December 8, 2006 Fireball

This widely observed fireball occurred at approximately 6:45 AM MST on Friday, December 8. Unfortunately, because of its nearness to dawn it wasn't caught on any network cameras. Over 100 witness reports have been submitted to Cloudbait, most from the Denver area. However, it was also seen from Utah, Idaho, and Wyoming. Many people saw this meteor during their morning commute, and it was reported on heavily by all the Denver news outlets.

The fireball is proving very difficult to analyze. Although there were many witness reports, the fireball ended far enough west that all of the Front Range observers saw it drop behind the mountains before it ended. Also, the locations of the witnesses is such that it remains impossible to establish with certainty the bearing of the ground path. It may have been traveling mainly east to west, but the witness reports are also consistent with a more north to south path. It probably ended over an area roughly bounded by Grand Junction, Grand Mesa, Delta, and Somerset (all in Colorado). Witnesses in this part of the state reported seeing the meteor break up and cool to orange, suggesting that meteorites may have been produced.

The map below show the approximate area of termination, and some possible ground paths for the meteor. If I receive additional witness reports, it may be possible to refine these estimates. The small black squares represent individual witness reports received so far.

Fireball Path

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

Please check back for further information as it becomes available.

© Copyright 2006, Chris L Peterson. All rights reserved.