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Fireball Reports from 2008

Fireball reports, especially those made from the British Isles and nearby areas, are always welcomed by the SPA Meteor Section. See the Making and Reporting Fireball Observations page on this website for details of what to record on seeing a fireball, where and how to report your data.

Below is a list of some of the fireballs reported to the Section from 2008. It mainly consists of those events seen away from the major meteor shower maxima (when fireballs are more common), unless the objects were not part of the meteor shower in question, or were particularly impressive. A "*" in the 'Magnitude and Notes' column indicates further details are given in the second table.

Table of Fireball Reports


Date Time (UT) Magnitude and Notes Observed from
08/01/9-10 16:40 -4/-8?; in twilight Northamptonshire
08/01/9-10 ~18:55-19:00 Very bright; 7 reports* Edinburgh, Lincs, Cambs, Suffolk
08/01/10-11 19:00 Bright E Lothian
08/01/10-11 00:10 -6/-8 S Yorkshire
08/01/14-15 ~22:25 Brilliant; 3 reports* Sutherland, W Yorks, & Kent
08/01/15-16 ~22:57 -10/-15; 11 reports* S Wales & S England
08/01/16-17 ~20:15 Very bright; in clouds* Guernsey
08/01/17-18 ~15:30-16:00 Very bright; in strong twilight Hampshire
08/01/24-25 18:12 -2/-3 Northamptonshire
08/02/8-9 ~21:46 -6; imaged* Netherlands
08/02/8-9 22:45 -8/-10? Suffolk
08/02/10-11 ~03:00 Bright Hertfordshire
08/02/11-12 ~20:55 -8/-12; 22 reports; imaged* UK, Channel Islands & Netherlands
08/02/11-12 21:45-21:50 Very bright* Kent
08/02/11-12 22:45 +/- 15m -7/-9?; 4 reports* SE England
08/02/11-12 ~23:00 Very bright* Lincolnshire
08/02/12-13 ~22:15-22:35 -7/-9?; 6 reports* England & N Wales
08/02/14-15 ~22:15 -5/-7 Manchester
08/02/19-20 ~23:00 Bright Yorkshire
08/02/27-28 22:50 -6/-8 Oxfordshire
08/03/4-5 00:40 Very bright Northumberland
08/03/16-17 20:39 -4 Isle of Man
08/03/17-18 ~22:00 Bright Nottinghamshire
08/03/18-19 00:09 Very bright Fife
08/04/6-7 ~21:00 Bright; in clouds Cheshire
08/04/9-10 20:34 -4/-6? Cheshire
08/04/9-10 ~23:10 Very bright; green Essex
08/04/14-15 ~21:00 Brilliant; 2 reports Dorset
08/04/28-29 ~21:00 Bright; satellite flare? Essex
08/05/1-2 22:35 -10/-12?; 3 reports Gwynedd, Cheshire & W Lothian
08/05/2-3 03:30 At least -8; in clouds Devon
08/05/6-7 22:16 +/- 1m Very bright; 8 reports* W England & Wales
08/06/6-7 23:08 Very bright Guernsey
08/06/6-7 23:16 Very bright Hampshire
08/06/7-8 23:20 -10/-12* Brittany, France
08/06/12-13 ~23:00 Bright Essex
08/06/23-24 ~22:38 At least -6/-9; 2 reports* Guernsey & Hants
08/06/28-29 ~22:27 -4/-8?; 2 reports; partly imaged* Worcs & W London
08/06/28-29 ~22:27 Very bright* Staffordshire
08/07/7-8 ~02:00 At least -3 E Yorkshire
08/07/19 ~17:14 Brilliant; in daylight* Herefordshire
08/07/20-21 ~21:50-22:00 -3/-4; 2 reports* Cheshire & Galloway
08/07/31-32 22:04 -4/-5* Guernsey
08/08/1-2 01:11 Brilliant; PER Aberdeenshire
08/08/2-3 ~22:20 Very bright Worcestershire
08/08/5-6 ~21:00 Very bright Ardnamurchan
08/08/7-8 ~21:40 Bright Wiltshire
08/08/8-9 02:19 -3; PER Northumberland
08/08/19-20 ~19:10 At least -9; in daylight Off Hampshire coast
08/08/22-23 21:08 -4/-5 Cornwall
08/09/12-13 19:02 -4/-6; in daylight; 3 reports Kent, Hants & Dorset
08/09/19-20 21:12 Bright; imaged* Herts & Netherlands
08/09/21-22 ~21:45 Very bright Essex
08/09/22-23 20:31 +/- 1m -14/-18; 16 reports* Scotland, N Ireland & N England
08/09/25-26 20:55 +/- 5m -3/-6; 21 reports; imaged* S Britain, Jersey & France
08/09/27-28 ~21:02 Very bright; 2 reports* Worcs & Birmingham
08/10/5-6 18:28 -4/-6?* Coventry
08/10/5-6 ~19:30 Very bright* Glasgow
08/10/5-6 20:08 -9/-14?* Galloway
08/10/5-6 03:10 +/- 2m Bright* NE Lincolnshire
08/10/7-8 ~20:05 Very bright Wolverhampton
08/10/8-9 20:52-20:53 -3/-8; 2 reports* Worcs & Surrey
08/10/8-9 03:08 -6/-8; 4 reports; imaged* England, Netherlands & Belgium
08/10/16-17 04:53 -6/-8* Suffolk
08/10/26-27 19:37-19:38 -4/-6; 3 reports; possible Taurid* Devon
08/10/28-29 ~22:35 Bright Lancashire
08/10/29-30 18:06 -4/-5* Suffolk
08/10/30-31 ~22:00 Very bright Cornwall
08/10/31-32 ~19:06 Very bright* Cornwall
08/11/9-10 ~03:30 Very bright; in clouds* Co Derry
08/11/10-11 ~04:30 -6/-7?* Co Derry
08/11/18-19 ~20:15 -7/-9; 2 reports Hants & Devon
08/11/25-26 ~21:58 Bright London
08/11/25-26 ~02:00 About -5; possible STA Perthshire
08/11/29-30 ~22:30 Bright Argyll
08/12/1-2 ~21:26 -11/-12; 4 reports* W & SW England


