Fireball 2024 04 12

Forums Meteors Fireball 2024 04 12

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    Bill Ward

    Hi All,
    The first interesting result in quite some time!
    Whilst in the process of shutting down my cameras due to deteriorating weather I was about to hit the stop button when I noticed the “recording” was on.
    A very lucky moment, turned out to be a superb fireball. A few seconds earlier and I would have missed it!

    After a posting to the nemetode email list, Dennis responded very quickly with a nice image from his GMN system.

    The event was also captured by several other stations. Alex et all have determined an orbit which in itself is quite interesting.

    Attached is an annotated crop of the capture frame, a spectrum plot and a synthetic colourised version.

    First thing I thought was how very Perseid like the spectrum was due to the very strong ionised calcium lines seen in Perseid fireball spectra.
    I’ve attached a comparison image from a bright Perseid fireball a couple of years back. It’s from a much lower resolution system but broadly it’s identical. This is where the orbit comes in. It’s a very high inclination retrograde orbit. Whilst not particularly close to the Perseid parent comet elements’, it has it’s similarities.

    If I had been shown the spectrum having not actually got it my self I think my response would then have been “wow, that’s a cracking Perseid spectrum…”. I would venture it MIGHT be a gravitationally perturbed bit of Swift Tuttle. To paraphrase Alex, might be better leaving that to the meteor dynamicists…

    No matter, it is my best yet for resolution and span, the magnesium triplet is partially resolved and the sodium doublet is getting towards resolution. It would have been nice to see a bit more of the spectrum but wavelength wise I could not have squeezed in any more nm if I tried. The thing fell so the whole width of the frame was used, covering from around 380nm to 870nm

    Next stop the Lyrids…


    Bill Ward
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