Skip to content

Watch Fireball Video 100 X Brighter Than Full Moon In Colorado Sky

December 6, 2008

This is nothing short of awesome.  You should see a moving video of the event below.

chris-peterson1_strip

 

On Friday night a fireball one hundred times brighter than the full Moon lit up the sky near Colorado Springs, Colorado. Astronomer Chris Peterson photographed the event using an all-sky video camera dedicated to meteor studies. “In seven years of operation, this is the brightest fireball I’ve ever recorded. I estimate the terminal explosion at magnitude -18.”  Meteors this bright are called superbolides; they are caused by small (meter-class) asteroids and are likely to pepper the ground with meteorites when they explode.

Fireballs this bright belong to a rare category of meteors called superbolides. They are caused by small asteroids measuring a few to 10 meters in diameter and massing hundreds of metric tons. Superbolides trigger seismic detectors on the ground, produce waves of infrasound that can travel thousands of miles, and they are tracked by military satellites scanning Earth for nuclear explosions. Recent examples include the El Paso fireball of 1997 and the Slovenian Superbolide of 2007.

Last night’s fireball is on the low end of the superbolide scale. Nevertheless, it was still a beauty and likely peppered the ground with meteorites when it exploded.

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: