The fireball left a spectacular glowing trail in the night sky
The meteor that stunned several French people on January 25th in the late afternoon, may not have fallen in the surroundings of Bourges (Cher), as was first believed.

According to the research done by Dominique Caudron, an amateur astronomer in the North of France, the falling point would be located "a little bit toward the East of Albi, in the surroundings of Paulinet".

In an article published by le Figaro, Pierre Lagrange, a sociologist of sciences and member of the College of Experts working in a team of study and information on Unidentified Space Phenomena (Geipan) at the Centre National d'Etudes Spatiales (National Center of Space Studies) in Toulouse, gives a precise description of the calculations of the young astronomer.

This new localization helps to understand the many reports from witnesses gathered in the Tarn department, even if the celestial object was also seen in other departments of the 'Midi toulousain' (the region surrounding Toulouse).

"Between 5:30 p.m. and 8 p.m. we saw very clearly a sort of 'sky rocket' falling in a diagonal direction in a forest at the end of the route going from Vabre to Cunac".

"A fireball with a silvery tail. It was very low, I had the feeling that it was going to hit my car," remembers very clearly Michele Boyer in Blaye-les-Mines.

"It was like a rocket with sparkles all around. It was only three meters from the ground. In my opinion, it fell either on the hedge or on the neighbouring field," says Guy Morandin, a citizen of Albi.

Jacques Patenet, head of the Geipan at the CNES (National Center of Space Studies) in Toulouse confirmed yesterday evening the accuracy of Dominique Cuadron's calculation and the new hypothesis of an almost vertical path above the Tarn department.

"An atmospheric entrance between 35 and 50 miles high is seen from a very, very long distance, specially if it is a big and dense meteorite of metallic consistency. But most of the time, nothing reaches the ground."

Calling for witnesses

According to the scientist from Toulouse, "it would be an exceptional thing if we could find anything".

Jacques Patenet invites the witnesses of this event to report their observations in order to confront and add accuracy to Dominique Caudron's calculations.

Some reports from eyewitnesses:

In the region of Toulouse, a luminous phenomenon was pointed out in several departments, among which we find the Haute-Garonne and especially the Tarn.

Marc Fabre saw "a big white trail" above Puech Auriol (Castres's commune), while he was playing football with his son.

Mrs Enery, living in Gaillac, saw the meteorite "passing at a very, very high speed from West to East." Still in the Tarn department, Mr. Roquelaure from Lombers claims having seen "at exactly 6:15 p.m., while he was going back home from the hairdresser in Montdragon, a red fireball with a sparkling tail like the candles on a birthday cake..."

"I saw the meteorite here, in Auch, on Friday evening. It was a big fireball that flew very rapidly across the sky at the Northeast while I was at a traffic light coming back from work. It was not dark yet, but the phenomenon was very intense," explains Dominique Amouroux, one of our readers from the Gers department. She is not the only one to have seen the fireball in the sky above Gers. Laurent Azanowsky, an inhabitant of Arblade-le-Haut said: "I saw a fireball coming from the Northwest and going Southeast, totally in the opposite direction to what the people in Bourges report."

A woman from Auscitaine also saw the celestial body when driving on Friday, between 6 p.m. and 6:30 p.m., in Ordan-Larroque: "We were at the exit of Ordan, on the road that goes to the forest of Auch. There, there are a few houses, and a lady who was in her garden also saw it," she explains.

"It was something very shiny with a white trail. We have the feeling that it fell vertically, on a field... But if that had been the case, there would have been a fire, wouldn't it?" she asks. "We would like to know the why, the how," she says, hoping that the beautiful show did not end somewhere in a catastrophe.

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