News on Chelyabinsk fall 2013 February 15.
News on Novato fall 2012 October 17.
News on Sutter's Mill fall 2012 April 22.
Report visual accounts of fireball sighting here.
To report video/photographs and possible meteorite finds from the Novato or Sutter's Mill falls, please email: Petrus.M.Jenniskens@nasa.gov
Map of glass damage in Chelyabinsk Oblast. Fireball moved from right to left. Dots are villages and towns in the area, marked red or orange when glass damage occurred. Yellow dots are the locations where meteorites were recovered. Gray area shows predictions of overpressure from asteroid impact models. From: Popova et al., Science Vol. 42 (2013).
2013, November 6 - Science published today a report on the Chelyabinsk meteoroid impact that describes the results from a Russian Academy of Sciences fact finding mission in the weeks after the impact, led by Dr. Olga Popova of the Institute for Dynamics of Geospheres of the RAS and Vacheslav Emel'yanenko of the Institute of Astronomy of the RAS in Moscow. NASA Ames and SETI Institute meteor astronomer Dr. Peter Jenniskens participated in this effort as outside expert and coordinated the study of the recovered meteorites. Now, the report led by Popova and Jenniskens, with contributions by 57 other researchers from nine countries, gives a detailed picture of all aspects that contributed to how the shockwave was created that caused the damage on the ground: how fast the meteoroid entered the Earth's atmosphere, how its kinetic energy was dissipated, and how processes that happened 4.4 billion years ago on the asteroid parent body contributed to determining the material properties of this meteoroid that made it break the way it did. Thanks to incredible local observations of this event, Chelyabinsk is expected to be a gold standard for asteroid impact modeling long into the future.
2013, October 28 - In a collaboration with Prof. Jack Baggaley of the University of Canterbury, a new two-station (16 cameras each) CAMS network has been developed for deployment in New Zealand. Goals is to map the southern hemisphere meteor showers. This week, software and hardware were integrated and tested in actual observing conditions at the CAMS station in Sunnyvale. For a few weeks, a total of 52 cameras were filming the night sky from this location (20 for the regular CAMS meteoroid orbit survey, 16 to capture meteor spectra, and 16 just for test purposes of the new network).
2013 October 23 Bay Area fireball:
One year after the Novato meteorite fall, CAMS station 210 - College of San Mateo (Dean Drumheller) - catches another meteorite fall on video. Again, smack through the middle of the camera field... Next to the fireball track is a window reflection.
California fireball of 2013 October 22th at 19:54:03 local time (Oct 23 at 02:54:03 UT), in a video compilation by Dave Samuels in Brentwood using a Watec 902H2 Ultimate camera with 12mm/f1.2 lens and the CAMS single-camera software.
2013, Oct 23 - A bright fireball was seen by many in the Bay Area this evening around 19:54 local time in California. Bryant Grigsby reported that it caught his attention by the shadows it cast on a wall in front of him. Karen Randall described it as green, fragmenting towards the end. At the College of San Mateo, Daryl Stanford said: "It started out bluish white, then turned green; and it finally seemed to spiral and fragment at the end." Indications are that this meteor ended over the ocean. Nevertheless, the CAMS records are being collected. The first in is that of station 213 (Dave Samuels in Brentwood), shown in the picture above. The meteor left the field of view at the bottom, only the beginning part is shown. Keep tuned for a trajectory solution and updates.
Update (Oct 23 1:30 am local time): The Sunnyvale station operated by Jim Albers caught the fireball on cameras 53, 11, 12, 152, 171 and 173! Camera 53 shows the beginning part of the trajectory (see picture above).
Combining the Sunnyvale camera 53 astrometry with results from the 213 camera in Brentwood provides the following **preliminary** solution from triangulation (calculations by Peter Jenniskens, SETI Institute and NASA Ames Research Center, based on observations by CAMS project participants Dave Samuels and Jim Albers):
Meteor was first seen Oct 22 at 02:53:59.5 UT (19:53:59 local time)
Entered Earth atmosphere with speed 17.3 km/s
Trajectory came from the East.
Arrived from a direction Right Ascension = 26.5 degree, Declination = +11.2 degrees, near the star o Piscium.
First seen at 87.8 km altitude, at Lat = +37.636N, Long = 121.8092W.
Trajectory was shallow: inclined by 19.5 degrees with horizontal.
Was tracked by CAMS camera 213 down to 60.9 km at Lat = 37.6475N Long = 122.6466W.
The meteoroid penetrated well below that.
Meteoroid pre-atmospheric orbit had the following properties:
low-inclined orbit: inclination = 3.8 degrees
Short orbit: semi-major axis = 1.15 AU
Low perihelion distance = 0.653 AU
According to Jenniskens, based on these preliminary results this was not a member of the Taurid shower, but likely a rock of asteroidal origin. Sadly, any surviving meteorites would have landed in the Pacific Ocean.
Please report visual accounts of the fireball sighting here.
Wes Jones in Belmont caught the beginning part of the fireball.
2013, September 28 - The Dutch and Belgium observers in the CAMS@BeneLux network meet to coordinate the pointing of cameras in this rapidly expanding network. From mere four cameras a year ago and 18 in June, the network is now approaching 30 operational cameras.
