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Abstract

The Košice meteorite fall occurred in eastern Slovakia on February 28, 2010, 22:25 UT. The very bright bolide was imaged by three security video cameras from Hungary. Detailed bolide light curves were obtained through clouds by radiometers on seven cameras of the European Fireball Network. Records of sonic waves were found on six seismic and four infrasonic stations. An atmospheric dust cloud was observed the next morning before sunrise. After careful calibration, the video records were used to compute the bolide trajectory and velocity. The meteoroid, of estimated mass of 3500 kg, entered the atmosphere with a velocity of 15 km s−1 on a trajectory with a slope of 60° to the horizontal. The largest fragment ceased to be visible at a height of 17 km, where it was decelerated to 4.5 km s−1. A maximum brightness of absolute stellar magnitude about −18 was reached at a height of 36 km. We developed a detailed model of meteoroid atmospheric fragmentation to fit the observed light curve and deceleration. We found that Košice was a weak meteoroid, which started to fragment under the dynamic pressure of only 0.1 MPa and fragmented heavily under 1 MPa. In total, 78 meteorites were recovered in the predicted fall area during official searches. Other meteorites were found by private collectors. Known meteorite masses ranged from 0.56 g to 2.37 kg. The meteorites were classified as ordinary chondrites of type H5 and shock stage S3. The heliocentric orbit had a relatively large semimajor axis of 2.7 AU and aphelion distance of 4.5 ± 0.5 AU. Backward numerical integration of the preimpact orbit indicates possible large variations of the orbital elements in the past due to resonances with Jupiter.