[meteorite-list] Fwd: Fireball Observation Reports

From: Lew Gramer <dedalus_at_meteoritecentral.com>
Date: Thu Apr 22 09:43:35 2004
Message-ID: <200107241920.AA24986_at_trillian.dev.latrade.com>

Please ask all witnesses of the recent (or any) bright fireball with Web
access, to submit as detailed a report as possible to the following site:


Clear skies,
Lew Gramer

------- Forwarded Message

From: "Ed Majden" <epmajden_at_home.com>
To: "meteorobs" <meteorobs_at_atmob.org>
Subject: (meteorobs) Fireball Observation Reports
Date: Tue, 24 Jul 2001 10:21:47 -0700

In order to calculate the ground path and predict a fall area of a
fireball the following information is required. If any one of these
parameters is missing it is impossible to compute a fall area with
any degree of accuracy. These measurements MUST be measured with
instrumentation NOT just estimated by visual observation.

1. Location of the observer, obtained from topographical maps or GPS
reading. This should include Longitude and Latitude, measured to the
best accuracy possible.

2. The azimuth bearing of the fireball where it was first observed.
This should be measured with a compass and corrected to "true north"
bearing, NOT "magnetic" as often, maps are not available to determine
the magnetic deviation for your location.

3. The elevation of the fire ball at first sighting measured with a
Clinometer or other angle measuring device. A simple roof slope level
can be used if you don't have more accurate instrumentation.

4. The above measurements should be repeated for the last point you
saw the fireball.

5. From a single location, an observer of a fireball CANNOT define
the flightpath direction of the fireball. Just report that it was
going 'from right to left' or 'from left to right'. [???]

6. Contact information for the observer should be reported.
E-mail address, snail mail address and/or phone number.

7. Report the time of the event indicating a.m or p.m. or use
24 hour format and indicate the time zone you are in. Don't
forget the date.

Additional information that can be useful:
    Report any sound phenomenon like a sonic boom etc. Try to
estimate the time delay from your first sighting of the fireball
to the arrival of the sonic boom sound. Report any other sounds
if any are present.

    Report the appearance of the event, fragmentation, terminal burst, etc.
If you have a camcorder or other photographic device by all means take a
video or some pictures of the event. Try and include a ground object for
reference such as a building, tree, or mountain so directions can be
determined at a later time. An over head picture with no reference object
provides little information to the researcher. Video or movie records are
extremely important as these can provide information on the velocity of the
fireball. This CANNOT be arrived at from simple visual observation.

    To arrive at a reasonable ground path and fall area this information
is required or the researcher is just wasting his time at trying to do
the calculations.

    I hope that this guide will help you report information that is useful
to a researcher that is going to spend valuable time doing the necessary
calculations. PLEASE report any fireball events to a recording agency like
the IMO FIDAC, AMS, MIAC, North American Meteor Network, etc. Do this as
soon as possible, while this information is still fresh in your mind.

Ed Majden - MIAC Associate - AMS Affiliate

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Received on Tue 24 Jul 2001 03:20:00 PM PDT

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