Fireball Over the Sunnmøre Alps

May 28, 2018


May 2018 Viewer's ChoicePhotographer: Geir T. Birkeland Øye
Summary Authors: Geir T. Birkeland Øye; Jim Foster

This very bright fireball was photographed over the Sunnmøre Alps in Ørsta, Norway, in the early morning hours on March 14, 2018, at 2:47 (UT 01.47). The camera is facing east. Even though the meteoroids that produce meteor streaks are typically no bigger than small pebbles, the rapid heating of the shock wave created by the compression of air rushing ahead of a meteorite in the Earth's upper atmosphere (some 35-70 miles or 55-115 km up) makes it visible to observers on the surface.

The fireball moved from top to bottom (toward the east). For reference purposes, the constellation of Perseus is at lower left, Cassiopeia at left center and the bright star at far right is Vega.

Photo Details: Canon EOS 650D camera; Vivitar 8 mm fisheye lens; ISO 1600; 58.3 seconds exposure.