour are possible.  

There are no other significant showers till April, but the IMO reports that there’s a possibility of an outburst of the minor shower k-Cancrids on the 10th of January at 04h UT. If you pick this up, please let us know as more data are required. Meteors will be relatively fast moving and the radiant is below the waning crescent Moon.

For southern hemisphere observers there’s also the possibility of a meteor shower due to an encounter with debris from minor planet 2016BA14, on 23rd March between 00h and 04h UT. The radiant, in Pictor, is well below the horizon for northern hemisphere viewers but there’s no Moon at this time, so do watch out for slow-moving meteors appearing to move upwards from the horizon.

Meteorite Fall over the Cotswolds – Again!

Meteorite Fall over the Cotswolds – Again!

A spectacular fireball on 23rd October may have dropped meteorites over the Cotswolds.

The fireball was picked up on more than a dozen cameras from the UK Meteor Network (UKMON) and was composed of a small chunk of asteroid. Analysis indicated that a few hundred grammes may have made it to ground level somewhere to the north-east of Cirencester – by an amazing coincidence, less than ten kilometres from where the Winchcombe Meteorite fell not so long ago.

The 23rd Octobe fireball, as seen from the author’s camera in Oxfordshire

Scientists from across the UK, working with the UK Fireball Alliance and UKMON, conducted a search of the area in the following two weeks but so far, no material has been found. The team remain hopeful though the recent rainy weather is likely to have damaged any fragments.

Dr Ashley King of the Planetary Materials Group at the Natural History Museum offered the following advice for anyone living in the area who thinks they may have something:

“If possible, please don’t pick it up with your bare hands as that will contaminate the stone. It’s probably a glossy, black or brown colour, maybe with the dark fusion crust broken off in places. Meteorites are never spongy or bubbly, so if it looks like a rusty bath sponge or it has bubbly melted bits then it is definitely not a meteorite! It may be in a place where rocks aren’t usually found, like on a lawn or footpath. Don’t take any risks looking for it, and don’t go into areas where you shouldn’t. But if you have found something out-of-place, we’ll certainly be interested to check it out.”

Will Gater has also provided the below infographic, explaining what to do if you find something.

This is the fifth potential meteorite dropping fireball of 2022. Previously, there were fireballs off the Isle of Wight and West Coast of Scotland that probably dropped rocks into the sea, a likely fall over South Wales that may have dropped meteorites in the Valleys, and one over Shropshire that was also the subject of a ground search.

If you think you’ve found a piece of the 23rd October meteorite fall, then please send a photo and coordinates of the location to

Details of the orbit and trajectory can be seen on the UKMON’s website here

Meteor Notes November and December 2022

The second-best shower of the year, the Geminids (GEM), peaks on 13-14 December. The waning gibbous 20-day old Moon will rise around 9pm though and will interfere. When the radiant is high in the southeast around midnight, rates of 20 per hour are realistic.

Turning back to November, the Northern Taurids (NTA) will be fading away. The Leonids (LEO) peak on 17 November, and with a waning crescent Moon, expect up to ten per hour. Moving into December again, the Ursids (URS) peak on 22nd December and benefit from a new Moon so 10 per hour is again possible. Finally, the Quadrantids (QUA) begin in late December though the peak isn’t till January.

Meteor Notes September and October 2022

The Aurigids (AUR) peak on 1st September. The radiant doesn’t rise till midnight, but there is no moonlight to interfere this year. The September eta-Perseids (SPE) peak around the 9th September, but a nearly Full Moon will rise at 3am. Both showers have rates of around 5 per hour though the Aurigids have been known to outburst up to 50.
In October, the Orionids (ORI) on the 21/22nd will fare better with a New Moon. A nearly Full Moon will wash out the Draconids (DRA) on the 8th, and the Southern Taurids (STA) on the 10th, though the latter are active from throughout October. The Northern Taurids (NTA) overlap the Southern branch, and are active from mid October through into November.  All these showers have rates around ten per hour.