2013, Aug 26 - Meteoroids 2013 Conference in Poznan, Poland. CAMS presentations by Pete Gural (new CAMS Spectrograph) and Peter Jenniskens (CAMS results update). Peter Jenniskens also gave an invited review talk on the Sutter's Mill meteorite fall. Regina Rudawska presented results on meteoroid stream seaches in the first year CAMS data.
2013, June 17 - Carl Johannink reports that the CAMS@BeNeLux network is rapidly expanding, now with 18 cameras operational. The monthly yield of orbits is shown in the plot below.
2013, May 15 - Data reduction for 2012 complete. The orbit tally so far is 101,240 orbits.
2013, March 12 - First light with the new CAMS Spectrograph, currently set up next to the Sunnyvale CAMS station (Jim Albers). 16 cameras take spectra of magnitude +0 and brighter meteors captured in the CAMS network. Pete Gural developed the algorithms to monitor all 16 cameras for meteor spectra at the same time. Various routines for data analysis have been developed by Anthony Berdue and Peter Jenniskens, but the integration into an end-to-end software package is pending.
2013, March 9-25 - Peter participates in fact finding mission by the Russian Academy of Sciences to Chelyabinsk. Leads are Olga Popova (Institute of Geosphere Dynamics of the RAS) and Slava Emel'yanenko (Astronomical Institute of the RAS), both of Moscow.
Point of main disruption of the Chelyabinks fireball at 27 km altitude. Photo: Evgueny Tvorogov.
2013, February 15 - This morning, an about 17-m sized asteroid impacted near Chelyabinsk with an energy of ~500 kt. That is more than hundred times that of Sutter's Mill. The overpressure caused many windows to break in and around Chelyabinsk (pronounce: "Chel-yeah-binsk") and numerous injuries occurred due to falling glass. In the global media, information about the magnitude of this event came initially from the University of Western Ontario team, who analysed infrasound data. Later, more information was obtained from spaceborne observations of the dust cloud, and from the preliminary analysis of some of the many video records of the fireball and its dust cloud posted on YouTube. The first find of meteorites was reported two days later by Prof. Grotkovsky of South Ural University, and determined to be of type LL5, with shockstage S4 and weathering grade W0.
2013 February 16 San Francisco Bay Area fireball:
2013, February 22 - This fireball was widely reported in the evening of February 15, the day of the Chelyabinsk fireball. It was captured in a dash-cam video from a car driving southbound on highway 280. It appeared at the very edge of the CAMS camera field of view and was captured by the CAMS Sunnyvale station at 03:42 UT. It appeared just outside of the CAMS Lick Observatory and Fremont Peak Observatory station camera fields and, so far, no orbit could be derived.
2013 January 17 Sierra Nevada fireball:
Sunnyvale record of the January 17 fireball. The beginning of the meteor trajectory is visible right of the bright flash that originated well below the field of view.
2013, January 17 - Night turned briefly into day over a wide area in California and Nevada at 5:21:44 a.m. PST on Thursday morning, creating hopes of another extraterrestrial surprise delivery of meteorites, but this bright fireball did not drop meteorites on the ground. This was a head-on collision with a small perhaps 1-meter sized comet, rather than the glancing blow of a stronger asteroid. The comet matter was almost instantly turned into dust and gas.
Three of the CAMS camera stations captured the very early stage of the impact. The meteor was first spotted by the station at Lick Observatory at an altitude of 146.1 +/- 1.0 km (90.8 miles) and was tracked at the stations in Sunnyvale and Fremont Peak Observatory down to 133.8 +/- 0.2 km (83.1 miles), after which the fireball moved outside the field of view. Extraction of the short fast tracks proved difficult, but CAMS software architect Pete Gural succeeded in extracting each track. From triangulations of these video records, the object's trajectory in the atmosphere and orbit in space were calculated.
How high is 146 km? The short thick line shows the calculated trajectory, the thin line is extrapolated to the ground, ending close to Lake Tahoe. Image courtesy of Jim Albers.
The meteoroid originated from the Oort cloud and approached Earth on a shallow 19 +/- 7 degrees inclined orbit, moving in opposite direction around the Sun. On Thursday morning, while approaching it's nearest point to the Sun at 0.98 +/- 0.03 Astronomical Units, it found Earth in its way. It approached from the direction of the constellation Virgo, and collided head-on with the Earth at a location just north of Yosemite National Park, entering Earth's atmosphere at the fastest possible entry speed of 72 +/- 6 km/s (= 45 miles/s, or 160 thousand miles per hour). Moving towards Lake Tahoe, the small comet then penetrated to lower elevations where it fully disrupted in the atmosphere.
January 17 fireball in an allsky camera image by Jim Collins at Chico, CA.
The fireball was widely reported on the American Meteor Society website. It was captured on the allsky camera of Jim Collins in Chico, CA (photo above). It was also captured on the Skysentinel cameras at Stanford and Nevada city. These sites show videos.
[Video by James S.]
2012, November 05 - First Light for CAMS @ North Atlantic network! Pete Gural ran last night for the first time with all four cameras mounted on his roof in Sterling, Maryland, and the Sensoray 2255 grabbing 4 channels without problems. It basically is the same threading structure as the two channel version of the code. This is the start of a North Atlantic network, waiting for others to get up their cameras. Two prospective remote sites are at Annapolis, MD, and Richmond, VA. The Richmond site can see Pete's East or West patches with a 25 degree elevation angle.