Trajectory of the August 7, 2010 Biwako fireball determined from seismic recordings

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The Biwako fireball on August 7, 2010, produced a strong sonic boom throughout central Japan around 17:00 JST (UTC+9). There were many visual observations and reports of the sound in the Tokai and Kinki regions at that time. We have estimated the trajectory of this fireball and the location of its termination point by analyzing seismograms recorded on a dense local network. The isochrons of the arrival times are close to concentric circles, which suggest that the fireball disappeared due to fragmentation during entry. The fireball trajectory which explains the arrival times of the signal has a relatively high incident angle (55 degrees relative to the horizon) and the source is thought to disappear at a height of 26-km east of Lake Biwa. The azimuthal angle and velocity of the fireball are difficult to determine uniquely from this dataset. We identified an event thought to be due to fragmentation, with a location 3-km ENE and 9-km higher than the termination point. This location is consistent with the trajectory determined from the signal arrival. Based on this trajectory model, the source of the signal spans a horizontal range of 26 to 70 km, and the altitude of the source producing the sonic boom is about 30 to 50 km. Copyright © The Society of Geomagnetism and Earth, Planetary and Space Sciences (SGEPSS).




Yamada, M., & Mori, J. (2012). Trajectory of the August 7, 2010 Biwako fireball determined from seismic recordings. Earth, Planets and Space, 64(1), 27–35.

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