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First bright fireball captured by BINGO!

Submitter: Felix Bettonvil
Description: This period of the year, every now and then a fairly bright meteor can be seen. The chance is big that these belong to the Taurid complex, a meteor shower peaking early November and active for over 2 months. Taurids originate from comet 2P/Encke.

Since summer this year, on the roof of the ASTRON building, a dedicated All-sky fireball patrol camera is operational, monitoring the sky in high resolution every night. It was bingo the 11th of October, when the first bright fireball was registered, rather surprisingly being a very early Taurid. The fireball was also seen by other stations, from which could be deduced that the meteor appeared west of Denmark above the North Sea.

Although of cometary origin, Taurid meteoroids can be of pretty large size, and can penetrate deep into earth's atmosphere. They are slow, have higher tensile strength than other cometary meteors, and if cometary meteor showers are able to drop meteorites, the Taurids are the biggest candidate. In 2005, a telescopic lunar impact was observed, and traced back to the Taurid complex.

This year, several extremely bright Taurids were witnessed around the world, including Poland and Bangkok. This picture shows the 11th October fireball, amid the beautiful dark Dwingeloo sky. The breaks in the trail are the result of an alternating chopper, used for precise measurement of the velocity.
Copyright: NOVA
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