‘Fireball’ is the name given to a meteor that appears to be brighter than Venus – one of the brightest planets in our sky, and a ‘bolide’ is a fireball that burns so bright that it can outshine the full moon. While spotting a fireball is rare, the meteors that cause them aren’t; according to the AMS, several thousand occur in Earth’s atmosphere each day.
The following news items constitute the latest sightings of fireballs from across the globe:
Spectacular Fireball Blazes Long Trail Over Northern Canada.
23 May 2013 – Diane Rourke, Boissevain, Manitoba, Canada 11:53 pm central
15 seconds duration. From west to northeast. Fireball with yellowish white color. Very bright and lasted a long time, amazing!
23 May 2013 – Charity Woods, Grandview, Manitoba, 23:50
At least 20 seconds duration. I lost sight of it becuse of trees in the way. It appeared to be going from west to east. I was facing west. White color. No sound. It looked like a huge ball of fire. I thought a plane was going down. It was brighter than the moon, and it’s a full moon tonight! It looked huge and amazing!
23 May 2013 – C.K., Yorkton, Saskatchewan, Canada 22:50
30 seconds duration in clear sky. WOW! SW to NE travel. Orange with long tail. Bright and large, best meteor we’ve ever seen! Very bright orange fireball with sparks coming from the tail. Best ever stellar event!
23 May 2013 – Christi Fallows and Cameron Morrison NE of Yorkton, SK, Canada 22:51 central standard approx
10 to 15 seconds Facing N, travelled from west to east…compared to a clock face it would have started at 10 and ended at 3 bright red/orange glow, circle shaped in the front,with a long orange tail with a smokey looking trail behind it, no sound heard bright as a harvest moon couldn’t tell no photo, seemed to disappear behind the clouds but was still visible, waited outside for a couple minutes but didn’t hear or see anything else
23 May 2013 – Carrie T Wadena, SK 22:50 central
approximately 10 seconds. We were facing east in the sky. The meteor flew NE in the sky, right to left. No sound, however bright orange tail. As it seemed to get closer in the sky, I could actually see it break and flare up again as it got lower into the atmosphere. As bright as an orange flame in the sky. Yes, definitely a fair size chunk broke off. Almost looked like something was burning in the sky but wasn’t moving as fast as other meteors you normally see off in the distance. Was very bright orange and left a fairly long tail behind it. Broke off a bit and continued on north east. Not sure if it completely burnt up, or we just lost site of it because it went off too far in the distance.
23 May 2013 – jody ruszkowski east of prince albert saskatchewan 2245 central
10-15 seconds heading north north east right to left bright yellow as bright as the moon appeared to be breaking up was very large and bright but dimmed as it was breaking apart
23 May 2013 – Cath Ollenberg Hudson bay Saskatchewan, Canada 23
10-15 Secs SW to NE Bright white front with red tail Same as moon yes, splintered 3 times then faded no photo.
23 May 2013 – Gary Kreklewich Melville, Saskatchwan, Canada 22:45 Saskatchewan time zone
About 20 seconds Southwest to Northeast like a comet, glowing very bright at times Very bright at times, fireball in the sky Saw a few parts break off towards the end creating smaller fireballs Wish I had a camera at the time.
23 May 2013 – Diane Rourke Minto Mb Canada 11:53 pm central standard time
15 seconds travelled west to north east, I was facing north Red fireball, followed by very bright light Very bright and colorful not that I could see It was amazing, bright, spellbinding
So why aren’t we seeing blazing chunks of rock all the time? Well, for one thing, 71% of Earth’s surface is covered by ocean. Of the remaining 29% of the planet, a fair bit is still uninhabited, and those rocks that do fall over civilization are frequently obscured by daylight. So actually getting to see these celestial visitors is a special treat.
Fireballs Over Arkansas Turns Night Into Day From Gulf Of Mexico To The Great Lakes.
18 May 2013 – Tristen Dixon Vilonia, AR 22:45:00
5 seconds duration. I faced east, it went from south to north. Green/white color and very bright.
18 May 2013 – J.B., Augusta, Arkansas, USA 22:40:00
Approx 4 seconds duration. S-N direction. Bright blue and green with white flashes. Bright as the moon, flashes as bright as the sun, like lightning. Small pieces like sparks. Could swear I heard a distant jet-like noise which may have been an actual jet but it did directly coincide with the meteor, so… ????
