Bright Sigma Hydrid fireball burns over central Wales, UK

Bright Sigma Hydrid fireball burns over central Wales, UK

A meteor significantly brighter than Venus, and bright enough to be called a fireball, entered Earth's atmosphere above the United Kingdom at 02:23 UTC on December 5, 2016.

The United Kingdom Meteor Observation Network (UKMON) reports the meteoroid was just a few grams. It was traveling at a velocity of 58 km/s and burned up in little over a second, high over central Wales.

"It came from the Sigma Hydrid meteor stream, which was originally detected from photographic observations in the 1950s. With a rate of just a few meteors per hour, it isn’t a spectacular shower, although it does produce a few bright meteors," UKMON's Richard Fleet said.

"This meteoroid had traveled from the distance of Saturn to within Mercury’s orbit for thousands of years before Earth got in the way on December 5th," Fleet added. "The parent body hasn’t been identified yet but the shape of the orbit suggests it came from a now inactive comet."

December 5, 2016 fireball over UK as seen from Wilcot, Wiltshire

December 5, 2016 fireball over the UK as seen from Wilcot, Wiltshire. Credit: UKMON

December 5, 2016 fireball over the UK as seen from East Barnet, London

December 5, 2016 fireball over the UK as seen from East Barnet, London. Credit: UKMON

December 5, 2016 fireball over the UK - Trajectory

December 5, 2016 fireball over the UK - Trajectory. Credit: UKMON

December 5, 2016 fireball over the UK - Orbital diagram4

December 5, 2016 fireball over the UK - Orbital diagram. Credit: UKMON

December 5,  2016  fireball over the UK as seen from Wilcot, Wiltshire. Credit: UKMON

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