Geostationary Lightning and Meteor Mapper?
January 22, 2018 05:23 AM
A fireball was widely observed slightly south of Howell, Michigan (near Detroit) on January 16th, 2018 at 8:08:33 PM Eastern. This bolide, like many others, was observed by the Geostationary Lightning Imager (GLM) instrument on the GOES-East weather satellite. Along with lightning, the GLM observes fireballs with equal sensitivity everywhere within its coverage area. The GLM images the Earth 500 times every second and is able to measure the shape of the meteor “light curve”, or how bright it was versus time, with millisecond precision. The largest fireball observed by the GLM so far occurred over the Atlantic Ocean on March 11th, 2017 and was reported by other U.S. Government sensors to be equivalent to an explosion of 2.9 kilotons of TNT. The GLM fireball light curve observations help study meteor threats to the Earth. CICS-MD Scientists Scott Rudlosky and Michael Peterson retrieved the GLM data, shown below.