Fireball Measurements

What is a Fireball?


A fireball is a bright (typically brighter than the planet Venus) meteor. The fireball phenomenon indicates passage of either a fast or large (or both) meteoroid through the atmosphere. Typically velocities and masses needed to produce fireballs are 100g at 20 km/s or 1 g at 60 km/s. Fireballs are of interest as these objects may indicate the survival of some material to the ground (in the form of meteorites). They often fragment (see picture below of the Peekskill fireball/meteorite from Oct 9, 1992) and may produce audible sound.