Meteorite fall after fireball on 13 December near Ghent, Belgium

The FRIPON camera network observed a very bright fireball over Belgium on Tuesday 13 December at 17:37 local time. Based on the observations and the latest calculations, the fireball produced meteorites that have been dropped in an area west of the city Ghent. Local meteorite researchers are therefore calling on the public to look out for possible meteorites in their surroundings.

The phenomenon was captured by the fireball cameras of the FRIPON network in Belgium and the Netherlands. The fireball was recorded by the camera in Brussels at the Royal Belgian Institute for Space Aeronomy, and by cameras from the Dutch FRIPON network (DOERAK) in Tilburg and Oostkapelle. According to the latest calculations, it is possible that meteorites of around 500 g impacted in an area west of Ghent (see the map of the search area below).

Call to the public

The Belgian team of investigators is calling on the public for more observations and possible recoveries of meteorites. People living in the region west of Ghent, or passing through this area, that have seen or heard anything unusual are called upon to report their observations. Researchers are particularly interested in knowing if since Tuesday evening one or more dark stones a few centimeters in size (roughly the size of a fist) have been found in an unusual place, a roof, the footpath, on the street, in their garden. Visit the website of FRIPON-Belgium for the latest information in French and Dutch and the ongoing search & recovery campaign.

Details of the event

Figure 1 Fireball of 13 December 17:37 UTC seen by the cameras of Brussels (BIRA-IASB), Oostkapelle and Tilburg. Image credits: FRIPON network/BIRA IASB/DOERAK/TU Delft

Figure 2 Light curve of the fireball showing the variation in Magnitude as function of its altitude. Grey bands illustrate the confidence values. Credit: FRIPON

Figure 3 The search area (strewn field) of the 13 December fireball west of the city Ghent in Belgium. Credit: FRIPON