10:22:00 PM

Radar And Observational Analysis From Dr. Marc Fries-23MAR2011 OKC Bolide

First my sincere thanks to Marc ( http://radarmeteorites.wordpress.com/2011/03/25/ok-24-mar-2011-0220-utc/ ) for staying awake as long as he could to download and analyse Doppler radar data within minutes of this bolide event into the wee hours of the morning. From that analysis, Dirk Ross of Tokyo, Japan ( Worldwide Meteor/Meteorite News ) , James Beauchamp ( OKC Sandia Sentinel Fireball Camera ), Kevin Palivec (Hawley TX Sandia Sentinel Fireball Camera) and myself gained confidence that a fall was possible, and were able to triangulate a very close potential fall location. While we truly won't know until searchers locate actual meteorites from this event, the invaluable eyewitness reports we received from YOU OUR READERS! were by far the single most important element in making our calculations. MAJOR KUDOS TO YOU, OUR READERS! Please accept our profound thanks on behalf of all of us. Please bookmark this site for continued updates and future reference. ELPALLSKY...

From Dr. Marc Fries...OK 24 Mar 2011 0220 UTC
This large fireball was seen by a large number of eyewitnesses and recorded by a few all-sky cameras (I’m not sure how many).  This is a significant fireball, with an apparently ~flat trajectory and low velocity. Material is clearly seen to spall off the end of the track, and overall there appears to be a high likelihood that meteorites reached the ground. Kudos go to Jim Gamble of El Paso Allsky (LINK) and Dirk Ross (LINK) who were both on top of it from the time of the event and have excellent compilations of data at the links posted above.
And this is fun – the meteor actually occurs behind a local meteorologist while he’s reporting the weather! (LINK)
My first look at radar data from this event focused near the OK-TX border west of OK City, where there wasn’t much to see. One single-pixel item shows up on three separate radars (KAMA, KFDR, KVNX) 10 km west of Butler, OK. All three radars record an altitude of about 18,000′ for this object. It is a real object, seen in the middle of nowhere on a near-cloudless night at about 0230 UTC, but otherwise there aren’t any other indications that this is related to the meteor event.
Rob Matson pointed out a series of radar returns that is a better candidate for a meteorite fall. Rob points out that this series of radar returns appears on the KFWS, KVNX radars, and I would also add that it is seen in data from the unfortunately-named KINX radar and KSRX as well. The returns follow a track from approximately 35.635401 N, -98.081465 W to 35.497839 N, -97.843624 W, which describes a ground track that is approximately 27 km long. Note that this is not corrected for winds...MORE

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