Detailed Reports


Date Time (UT) Notes Details
08/01/9-10 ~18:55-19:00 Very bright; 7 reports*; Edinburgh, Lincs, Cambs, Suffolk Four reports of the ~19:00 UT fireball on January 9-10 fireball came from media sources only. The object's flight probably ended somewhere above northern England. Comments and a web-link to one of the press notices can be found on the SPA's Observing Forum.
08/01/14-15 ~22:25 Brilliant; 3 reports*; Sutherland, W Yorks, & Kent All three sightings of the January 14-15 event can be read here, though it is not certain they were all of the same meteor. The Sutherland and Yorkshire sightings might have indicated the meteor passed high above the north of Ireland.
08/01/15-16 ~22:57 -10/-15; 11 reports*; S Wales & S England Observations on the January 15-16 fireball arrived from across southern England, between Dorset east to Kent, and north as far as Gloucestershire, plus from Newport in south Wales. A detailed review of the available data suggested the meteor flew on a generally SW-NE trajectory from over the Channel north of the Cotentin Peninsula of France (perhaps somewhere on the line from Cherbourg to Bournemouth), ending above western West Sussex or SE Hampshire. The start was poorly-constrained, but the end may have been at ~50-60 km altitude. It almost certainly passed directly over the Isle of Wight, from where sonics were heard about a minute later. Solving for the various possible solutions suggested an entry-angle of between ~15° to 25° from the horizontal, an atmospheric path length of ~85 to 135 km, and, from the average full visible flight duration of ~4 seconds, a range of mean atmospheric velocities (not allowing for deceleration) of ~20 to 35 km/sec, in the "slow" to "medium" meteor speed categories. Half the witnesses reported the object broke apart into several fragments (somewhere between two to six main pieces), while the majority favoured a green or blue colour for the main body. If any meteorites fell as a result of this event, projecting on from the possible trajectories could have implied landing zones in Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Suffolk or the North Sea off East Anglia, at furthest, or perhaps points adjacent but southwest of these places. None were recovered relating to this event, however. Two of the sightings can be found on the SPA's Observing Forum, with the Isle of Wight report given separately elsewhere.
08/01/16-17 ~20:15 Very bright; in clouds*; Guernsey The January 16-17 observation can be seen on the UK Weather World's Space Weather forum.
08/02/8-9 ~21:46 -6; imaged*; Netherlands Klaas Jobse's image of the ~21:40 UT fireball on February 8-9 can be seen via his homepage. Klaas used an automated all-sky fireball patrol camera, part of the European Fireball Network, located at Oostkapelle in the Netherlands, for the shot.
08/02/11-12 ~20:55 -8/-12; 22 reports; imaged*; UK, Channel Islands & Netherlands Several of the February 11-12 and 12-13 fireball sightings can be read here on the SPA's Observing Forum, including a link to Klaas Jobse's wonderful image of the ~20:55 UT event on February 11-12. More visual sightings of this object were made elsewhere in Holland and Belgium. There seem to have been at least four distinct, unrelated, bright fireballs on the evening of February 11-12, though the timing for one is rather uncertain. The ~20:55 meteor may have started high above the North Sea off East Anglia, and ended somewhere over northern England, having followed a roughly SE to NW trajectory, while the ~22:45 UT object may have been off the south coast or over northern France. Assuming all the February 12-13 observations were of the same meteor, it may have been out above the North Sea, on a crudely south to north track.
