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Fireball Reports : 2016 Jan-Feb

Here, in reverse chronological order, is a summary of fireballs reported to the Meteor Section during January and February 2016:

2016 Feb 29th  18:45:47 GMT

Carl Mitchell forwarded a summary of reports that he had seen from his Facebook contacts, revealing that this fireball had been visible from Aberdeen, Brechin, Montrose, Careston, Westhill and Inverness. Reported colours included white, blue and green. A rumbling sound/explosion was reported from Brechin.

Denis Buczynski (Tarbatness, Caithness) of the NEMETODE network reported that two of his video cameras were "maxed out" at this time. However, the sky was completly overcast and so his cameras were only recording the illumination from above of the clouds and thus no information regarding the path of the fireball.

Visual reports, reported to the International Meteor Organisation can be viewed at http://fireballs.imo.net/imo_view/event/2016/813

BBC Scotland posted a  video clip on Twitter showing sightings of the fireball from five different locations.

Many reports incorrectly referred to this event as a "meteor shower". However, this latter term refers to encounters between the Earth and a stream of particles in space that produces many meteors over a period of days.

Additional on-line reports appeared in  The Guardian  ,  Daily Telegraph  , BBC News and  Sky News (Twitter)

2016 Feb 11th  approx 22:10 GMT

Kevin Boyle (Stoke on Trent) reported seeing this fireball pass quickly through Taurus, just to the right of the Hyades, and appearing to head westwards. It was estimated to be of magnitude -5 to -6 and was slightly electric blue in colour. His impression was that there was brief flaring at the head of the meteor.

2016 Feb 2nd  19:30 GMT

Katie Sludden (Woodburn Bridge, Northumberland) reported a seeing a yellow fireball of duration 3-4 seconds to the east of Orion and heading from north to south. It broke into two pieces near the end and left a long train.

2016 Jan 16th  17:00 GMT

This fireball was reported by Kerstin Woykos who was heading along the A338. The fireball was travelled from the NNE to the NE, descending from around 35 degrees to around 15 degrees altitude, a terminal flare near the end being partially hidden by trees.

There were also several reports of this fireball being seen from the London area as well as from Kent and Bedford. Cloudy skies probably prevented it from being seen from more locations in eastern England. There are also three reports from the Netherlands which seem to tie in with this fireball - from these locations it appeared higher up in the sky.

2016 Jan 3rd  18:33 GMT

This fireball, possibly comparable in brightness with the Moon, was reported by Sarah Voller (Bridport, Dorset). It was heading downward from near the zenith to around altitude 45 degrees in the southern sky, leaving a train about 30 degrees in length which persisted for around 80 seconds.

There were a number of other fireball reports posted on-line around the same time from observers in south west England and north west France, so it is quite likely that these other reports also refer to this fireball (even though there is quite a spread in the times of the reports).

Despite the fireball appearing during the activity period of the Quadrantid meteor shower, the sky tracks reported from the various locations show that it was not related to the Quadrantids.

Added by:  Tracie Heywood