The Great Chinese Fireball of December 22, 2020OPEN ACCESS 

Albino Carbognani

manuscript submitted to EPJPlus


“On December 22, 2020 at about 23h 23m 33s UTC a very bright fireball was seen in the sky of south-eastern China. The fireball lasted for several seconds and ended with an atmospheric explosion that was detected by US surveillance satellites. According to CNEOS’s data, the fireball moved with a mean speed of 13.6 km/s and exploded at an altitude of about 35.5 km (Lat. 31.9∘ N; Long. 96.2∘ E). In this paper, using satellites data only, we estimate the atmospheric trajectory, the heliocentric orbit and the strewn fields for different mass/section ratio of the fragments. The trajectory was about from north to south and with low inclination with respect to the local surface. The explosion height appear consistent with a fragmented rocky body and the heliocentric orbit supports an asteroidal origin. The strewn field extend between two points with coordinates (+31.3∘ N; 96.3∘ E) and (+30.3∘ N; 96.5∘ E), for a total area of about 4000 km2. However, given the unknown uncertainty of the satellites data, these results should be taken with caution. “