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Bright fireball captured on 31.10.2015

A large fireball occurred on 31 October 2015 at 19:05 CET, reported by many eye-witnesses in eastern part of Germany and Poland. The event was recorded by the all-sky fireball camera station located at the rooftop of DLR Institute for Planetary Research in Berlin-Adlershof (Figure 1). The station operates as part of the European Fireball Camera Network and is equipped with a light sensitive video camera. The fireball is visible for more than 5 seconds in the video footage leaving an afterglow in the sky for a few seconds more. The rapid increase in the brightness of the fireball may be attributed to the brake-up of the initially large meteoroid into smaller chunks and unfortunately resulted in the saturation of the camera sensor.

A similar fireball station at Liebenhof observatory, located east of Berlin, also captured the event using an analog DSLR camera (Fig. 2). Benefitting from the image observations by two stations, the meteoroid trajectory and heliocentric orbit can be calculated, which is currently ongoing.

The initial analysis suggests that the meteoroid possibly belonged to the Taurid complex, a stream of meteoroids originating from comet 2P/Encke. This stream is known to be rich in large particles moving with a speed of nearly 30 km/sec generating impressive fireballs when entering the Earth's atmosphere. Taurids can be observed from late October to early November every year.

Fig. 1: The fireball event captured by the all-sky fireball camera station in DLR-Adlershof.
Fig. 2: Single exposure (colors inverted) of the Fireball recorded from EN-Station #68 in Liebenhof. The Fireball can be seen in the lower left part of the image.

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