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Notable Meteors & Fireballs : 2017 March

Here, in reverse chronological order, are details of notable meteors and fireballs that were reported during March 2017:


2017 March 7th 

Bill Ward has been experimenting with a narrow field of view lens in order to record videos of unusual "dissolving" meteors in more detail. As Bill puts it, these meteors "positively ooze out of existence". On March 7th, he captured another such example. By chance, he also captured a "normal" meteor at around the same time.

He has created this video clip which contrast the appearance of the dissolving meteor with that of the normal meteor.


Bill comments "The first is a "dissolving" meteor, the second is a "normal" meteor. These videos illustrate the variation in ablation characteristics of different meteoroid particles. The "dissolving" meteor clearly decelerates more and the ablation proceeds much more slowly as the parent meteoroid disintegrates."


2017 March 5th  04:31:19 GMT

Ray Taylor (Skirlaugh, East Yorks) captured an video image of this fireball through cloud.

He comments "The trajectory appears to come directly overhead from the NNE and move in a SSW direction. It was not particularly "Fast" but certainly "Bright".   Unfortunately it was behind patchy clouds and only a couple of reference stars are visible. So cannot get an accurate fix to compute any meaningful data.  The patchy clouds do not help in deciding whether or not the object underwent a series of "Flashes"; typical of "Fragmentation". I have viewed the video several times and at slow speed; the patchy cover of clouds do make a firm conclusion either way somewhat difficult."

The IMO-News feed also included a visual report of this fireball from a witness in northern Essex, who estimated that it was of magnitude -4 and reported that it "coasted in from the North East above and parallel with Caph and Gamma in Cassiopeia then burnt out and disappeared in light layered clouds passing just above Bellatrix."


2017 March 1st  18:57:35 GMT

This fireball was reported to the IMO by a number of visual observers from locations as far south as East Yorkshire and Lancashire and as far north as Dunbartonshire and Aberdeenshire.

Observers mention flares and fragmentation, with most reporting a duration of 1-2 seconds. Colours reported included green, yellow and blue.

Detailed of the visual reports can be seen here http://fireballs.imo.net/imo_view/event/2017/834

It was also imaged in part by Alex Pratt (Leeds) and David Anderson (Ayrshire) , two members of the NEMETODE video camera network.

David's image shows the fireball through cloud.

Alex had thinner cloud and his image showing part of the fireball's path is reproduced here. Alex notes that the brightest flares probably occurred beyond the camera's field of view.

Added by:  Tracie Heywood