A huge meteor was seen on the night of february 09, around 23:20 UT (19:20 local time) in the Valencia region of Venezuela. The meteor was recorded by at least 5 cameras and was also reported to the AMS by observers in Venezuela and the Caribbean Islands of Curacao and Bonaire. Soon after that, social networks were flooded with testimonials, videos and speculation about the phenomenon.
Images of fire allegedly related to the event were posted, but it certainly has no relation to what happened.
Although at least 5 videos were recorded, none of them had useful information such as location and direction of the sighting. Still, a team from BRAMON sought to match as much information as possible and put together pieces of the puzzle to get a preliminary trajectory of the meteor that startled the residents of that region of Venezuela.
The team also had access to an image of the meteorological satellite GOES-16 that shows an anomaly, which may be related to the event, occurring at the same time, in the region of San José de Tiznados, about 90 km south of Valencia. There were no storm clouds in the region that could cause this kind of detection, so probably it should be the detection of the ionization generated by the atmospheric passage of the meteor.
From analysis of the images and the few available information, the following trajectory was proposed, which is not yet a definitive solution, but it is a trajectory that matches with the observations in Valencia, Caracas and the flash perceived by the GOES-16.
From more detailed analysis of one of the videos that has the approximate location, it was also possible calculate some data for this trajectory. If it is correct, we will have the meteor arising in the sky 104 km above the region of Las Ollas and following for 6.11 seconds towards the southwest at a speed 26 km / s until it extinguishes about 25 km above the rural area of Flor Amarilla.
- Duration of the meteor: 6.11 seconds
- Length of the trajectory: 160 Km (123 km projected on ground)
- Entrance Angle: 40 °
- Speed: 26,21 Km / s
- Starting altitude: 104 Km
- Final Altitude: 25 Km
Simulated visions of trajectory in some cities of Venezuela
Apparently, there must be meteorites on the ground in the region between San Francisco Tiznados, San José de Tiznados and Flor Amarilla. There is still a very high degree of uncertainty regarding the area of meteorite dispersion. However, since the trajectory and consequently, the altitudes should not change much, there is a positive indicative of new Venezuelan meteorites. And if confirmed, this region is a great area to search, with little vegetation and mainly agricultural. Surely the Venezuelan people will enjoy this gift from heaven!
BRAMON continues to search for new data and information to increase the accuracy of this trajectory and the area of meteorite dispersion. As soon as there are news of this case, it will be disclosed here.
People who can collaborate with images, videos or just more information about the meteor, can contact us by email firstname.lastname@example.org.
It is important to thank all those who have been collaborating in this work: the BRAMON team and the citizens who have given us important information about the meteor. In particular to Thereza Ott, who sent the links of videos detected by the NEMO project.