18 May 2013 – Michael Schoelzel, Mascoutah, IL, 22:40 cst
I saw the last 2 seconds. It started east and traveled west. I was looking south. Super brilliant white & green. Super bright! Fragmentation, looked like it disintegrated with green fragments as it was breaking apart. Probably second most amazing thing I’ve seen, right after last week’s observation, interestingly in the same area of the sky from my point of view.Simply breathtaking! Something is really not right here, I’ve been fascinated with the sky all my life, but only in recent years, or better yet months, have I ever witnessed such wild activity, thank you for the interest, I feel better now having reported it!
18 May 2013 – Gerard Randolph Lewisburg, TN USA 10:30-40 Central Time
It was not beyond 30 seconds.Fiery E-W Was looking at the sky and saw what appeared to be a falling star, but started getting bigger as it kept moving toward the west. Looked like a huge ball of fire. Fiery looking. Towards the tale of it it was falling off. Really an amazing sight!!!
18 May 2013 – Trevor Sales, Bowling Green, KY, 22:30-ish central standard
5 seconds United States no sound large burning fireball white flame trail with green front approximately lunar brightness appeared to be breaking slightly from my perspective approximately similar in size to the footage I saw of the large fireball seen in Russia recently shown on the daily show
18 May 2013 – David, Edwardsville, IL 22:30
approx 4 to 8 seconds. I was not expecting it Just caught it in the corner of my eye and it got my attention I was facing south it moved from n-e to s-w I saw a bright blue green streak with a long tail. it went out before hitting the ground. it was EXTREMELY close at least as bright as a full moon I could see larger lighted pieces falle from the tail area. i think I caught a faint sight of something after light went out. like I said It was CLOSE It was awesome. i am not a star gazer but wish I had my camera.
Separate sighting two days earlier
16 May 2013 – Cody B., Hot Springs, AK, 10:30 pm
I was headed west down highway 270 B. A big green meteor shot across the sky traveling north to south. It was an awesome sight. The front of it was a distinctive green color and it had a long tail behind it that appeared to be an orange color. Little pieces were breaking off of it as it approached the tree line and went out of sight. Feel free to reply if you have any questions. I sighted it in Hot Springs Arkansas.
Your chances to catch sight of a fireball go up somewhat during one of the annual meteor showers that grace our skies. Sunday’s fireball was likely part of the IMO #79 shower, but if you want to make plans for the summer, the next major meteor showers on tap are the Bootid meteor shower in late June, and the Delta Aquarid meteor shower, which will spark up the skies in late July and early August.
Fireball Lights Up Eastern Seaboard.
27 May 2013 – Christos Koutentis, Manhattan, NY 00:07, Eastern Standard Time
3 seconds duration. Travelling West. Blue / turquoise color. Brighter than Venus. No fragmentation. South of Manhattan. Apartment window facing south-west.
27 May 2013 – Mike Kelly, Bordentown, NJ, 00:10 EST
5 seconds duration. East to west direction?? Blue and white color. Very bright streak. Awesome, fast and beautiful.
26 May 2013 – Jane Meyerhofer, Leesburg, VA. 21:00
5 seconds duration. East to west direction. Green/white color. Brighter than Venus. Broke into several pieces. Smaller than the moon but way bigger than a planet.
26 May 2013 – Alexander Eichenlaub, Bellefonte, PA 21:03
3 seconds duration. SE-NW direction. Pink/purple color along with a ‘pop’ sound. Same brightness as Venus. Fragmented into three pieces at the end of its trail. There were four witnesses. Not sure if the popping sound is related.
26 May 2013 – K. Perez, Edgewood, Maryland, 21:01
1-1.5 seconds duration. North, I was facing Northeast. Bright white light flashed across sky. No sound associated with event. White bright color. No fragmentation. Direction I was facing there is a clearing between trees, just happened to be looking in that direction when bright light flashed across through that space. I was able to very briefly view light through trees as it continued. It appeared to be traveling very fast.
26 May 2013 – Elena Tjaden Syracuse, NY, 9pm EST
2 or 3 seconds duration. From our view, it travelled West. Fast flying fireball, bright as fire. No fragmentation or sound.
26 May 2013 – Steve Osmanski Fayetteville, PA, 21:05 EDT