Rain of Fire is an inspiring 3D view of the existing data on fireballs and bolides. How bright was the emitted light? How big was the shock wave of the explosion? Where did the meteorite came from and where was the Earth? Using a heliocentric coordinate system we can recreate approximately where the objects were located in the past and the trajectory of meteorites before their collision with the Earth. Where were you when the last bolide exploded? Rewind the time and see the Rain of Fire.

This project is solving the Airburst Data Visualization challenge.


Main Goal

Find out new and innovative ways for visualizing the observed airburst events as well as their perceived and potential impact on the Earth's surface.

The Project

Our project visualizes the collected data for the airburst events using a heliocentric coordinate system, with the camera centered and orbiting around the Earth, and shows the trajectory of the bolides and fireballs before they entered the Earth's atmosphere. By calculating the apparent magnitude of the bolides and fireballs, we can show the luminosity of the airbursting objects. From the collected data about the created air blast pressure, we gather information about the radius of the wave and the affected area.

We are able to calculate the trajectories by simulating an N-body gravitational system to determine where did the object come from before impact. The only information needed is an accurate date and velocity components prior to impact. The fireball and bolide data contains velocity components in a Geographic coordinate system - we use the Earth's heliocentric position around the Sun at the time of impact and take into account the Earth's rotation and tilt. The computation is performed using Verlet integration. Those calculations can be used for both past and future events as well as for simulation.

Bolides can be filtered based on the total radiated energy, approximate impact energy, altitude and date.


Utilizing the three.js javascript visualization framework for displaying a 3D view of the planet Earth with additional overlayed objects for representing the monitored airbursts and any other information.


You can view a demo of the project by clicking here.

Project Information

License: GNU General Public License version 3.0 (GPL-3.0)

Source Code/Project URL: https://github.com/rabbitpower/RainOfFire


Fireball and Bolide Reports - http://neo.jpl.nasa.gov/fireball/
Meteorite Landings - https://data.nasa.gov/Space-Science/Meteorite-Landings/gh4g-9sfh
International Meteor Organization - http://www.imo.net/
Apparent Magnitude - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apparent_magnitude
Luminosity and Apparent Brightness - https://www.e-education.psu.edu/astro801/content/l4_p4.html
Heliocentric cartesian coordinate calculation - http://cosinekitty.com/solar_system.html
Heliocentric cartesian coordinate calculation - http://ssd.jpl.nasa.gov/?horizons
Coordinate systems - http://www.helio-vo.eu/documents/public/HELIO_Coordinates_100322.pdf
Coordinate systems - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ecliptic_coordinate_system
Coordinate systems - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Earth-centered_inertial
Coordinate systems - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geographic_coordinate_system
Air-burst blast effect calculation - https://www.metabunk.org/attachments/blast-effect-calculation-1-pdf.2578/
Air-burst blast effect calculation - https://www.fourmilab.ch/etexts/www/effects/eonw_3.pdf
Javascript 3D library - http://threejs.org/


  • Dimitar Blagoev
  • Martina Chavdarova
  • Emilia Toteva