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.
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 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
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.
The Camera Networks
The participating UK meteor camera networks are:
UK Meteor Observation Network www.ukmeteornetwork.co.uk
SCAMP, the UK component of the French FRIPON network www.fripon.org
UK Fireball Network, part of the Global Fireball Observatory https://gfo.rocks/
The NEMETODE Network www.nemetode.org
The Global Meteor Network www.globalmeteornetwork.org
The AllSky7 Network www.allsky7.net
Get your own camera and join us! All welcome.
For a brief overview of 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 for about £250 and can wait for UK-based volunteers to build it then visit: https://ukmeteornetwork.co.uk/join/
If you can't wait, you can get a pre-built system more quickly at: 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 (includes lots of useful utilities and daily meteor and fireball triangulation reports) www.ukmeteornetwork.co.uk
And also 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.
Click "Read More" below for some answers to frequently-asked questions on the Winchcombe meteorite which fell on 28th February 2021 in Gloucestershire. The video is from Richard Fleet's camera in Wilcot - part of the UK Meteor Observation Network.
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 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!