May 16, 2010 Fireball

2010.05.16 FireballThis bright fireball occurred at 09:56 PM MDT over central Colorado. This meteor was not associated with any known shower.

Data has been recovered from the following cameras:

The image at left is from the DMNS camera. Note the new Moon and Venus in conjunction between 290° and 300°. The peak brightness as seen from Denver was magnitude -5.

The meteor began near Eagle, Colorado. It first appeared at a height of 72 km, descended at a zenith angle of 76° and stopped burning at a height of 51 km. The meteor had an average speed of 16 km/s (36,000 mph). This is extremely slow for a meteor, and produced a six second long event. Witnesses reported seeing sparkling debris as the meteor moved.

The low speed and very shallow entry angle are both indications of possible meteorite survival. However, the light curve suggests the meteor may have simply burned up in flight. There is some indication of fragmentation, so any meteorites would likely be along the central part of the ground path, in the general area of Leadville. This is mountainous country where there is little chance of locating meteorites..

2010.05.16 Fireball PathThis map shows details of the fireball path. The actual flight path was 91 km long, resulting in a 88 km ground path.


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.