January 11, 2004 Fireball

This slow, bright meteor was seen by residents of Colorado at 7:05 PM. It was also caught on two of the DMNS Allsky Network cameras. 175 witness reports have been received as of January 20 (small black squares on the map below).

The initial information suggests that this fireball began south of Rifle, Colorado, and traveled eastward just south of I-70, ending over Aurora, a Denver suburb. The total path length was about 155 miles, and the speed was about 10.5 miles per second. The fireball was traveling in a level path at a height of about 44 miles. The radiant was probably in Aquarius. Meteorites may have dropped in the area around the Buckley Air National Guard station. Residents should be alert for rocks with a fresh black crust, or for signs of recently disturbed dirt, possibly resembling a small animal burrow.

This fireball is particularly interesting because of its date. Many witnesses reported similar fireballs on January 11 of 1998 and 2001. DMNS Allsky cameras also recorded bright fireballs on this date in 2002 and 2003.

Fireball Path

January 11 FireballThis is an image of the fireball from the Guffey School allsky camera. The meteor begins at the left, and travels nearly a quarter of the way across the sky, almost parallel to the horizon. The gaps in the trail are an artifact of the camera that made the image. Because the event was so long (12.5 seconds) the camera had to periodically stop and save the image, and those breaks show up as gaps in the trail. A 384 KB animated GIF of this fireball can be seen here.

If you saw the fireball and have not made a report, please do so here.

Please check back for further information as it becomes available.

© Copyright 2004, Chris L Peterson. All rights reserved.