08/02/11-12 21:45-21:50 Very bright*; Kent
08/02/11-12 22:45 +/- 15m -7/-9?; 4 reports*; SE England
08/02/11-12 ~23:00 Very bright*; Lincolnshire
08/02/12-13 ~22:15-22:35 -7/-9?; 6 reports*; England & N Wales
08/05/6-7 22:16 +/- 1m Very bright; 8 reports*; W England & Wales Initial reports from most of the May 6-7 fireball witnesses can be found on the SPA's Observing Forum. Unfortunately, few were able to give precise enough sky-positions for the meteor to estimate a trajectory for the event. It may have been trending generally north to south, perhaps roughly paralleling the British west coast, but this is uncertain.
08/06/7-8 23:20 -10/-12*; Brittany, France There were UK media reports from SW Wales from June 7-8 which suggested either that the Brittany fireball that night was seen from there too, or that another bright fireball (perhaps even more than one) had occurred close to 23h UT. If so, it was probably over the sea as seen from Pembrokeshire.
08/06/23-24 ~22:38 At least -6/-9; 2 reports*; Guernsey & Hants Sighting notes on the June 23-24 fireball (though it is not certain both reports were of the same object) can be found on the UK Weather World's Space Weather forum.
08/06/28-29 ~22:27 -4/-8?; 2 reports; partly imaged*; Worcs & W London One observations from June 28-29 included a shaky, hand-held image of the fireball's fragmentation. It is on the SPA's Observing Forum. This meteor may have been heading roughly south to north over eastern England, or perhaps partly over the nearby North Sea. The later report on the same Forum topic from Staffordshire seemed to have been of a different event, coincidentally at the same moment, hence its separate table-entry here.
08/06/28-29 ~22:27 Very bright*; Staffordshire
08/07/19 ~17:14 Brilliant; in daylight*; Herefordshire Early notes on the July 19 daylight fireball can be read on the Observing Forum too.
08/07/20-21 ~21:50-22:00 -3/-4; 2 reports*; Cheshire & Galloway One of the July 20-21 event's sightings is also on the Observing Forum. It could not be confirmed that both observations were of the same meteor, however.
08/07/31-32 22:04 -4/-5*; Guernsey The July 31-32 (that is, July 31 to August 1) fireball observation is here on the UK Weather World's Space Weather forum.
08/09/19-20 21:12 Bright; imaged*; Herts & Netherlands Investigations in mid 2009 indicated the September 19-20 fireball, originally reported only visually from Britain at about 21:15 UT, was probably also imaged from Holland by Klaas Jobse's all-sky camera system. The more precise timing for that image has now been adopted for this event. The image is available here. Although the two observations have not allowed a particularly detailed trajectory to be estimated for the fireball, it seems plausible the object was out over the North Sea, moving roughly SSW to NNE, and may have been 100-200 km out to sea off the North Yorkshire to Teesside coasts, though this latter zone is just a best-guess.
08/09/22-23 20:31 +/- 1m -14/-18; 16 reports*; Scotland, N Ireland & N England Details on the spectacular fireball of September 22-23 were given in SPA Electronic News Bulletin 253. Though only stated there as a preliminary report, the details did not change significantly subsequently.
