2017-11-12 : Crawford Bay Meteorite – by Rick Nowell

Dr. Alan Hildebrand (a meteorite expert at the University of Calgary) has released photos of some small Crawford Bay meteorite fragments on CBC.  His grad student, Fabio found them.  It was a stony chondrite.  There are lots more pieces to find.  Alan says:

Finding rocks about the size of a loonie across a 20-kilometre stretch of forest is no easy task.  But this case was different because of the video footage.  “We know what orbit it fell from… and that’s only been done a couple dozen times,” Hildebrand said.  “So we now know what orbit this rock was on and that, of course, tells us a little bit about the structure of our solar system.”

Thousands of fragments, ranging from the size of a peppercorn to a bowling ball, will have hit the ground – but Hildebrand says most will be in the forest that blankets the eastern shore of Kootenay Lake.  He expects people will be finding fragments in the area for several years.

READ MORE Dr Hildebrand’s news release.

Where approximately to look?

Triangulating with these videos now locates the fireball trajectory in the sky with ~200 m uncertainty along a path 120 km long, recording its deceleration from 16 to 4 km/s.  Once the rock has slowed to <4 km/s it no longer produces light entering what is called “dark flight”.  Dr. Elizabeth Silber of Brown University calculated the surviving rocks’ paths as they fell to Earth pushed by atmospheric winds.

The predicted meteorite fall zone – what researchers call a strewn field – is  ~20 km long starting east of Crawford Bay and trending NNW across Bluebell Mountain to the Kootenay Lake shore north of Riondel.  The largest meteorites will be in the north.

Where are the meteorites?

With the prediction of where meteorites would have fallen, the U of C team headed into the search area and found the first meteorite on Oct. 29 on private fields in northeastern Crawford Bay.  Fabio Ciceri, a visiting M.Sc. student from the University of Milan made the first meteorite discovery.  Fabio says “At first I couldn’t believe it – ever since I was a child I got up with my father to see the night sky, and it was like a dream to hold a space rock in my hand.

A meteorite chunk was found by Fabio Ciceri, a masters student from the University of Milan who is studying at the University of Calgary. (Colin Hall/CBC)

The U of C team kept searching, but the approaching winter has made finding meteorites more challenging.

Dr. Hildebrand says, “We need to recover more and larger meteorites to learn what we can from this fall.  For example, with enough pieces we can tell how big the rock was when it entered the atmosphere.

Thousands of meteorites will have fallen ranging from the size of a peppercorn up to rocks weighing 5 to 10 kgs, but most will be in the forest that blankets the eastern lake shore.  To understand the challenge Hildebrand recommends standing on the main street of Crawford Bay looking north to the southern end of Bluebell Mountain, “More than one hundred meteorites are on that slope, all you have to do is find them.”.  And he expects that interested people will be finding meteorites in the forest across the strewnfield for years.

The U of C researchers also are still encouraging anyone running security or wildlife cameras in the Riondel area to check their cameras (Sept. 4 fireball start time of ~22:11:25 PDT) to see if they captured the light and shadows cast by the fireball.  This will help them check the fireball’s end location so more accurate fall locations can be predicted for the largest pieces.

 

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2017-8-5 : REPORTING SIGHTINGS

Reporting Sightings

QUICK REPORT : https://www.amsmeteors.org/members/imo/report_intro

Please capture sighting on video as quickly as you can possibly react.

General Guidance

A fireball is another term for a very bright meteor, generally brighter than magnitude -4, which is about the same magnitude of the planet Venus as seen in the morning or evening sky. A bolide is a special type of fireball which explodes in a bright terminal flash at its end, often with visible fragmentation.

If you happen to see one of these memorable events, we would ask that you report it here to the American Meteor Society, remembering as many details as possible. This will include things such as brightness, length across the sky, color, and duration (how long did it last), it is most helpful of the observer will mentally note the beginning and end points of the fireball with regard to background star constellations, or compass direction and angular elevation above the horizon.

