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Fireball Reports from 2012 August

The poor UK weather in the first half of August not only severely hindered observations of the 2012 Perseids, it also meant there was little opportunity to see any fireballs. Consequently, August's fireball reports were all from the second half of the month.

Richard Stratford (Letchworth, Herts) reported a bright meteor (mag -1 or -2) at 0107 GMT on Aug 19. Although the date is close to the maximum of the Kappa Cygnid meteor shower, the sky positions quoted show that it was a sporadic meteor.

Jeffrey Sutton (Bromsgrove, Worcs) reported a fireball, possibly of mag -6, at 2232 GMT on Aug 20 and heading south in his south western sky. Although the date coincides with the maximum of the Kappa Cygnid meteor shower, the sky positions quoted show that it was a sporadic meteor.

Philip Carden (Winsford, Cheshire), Dave Blackhurst (Liverpool) and Stephen Dews (Wakefield, West Yorks) reported a fireball at 2215 GMT on Aug 27. This fireball was widely seen by people from northern England down to southwest England and produced sonic booms over South Wales. There are also many reports in the press regarding this fireball. Some examples (note that the images they contain are not of this fireball) are :

www.southwalesargus.co.uk/news/9896319.CWMBRAN_BIG_BANG__Causes_a_stir_on_Twitter/

menmedia.co.uk/manchestereveningnews/news/s/1587450_hundreds-witness-meteor-shooting-across-skies-of-greater-manchester 

www.telegraph.co.uk/science/space/9503248/Exploding-meteor-creates-sonic-boom-over-Wales.html

www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2195053/Meteor-explodes-Cwmbran-Wales-wakes-families-sonic-boom.html

Peter Grego (St Dennis, Cornwall) observed an impressive fireball at 2224GMT on Aug 30 in bright moonlight. His description of it reads : "First seen come into view as bright single orange point in south at altitude of around 40 degrees to the west of the near full Moon, almost instantaneously brightening to magnitude -3. Continued brightening to about magnitude -6 as it passed around five degrees south of Vega at an altitude of around 60 degrees, leaving bluish track about 10 degrees long in its wake, fragmenting but retaining brilliant core. Disappeared into bank of cloud in northwest at altitude of about 30 degrees. No sound heard. Visible for around 12 seconds."

There are also a number of fireball reports on the website thelatestworldwidemeteorreports.blogspot.co.uk/ , from witnesses in Devon, Hampshire, Wales, Shropshire, Merseyside and Cheshire that probably also refer to this fireball.

Added by:  Tracie Heywood