UK fireball Monday night!
From Robert Lunsford … Our fireball reports had gotten off to a slow start this year due to some difficulties with Google Maps. I was just testing our report system to verify that it was now working properly, when a flurry of reports began arriving Monday afternoon. As of Tuesday morning, the American Meteor Society and International Meteor Organization both have received hundreds of reports of a slow and long fireball – a very bright meteor, likely a large rock falling from space – that appeared over the skies of the southern United Kingdom Monday evening.
The fireball appeared at 8:02 p.m. British Standard Time on Monday, January 9. Many witnesses exclaimed how low this object appeared, yet in reality, it was high enough to also be witnessed from the mainland European countries of Belgium and the Netherlands. The computer-generated trajectory shows a south to north path northwest of London over the town of Northampton.
An event is considered large if 25 or more reports are received. To start 2023 with such a large event is unprecedented and certainly bodes well for another record-breaking year for fireball reports.
Two photos and seven videos are currently associated with this event at the website of the American Meteor Society, which you can see here. And more may be available soon!
Mid Sussex pic.twitter.com/Grf5lTXQP7
— Shane West (@Shocker_72) January 9, 2023
Hundreds of reports from witnesses
Due to the early evening appearance of the fireball, reports arrived to the International Meteor Organization almost immediately. Within 30 minutes an excess of 100 reports were received. At the current time since this event, the witness count stands at 529 as of this morning, January 10. Most fireball events analyzed by the IMO consist of a single observer.
— Met Office (@metoffice) January 9, 2023
Bottom Line: After a slow start, 2023 has now provided a massive boost to the fireball activity with a well-timed event over the southern United Kingdom.