Individual reports are shared with other interested organizations, and saved for statistical study purposes. Reports are also shared with the general public in the form of our Fireball Sightings Log, which allows visitors to monitor the fireball activity which is reported to us from across North America, over the course of a given year. Although the AMS does not pursue fireball reports with the intent of recovering meteorites, we do notify relevant planetary scientists when promising events occur in their local geographic areas, for them to pursue as they wish.

https://mufoncms.com/cgi-bin/report_handler.pl

Extra Canadian Reporting

Check : http://www.skyscan.ca/fireballs.htm

Feel free to phone at reasonable hours : 250-598-6692 in Victoria, BC

 

WT1190F Splashdown Friday

(Email from Cattle Point Dark Sky Urban Star Park volunteer William Smith)

Dear Gerhard Drolshagen : On the Orbit of WT1190F (aka Snoopy)

Does object  get captured weeks before and go into earth’s orbit, slowly losing speed and descending? OR does it come shooting directly into the earth’s atmosphere – almost perpendicular to a tangent  ie pointing at the earth’s centre?  This is important because if it orbits the earth one or two times as it slows down, then we might see it in the dark of the late evening where we are on West Coast of North America..  

 Look here : https://www.pinterest.com/pin/564357397034893195/

 

If you look at the ISS paths then focus in on the one which crosses southern India, this might indicate that SNOOPY (coming also NW-> SE) would pass over Panana, Bahamas, Northern Spain , Mediterranean and then IRAN . No luck for west coast of USA/Canada where I am.  

Hello Bill,
Gerhard Drolshagen forwarded your message to me. Here is some of the info we have on WT1190F.

The object has been in Earth’s orbit at least since 2009. It has been moving in an elongated orbit with apogee at about twice the distance of the Moon, and perigee getting closer and closer to the Earth, until the upcoming re-entry. Since 2009, it has completed dozens of orbits around the Earth, and each orbit is about a month long.
The impact trajectory is not very vertical, but still much steeper than the typical re-entry of a low-orbiting satellite. It will come in with an angle of about 20° from the horizontal (=70° from vertical).

Given the fact that the orbit is so long, the geometry is totally different from a pass of the ISS. The latter orbits the Earth in about 90 minutes, while WT1190F takes weeks. So the current pass is actually the last part of the last orbit for this object.
Anyway, from a geometry point of view, it will definitely be observable from north America in the morning hours of November 12. However, it will be very faint, magnitude 19 or so, invisible by eye even with a large telescope. A CCD camera and at least a moderate-size telescope will be needed to get an image of it at that time.
Even for Europe and Northern Africa, which are the countries best-placed to observe it just hours before impact, it will only reach magnitude 15 or so, too faint for anything but images with a good telescope.

If you want to get an ephemeris for a specific site, I suggest you use this page from the Minor Planet Center: http://www.minorplanetcenter.net/iau/artsats/artsats.html. Just select WT1190F, enter the required information, and you will get your specific ephemeris based on the latest data.

Let us know if you need any additional info, and thanks for contacting us.
Marco

PS Young post-grads : http://hoyleshield.wesmith104.com/?page_id=80

For media : https://plus.google.com/communities/102562881766320685473

 

WT1190F – Play by Play BLOG

2015-11-13 : 10:21 PST. Splashdown was last night at 22:19  PST in SRI LANKA off coast of Matara. Was late evening on USA Westcoast Thursday. Please enjoy my Blog. This is a conversation between young post-grad scientist Subath Amaradasa of the “Near Earth Objects” Team at the University of Ruhuna, who is on ground with French scientists from European Space Agency and William Smith who is the Hoyle-Shield coordinator at Cattle Point DARK SKY Urban Star Park, Victoria, Canada.

 

PS There will be a post script to the Snoopy event. Snoopy is almost certainly the Apollo 10 lunar lander – aka Snoopy. Its orbit which reaches way past the moon, makes this almost certain. No wonder it burned out. Very high speed entering the upper atmosphere. Ten times the speed of the fastest bullet on earth. Being small and with no shielding, no wonder it quickly burned out. Thanks to Rick Nowell for inspiring Subath Amaradasa and his “Near Earth Object” team at the University of Ruhuna in Matara, Sri Lanka.