The night of 2-3 January 2017 was partially clear and allowed visual observers to watch for the Quadrantids while the CAMS network could capture many meteors. At 2h10m UT a -10 slow moving fireball appeared above the Benelux visible for 7 seconds. Few hours later messages started to appear on the Benelux meteor mailing list (Yahoo group Meteoren NV):
Klaas Jobse: “last night a very nice slow bright fireball was captured in the South-East, duration on the video all-sky was 7 seconds“.
Michel Vandeputte: “It doesn’t often happen that I get out of the roof with a fireball occurence, but this time at 02h10m UT, I did reasonable well ;-). Check your cameras! Moving from west to east along an extreme long track. I estimate about 8 seconds duration with multiple fragmentations along the trajectory, very colorful, magnitude -10 beyond doubt… A peculiar detail, 4 minutes later (2h14m UT) I heard a strong dull bang in the background… e.g. firework bang. Could this be a sonic boom so long after the appearance?”
Franky Dubois: “Worthwhile to get out of the roof! The most beautiful from my career: see Figure 1.
Checking out the CAMS registrations of last night, Paul Roggemans got the end of the fireball on CAMS 389 at Mechelen (BE), displaying a remarkable splitting of the fireball trail after its final last flare (see Figure 2). Luc Gobin captured the start of the fireball with multiple flares on CAMS 390 and 391 also at Mechelen (BE) (Figure 3 and 4).
Meanwhile both CAMS and the All-sky data allowed some preliminary analyses:
Carl Johannink could derive the exact time of the appearance at 02h10m49s UT. CAMS allowed a trajectory and orbit calculation between CAMS 339 (Klaas Jobse, Oostkapelle, NL) and CAMS 390 and 391 (Luc Gobin, Mechelen BE). The data of CAMS 389 with the final part of the fireball was not taken into account by the CAMS coincidence software. The reason why is not yet clear, but the CAMS project is designed for fainter meteors and has often problems to obtain accurate positions from overexposed flares. The fireball trajectory started at 89 km above Roeselare in Belgium and the last position from CAMS (339-390/391) was at a height 51 km about 15 km east of Gent (BE). The radiant was situated ~3° south of γ Ori. The geocentric velocity was 11.3 km/s. The orbital elements:
- q = 0.876 AU
- e = 0.513
- i = 6.3°
- ω = 47.3°
Marco Langbroek analysed the all sky pictures from Ieper (BE) and from Oostkapelle (NL). The begin height from the all-sky pictures was 80.9 km and the end height 30.1 km above Ekeren near Antwerp. Since no velocity information is available from the all-sky data, nothing can be said about the deceleration, mass or possible dropping of any remnants. The path is plotted in figure 5 and 6.
A more detailed analyses from the combined data of CAMS and the All-sky stations will be made in order to fine-tune the results on this event.