The Fireballs Network helps find meteorites that land in the UK

Issued: Wed, 31 Jul 2019 09:20:59 BST

Dr Luke Daly, alongside collaborators at Imperial College London, is building a network of all sky cameras across the UK called the UK Fireball Network UKFN. These cameras are designed to image fireballs: the atmospheric light effect resulting from the entry of a meteoroid into Earth’s atmosphere. From these images we can triangulate the fall position of the meteorite and determine its orbit.

Dr Daly said: 'One meteorite of a searchable size should fall on an area the size of the UK every year. We haven’t found one for 30 years, so we’re batting way below our average.'

The idea originally was to see if we could use cameras to see fireballs and hunt meteorites in a place where we can actually recover them easily.'

 

 

This project works with groups including the UK meteorite observation network (UKMON), SCAMP and the Natural History Museum to pool resources in the UK to hunt for extraterrestrial treasures. The UKFN itself is part of a much larger camera network called the Global Fireball Observatory (GFO) run by Professor Phil Bland at Curtin University, Australia. This worldwide network will image the night sky in both hemispheres 24 hours a day, recording everything that passes through Earth’s atmosphere.

Read more on the Sky at Night website.