Meteor Notes July and August 2022

The Perseids (PER) this year will be blighted by a Full Moon on the morning of the 12th. However, as seasoned observers know, rates can be as high as 100 per hour and the Perseids can produce some bright meteors, so let’s hope for clear skies. The best direction to look will be North, away from the Moon.

The southern Delta-Aquariids (SDA) peak on 30th July with an hourly rate of around 25 but most of the shower will be below the horizon for UK observers. The radiant is highest just before dawn.

The alpha-Capricornids (CAP) peak at much the same time. The radiant is close to the Delta-Aquariids but Capricornids can be distinguished by a lower velocity.

Meteorite Hunting with Drones

Scientists from Curtin University in Australia have successfully used drones to recover a 70g meteorite that fell over Western Australia in April 2021.

The fireball on 1st April 2021 was observed by cameras from the Desert Fireball Network (DFN). Using this footage, a ‘strewn field’ was calculated, that is to say, the area where any potential meteorites might be found.

However, rather than the traditional field-walking fingertip search, scientists decided to use drones and machine learning to help.

One drone surveyed the fall zone with a high resolution camera. The data were then loaded into a machine learning algorithm which hunted for meteorite candidates in the images. To train the algorithm, the scientists placed a few real meteorites in known locations.

Once candidate rocks had been identified, a second drone was sent to take a closer look, flying low over each potential meteorite and sending back high quality images. This allowed the search team to check out the rocks without having to walk to the site.

After the second drone’s work was done the team had identified five likely candidates. They then went in on foot to check each out and to their delight, one of the five turned out to be a 70g recently fallen meteorite! Furthermore, the recovery was very close to the predicted fall line, which demonstrates the effectiveness of the technique.

Although not applicable in every situation this new approach could allow searches to be carried out more quickly and safely, especially in remote or dangerous locations. For example a recent meteorite fall in Croatia remains unrecovered, because the strewn field is also an uncleared minefield.However, this method could be used even in such locations, perhaps even allowing scientists to use drones to safely recover the fall.

So, expect to see more robotic rock recovery in the future!

Full details are available from the ArXiv server

Meteor Notes May and June 2022

Spring is the season of day-time showers. If you’re operating a radio detector, look out for the many Arietid showers which peak in May and June and can have a combined rate of around 30: the eta Arietids (DEA) at 09:00UT on 9th May, the May Arietids (DMA) at 10:00UT on 16th May, the Daytime Arietids (ARI) at 10:00UT on 7th June plus the zeta Perseids (ZPE) at 12:00UT on the 9th of June.

The only major shower in May or June is the eta Aquariids (ETA) which peak early in the morning of 6th of May. The radiant rises just before dawn so it is best to observe in the early hours. A Visual rate of ten per hour is possible. There’s more about this shower here.

The June Bootids (JBO) have not been active for several years but if you see any enhanced activity between 23rd and 27th June, please let me know.

Possible Tau Herculid Outburst at Dawn on 31st May

In 2022 there’s a possibility of a brief but intense meteor shower around 05:00UT on 31st May.

On the night of 30th/31st May, the Earth is scheduled to pass through the debris trail left behind by comet 73P/Schwassman-Wachmann.  This is considered the source of a weak meteor shower, the Tau Herculids. Although it is named the Tau Herculids, the shower’s radiant is now in Bootes, between Arcturus and M3. This drift is due to the influence of Jupiter on the orbit of the dust.


In 1995 comet 73P was observed growing in brightness by seven magnitudes. Closer examination revealed it had broken up into a number of small fragments and by 2006 it was seen to have broken into at least 68 pieces.  Breakups of this nature release a lot of dust, and if the Earth passes through the right part of the debris field, there’s a possibility of significantly enhanced shower activity.

Sadly for UK observers, the predicted time of the outburst is between 04:55UTC and 05:17UTC, by which time dawn will be breaking and the radiant will be extremely low in the West. However, if you’re in North or South America, the outburst will be better placed. if you have suitable conditions, look out for slow moving fairly dim meteors.