Bright fireball over Belgium, meteorites possible

Bright fireball over Belgium, meteorites possible

A bright fireball exploded over Belgium at 02:04 UTC on Wednesday, March 18, 2020. The International Meteor Organization (IMO) received 6 reports from eyewitnesses including those in the Netherlands, Luxembourg, and Germany. According to IMO, the meteoroid entered the atmosphere at nearly 12 km/s and an angle close to 60°. These are almost the same as the meteoroid characteristics of the New Year Italian fireball.

Six reports submitted to IMO were from observers in District de Luxembourg; Noord-Brabant and Noord-Holland in the Netherlands; Rheinland-Pfalz in Germany; and Vlaanderen in Belgium.

One viewer from Noord-Holland said he saw the meteor through foggy clouds as it streaked over the top right portion of the sky and flashed two times. Most of the witnesses said the fireball lasted for about three seconds and did not produce any sound.


Fireball heatmap. Image credit: IMO

The FRIPON network was able to record the event in Belgium. Calculations operated from the recordings indicate that the fireball had a fairly high entry angle -- 60° and a low atmospheric entry speed of 12 km/s (3.33 mps).

IMO reported that the meteor ended near the tripoint of Belgium, Germany, and Luxembourg.


Image credit: FRIPON/Vigie-Ciel


Image credit: FRIPON/Vigie-Ciel

These meteoroid characteristics are nearly comparable with the fireball that streaked across Italy on New Year. Two meteorites were recovered after the event.


Image credit: Ferdinand E.


Image credit: Mario B.

Featured image credit: FRIPON/Vigie-Ciel


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