July 13, 2009 Fireball

2009.07.13 FireballThis slow, bright fireball occurred at 2:28 AM MDT over central Colorado. I have not received any witness reports.

Data has been recovered from the following cameras:

The image at left is from the Cloudbait camera. The meteor produced a long trail, gradually brightening to about magnitude -10 (the Moon, seen at the bottom, is about magnitude -11). Several small flares of light are also seen along the path. The fireball lasted over 5.5 seconds.

Based on the camera data, I have determined that the meteor began over south central Colorado, and descended to the northeast, ending near northwest Colorado Springs. It reached its peak brightness at a height of about 50 km (31 miles) near Cripple Creek. I don't currently have sufficient camera data to determine the descent angle.

The fairly low altitude and low velocity (16 km/s) mean this fireball might have produced meteorites. However, the brightness profile is suggestive of a meteor which simply burned up.

2009.07.13 Fireball Light CurveThis chart shows the light curve of the fireball, peaking around mag -10.

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 2009, Chris L Peterson. All rights reserved.