March 16, 2010 Fireball

2010.03.16 FireballThis bright fireball occurred at 05:25 AM MDT over southwestern Nebraska. This meteor was not associated with any known shower.

Data has been recovered from the following cameras:

The image at left is from the Cloudbait camera.

The meteor began very close to the border corner between Colorado, Kansas, and Nebraska. It first appeared at a height of 100 km, descended at a zenith angle of 40° and stopped burning following an intense terminal explosion at a height of 77 km. The meteor had an average speed of 44 km/s (99,000 mph).

Both the speed and entry angle are at the upper bounds of where we might expect meteorites to survive. Also, meteorites are usually associated with bodies that fragment much lower than this one. High altitude winds at the time were to the south at 32 m/s, which suggest that any meteorite strewn field would be shifted south of the meteor ground path by up to 20 km.

2010.03.16 Fireball PathThis map shows details of the fireball path. The actual flight path was 29 km long, resulting in a 19 km ground path. The characteristics of the fireball make it difficult to determine if meteorites were produced, but any fall zone is likely to extend southeast from Haigler, NE. The estimated strewnfield zone in indicated by the ellipse.

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 2010, Chris L Peterson. All rights reserved.