Nearly 900 reports from Great Britain and surrounding areas
Only five days after a brilliant fireball startled observers in Great Britain, another fireball has occurred with a very similar trajectory to the previous event. The AMS/IMO have received nearly 900 reports so far about this fireball event that occurred over southern England on May 16th, 2022 around 9:46 PM BST* (20:46 Universal Time). AMS #2022-2921 event was mainly seen from England and Wales (UK) but we also received reports from France, The Netherlands and Guernsey thanks to our partners UKMON (UK), Werkgroep Meteoren (NL) and Vigie-Ciel (FR).
*BST = British Summer Time
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The ground trajectory computed from the witness reports shows that the meteor was traveling from South East to North West and ended its visible flight over southern England.
Several thousand meteors of fireball magnitude occur in the Earth’s atmosphere each day. The vast majority of these, however, occur over the oceans and uninhabited regions, and a good many are masked by daylight. Those that occur at night also stand little chance of being detected due to the relatively low numbers of persons out to notice them.
Additionally, the brighter the fireball, the more rare is the event. As a general thumb rule, there are only about 1/3 as many fireballs present for each successively brighter magnitude class, following an exponential decrease. Experienced observers can expect to see only about one fireball of magnitude -6 (crescent moon) or better for every 200 hours of meteor observing, while a fireball of magnitude -4 (Venus) can be expected about once every 20 hours or so.