People often observe fireballs (bright streaming orbs which are produced by the frictional ablation of a meteoroid) crossing the sky, either during the daytime or at night. When a fireball is seen it is usually several miles high and if it were to reach the ground any surviving meteoritic material would be over 800 km (500 miles) from the observer. However, if the fireball is observed by enough people, possibly separated by several hundred kilometers, then a point of impact may be calculated.
If you see a large meteor or fireball you should stand still and do the following before moving:
Once you have made these measurements, write them down and then transfer them to the following form. You will also need to include additional information, such as the object's color and brightness, and the time it appeared. Once you have prepared the report, contact the American Meteor Society at http://www.amsmeteors.org/.
Please note, however, that reports should be restricted to sightings of fireballs and should not include the small meteors that are visible on almost any night. Small meteors, such as those seen during the Perseid meteor shower, are produced by tiny grains of dust which cannot be easily recovered. In many cases, these tiny particles completely burn up in the atmosphere.
Download a plain text version of the Meteor Report form.
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