The UK Fireball Alliance
The UK Fireball Alliance aims to recover freshly-fallen meteorites in the UK. Led by staff of the Natural History Museum, UKFAll is a collaboration between the UK’s meteor camera networks.
Found something in South Wales? Send us a photo
To report a rock or for a media enquiry, please use this form. Please only report rocks found within the white line on the map since 12th May 2022.
Please note that meteorites are never spongy or bubbly or melted-looking - see the guide above. Industrial slag is all over Britain and is bubbly and melted. However, meteorites are not bubbly or melted-looking!
To report a meteor sighting, keep scrolling down.
How do we know where it landed?
In this visualisation, the path of the South Wales meteor is shown, as well as the views from several of the UK's many meteor cameras. We use the data from the cameras to calculate the path of the meteor.
About 69,000 meteorites have been found world-wide
Only about 40 of these 69,000 were photographed as they arrived as a fireball, including of course the Winchcombe meteorite on 28th February 2021
Meteor camera networks photograph incoming meteors from multiple locations
That allows the meteor’s path through the atmosphere to be calculated accurately
From this, the meteorite’s likely landing point can be estimated
This helps us find it before it gets rained on or very contaminated
The object’s orbit before hitting the Earth can also be calculated.
So, we have a freshly-recovered object and we know where in the solar system it came from; a really powerful combination that helps us understand the solar system.
Also, the meteorite’s strength, density and composition can be compared with its path through the atmosphere to learn more about the physics of meteorite and comet impacts.
Image - The Winchcombe Meteorite, recovered on 1st March 2021 after an appeal by UKFAll. Credit - the Trustees of the Natural History Museum
UKFAll in the News
UKFAll won the Royal Astronomical Society’s 2022 "Group Achievement Award in Geophysics", recognising the team’s work in recovering the Winchcombe meteorite. Our January 2022 press release (in ZIP format) is here.
Links to earlier, detailed news reports on Winchcombe from 2021 are below:
UKFAll - the People
UK-based members of the UKFAll team are, in alphabetical order:
Dr Natasha Vasiliki Almeida, Curator of Meteorites, the Natural History Museum
Charlotte Bays, PhD candidate, the Natural History Museum
Peter Campbell-Burns, Co-founder, the UK Meteor Observation Network
Dr Apostolos Christou, Research Astronomer, Armagh Observatory and Planetarium
Prof. Gareth Collins, Professor of Planetary Science, Department of Earth Science & Engineering, Imperial College London
Dr Luke Daly FRAS, Lecturer, School of Geographical and Earth Sciences, University of Glasgow, and co-lead of the UK Fireball Network
Will Gater, Astronomer, science journalist, author and presenter
Dr Jana Horák, Head of Mineralogy & Petrology, National Museum Wales
Prof. Katherine Joy FRAS, Royal Society University Research Fellow / Senior Reader, School of Earth & Environmental Sciences, The University of Manchester
Richard Kacerek, Founder, the UK Meteor Observation Network
Dr Ashley King, Future Leader Fellow, UKRI, the Natural History Museum, London, and lead of the SCAMP fireball network
Mark McIntyre, UK Meteor Network and Global Meteor Network
Dr Sarah McMullan, Imperial College London, and co-lead of the UK Fireball Network
Áine O'Brien, PhD candidate, University of Glasgow
Jim Rowe FRAS, Chair of the Outreach Committee of the Meteoritical Society
Dr Andrew Smedley, University of Manchester.
Overseas members are:
Dr Maria Gritsevich, Researcher, Docent at the Department of Physics, University of Helsinki
Dr Denis Vida, Postdoctoral Associate, The University of Western Ontario
Institutional supporters of UKFAll in the 2021/2022 year are:
The Natural History Museum, London
The University of Manchester
The University of Glasgow
Imperial College London
Amgueddfa Cymru - National Museum Wales
UKFAll's current postholders are - Dr Ashley King, Lead, Charlotte Bays, Secretary, and Dr Luke Daly, Treasurer. UKFAll is affiliated to the Geologists' Association.
Get your own camera and join us! All welcome.
Want to build your own fireball camera for about £200? See this article in Popular Astronomy. Or, if you would rather buy a camera system for about £250 and can wait for UK-based volunteers to build it then visit UKMON. If you can't wait, you can pay more to get a system more quickly from Istrastream in Croatia.
For information on the UK meteor networks that you can join, see below - feel free to join one or both:
UK Meteor Observation Network (includes lots of useful utilities and daily meteor and fireball triangulation reports)
And also the NEMETODE Network
Do it in any order you like - build or buy the camera then join the networks, or join the networks then get some support to build the camera.
Study with us!
We welcome interest from researchers interested in applying for independent research fellowships (i.e., PhD holders) to work on UKFAll meteor camera datasets. Our various institutions (including the NHM London, University of Glasgow, and University of Manchester) can host such externally funded positions and we encourage you to get in touch to discuss different funding routes and internal/external deadlines.
UK research funding schemes which would be useful for you to investigate are The Leverhulme Trust early career fellowships, The Royal Society University Research Fellowships, STFC Ernest Rutherford fellowship scheme, The Royal Astronomical Society fellowship scheme, and the EU-funded Marie Sklodowska-Curie programme.
Other routes could include topics related to impact risks (for example see the AXA research awards). Note all these funding routes have different deadlines and eligibility criteria.
Our News - UKFAll on Twitter
Follow UKFAll at @UK_Fireball
Áine O'Brien of the University of Glasgow describes the recovery of the Winchcombe meteorite - on Twitter.
Finding the Winchcombe Meteorite, by Dr Ashley King of the Natural History Museum (March 2021)
Searching for the Winchcombe meteorite - footage from the field, provided by Professor Katherine Joy of the University of Manchester (March 2021)
Jim Rowe describes some of the technical developments allowing meteor networks in the UK to share data.
Dr Ashley King and Dr Luke Daly talk about UKFall in August 2020
Dr Luke Daly gives an overview of UKFall at the Europlanet Virtual Science Congress in September 2020.
Become a friend of UKFAll and join our mailing list
Sign up here to be notified when we think there's a meteorite to find or if we have significant news. Your contact details will only be used for this purpose.
(By the way, this form doesn't always display properly in the Firefox browser.)