UKFAll - 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.

 
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The Science

  • About 65,000 meteorites have been found world-wide

  • Only about 40 of these 65,000 were photographed as they arrived as a fireball, including of course the Winchcombe meteorite

  • 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 hardness, 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 in March 2021 after an appeal by UKFAll. Credit - the Trustees of the Natural History Museum

 
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The People

UK-based members of the UKFall team include the coordinators of each of the UK fireball camera networks, plus academic staff of UK institutions involved in space science, geology or in the study and curation of meteorites.

Overseas members include the coordinators of some of the international fireball networks and specialists in trajectory, orbit and strewn field calculations.


UKFall's current postholders are - Jim Rowe, Organiser, and Dr Luke Daly, Treasurer.  UKFall is affiliated to the Geologists' Association.

 
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The Camera Networks

The participating UK meteor camera networks are:

 
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Get your own camera and join us!  All welcome.

For instructions on how to build your own fireball camera for about £200, please see here: https://www.popastro.com/main_spa1/meteor/how-to-build-an-rms-camera-for-meteor-hunting/

If you would rather buy a pre-built system and can spend around £450 then visit: https://globalmeteornetwork.org/?page_id=136

For information on the UK meteor networks that you can join, see below - feel free to join one or both:

UK Meteor Observation Network  www.ukmeteornetwork.co.uk 

The NEMETODE Network www.nemetode.org

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. 

 

Report a fireball

Have you seen a really bright meteor?  Or heard a sonic boom that isn't related to aircraft movement?  If so, please click the button below to report it.  If a meteorite fell, your report may help us find it.

 

Winchcombe FAQ

Here are some answers to frequently-asked questions on the Winchcombe meteorite which fell on 28th February 2021 in Gloucestershire.

 

Our News - UKFAll on Twitter

Follow UKFAll at @UK_Fireball

 

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 Dr Katherine Joy of the University of Manchester (March 2021)

 

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.

 

Jim Rowe describes some of the technical developments allowing meteor networks in the UK to share data.

 

Sign up to be notified

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.)

 

Or send us a message

To report a meteor or a sonic boom, please use the "Report a fireball" link above.  Otherwise, please get in touch!

Thanks for submitting!

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