May 4, 2007 Fireball

2007.05.04 FireballThis fireball occurred at 5:12 AM MDT over central Colorado.

Data has been recovered from the following cameras:

The image at left is from the Cloudbait camera. The setting full Moon is seen at the horizon to the right (azimuth 218°). This meteor was produced by the annual eta Aquarid shower, which results from debris from Halley's Comet impacting the Earth's atmosphere. These fast (65 km/s, 146,000 mph) meteors usually burn up quickly; this one entered at a shallow angle high in the atmosphere, enabling it to survive longer and flare into a fireball. The meteor path was about 40 km (25 miles) long, traveling south to north between Colorado Springs and Denver. The red asterisk marks the radiant of the eta Aquarid shower. It is easy to see that the path of the meteor points back to this spot in the sky.

Meteors like this which originate from cometary material are not believed to produce meteorites. In this case, the high speed and presumably fragile meteoroid resulted in all the material burning up a high altitude.

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

Please check back for further information as it becomes available.

© Copyright 2007, Chris L Peterson. All rights reserved.