08/09/25-26 20:55 +/- 5m -3/-6; 21 reports; imaged*; S Britain, Jersey & France The September 25-26 fireball was due to the atmospheric re-entry of part of a Proton rocket body launched about twelve hours earlier from Baikonur. The image, taken from southern England, can be seen on the SPA's Observing Forum. Radio-meteor observers in Britain and France also detected a strong signal almost certainly due to this event, two in each country. Most of the SPA reports were purely visual, including 15 sightings from France kindly provided by French meteor expert Karl Antier. The witnesses concurred that the event was unusually slow-moving and long-lasting (in some cases remaining visible for between 30 seconds to 3 minutes). Its long path carried it below the horizon for witnesses in the British Isles with clear enough skies to tell, while from France, it was seen to heavily fragment late in its track. As far as uncertainties in the sightings allowed, the event seemed to have approximately followed its expected atmospheric path, as predicted here.
08/09/27-28 ~21:02 Very bright; 2 reports*; Worcs & Birmingham Initial sighting reports for the September 27-28 fireball can be seen on the SPA's Observing Forum.
08/10/5-6 18:28 -4/-6?*; Coventry The cluster of fireballs on October 5-6 was unusual, and called to mind the minor bright-meteor showers detected by European video observers on October 5-6 in both 2005 and 2006 (see the report in SPA ENB 206. It was unlikely the 2008 fireballs related to another return, since at least the 20:08 and ~03:10 UT fireballs had separate possible radiants, both well away from that in Draco's tail-tip implicated in the 2005 & 2006 events. The 2008 recurrence-time for when the 2005-06 showers happened was October 5, around 13h-16h UT too, not a good match for when the 2008 fireballs were seen. A brief sighting report for the ~19:30 UT event can be read here on the SPA's Observing Forum.
08/10/5-6 ~19:30 Very bright*; Glasgow
08/10/5-6 20:08 -9/-14?*; Galloway
08/10/5-6 03:10 +/- 2m Bright*; NE Lincolnshire
08/10/8-9 20:52-20:53 -3/-8; 2 reports*; Worcs & Surrey Notes on both sightings of the ~20:52 UT fireball on October 8-9 can be seen on the Observing Forum as well. The event may have flown on a roughly northerly to southerly track above eastern England, perhaps over Cambridgeshire to Kent.
08/10/8-9 03:08 -6/-8; 4 reports; imaged*; England, Netherlands & Belgium Best-estimates suggested the 03:08 UT fireball on October 8-9 may have passed approximately southeast to northwest, from somewhere high above or near Rouen in northern France, to end over the Channel some way WNW of Dieppe. Its image can be found on Klaas Jobse's website. Aside from his image, and the visual observations from England (two) and Belgium (one), ten radio meteor observers in Belgium, England and France recorded a strong echo-signal in-time to this meteor.
08/10/16-17 04:53 -6/-8*; Suffolk The sighting report for the October 16-17 fireball is on the SPA's General Chat Forum.
08/10/26-27 19:37-19:38 -4/-6; 3 reports; possible Taurid*; Devon Most unusually, all three reports of the October 26-27 fireball came from just one county! Information on its path was somewhat sketchy, but it may have been a Taurid, though this could not be confirmed. The three preliminary sightings are here on the SPA's Observing Forum. The October 29-30 and 31-32 (October 31 to November 1) bright meteors may have been Taurids as well, but too few details were available on either to clarify this. Some notes on the October 31-32 event are again on the Observing Forum.
08/10/29-30 18:06 -4/-5*; Suffolk
08/10/31-32 ~19:06 Very bright*; Cornwall
08/11/9-10 ~03:30 Very bright; in clouds*; Co Derry Both the November 9-10 and 10-11 fireballs were reported by the same person, and the initial sightings were given on the UK Weather World's Space Weather Forum.
08/11/10-11 ~04:30 -6/-7?*; Co Derry
08/12/1-2 ~21:26 -11/-12; 4 reports*; W & SW England Two observations of the December 1-2 fireball are on the SPA's Observing Forum.

Added by:  Robin Scagell