Florida Fireball August 11, 2011

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The American Meteor Society has received nearly 30 reports of a bright fireball occurring over Florida between 1030-1100pm EDT on August 11. There is a wide discrepancy in the reports so it is currently difficult to state the source of this event. There is a possibility that it was a member of the Perseid meteor shower, which reaches maximum activity on the morning of August 13th. It must have been very bright as many observers stated that it rivaled the light of the sun when brightest. All the colors of the rainbow were mentioned in the reports.

The AMS will update this notice as more reports are received and will provide video should it become available. Refer to event #817 in the AMS Fireball Table for 2011.

Clear Skies!

Robert Lunsford

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11 comments

  • Rocky Eckert 5 years ago

    I witnessed the fireball on the 13th also. As it fell and was out of sight behind the trees on the horizon it caused what looked like a lightning flash. What caused that?

    Reply to Rocky
    • amsadmin 5 years ago

      Rocky and All,

      Some fireballs end with a terminal flash which appears very much like a lightening flash it you are not looking at the fireball. Many people refer to these types of fireballs as bolides.

      I hope this helps!

      Robert Lunsford

      Reply to amsadmin
  • john 5 years ago

    I just accidentally stumbled across this site while reading about the Persaides shower. Just want to mention that I think I saw the Aug 11 meteor you are mentioning here. I’ve actually been wondering about it for the last couple of days.

    My view sounds different than the multi colors described above. I saw a bright, whitish circle which didn’t change colors, It was maybe 1/3 the size of moon and it zipped across the northern sky for maybe a second. I was facing north at the time and saw it at an angle above the horizon of around 80 degrees, I guess. it moved right to left (east to west) from apx 2 O’Clock to 10 O’clock. There was no tail, no visible debris behind, and no sound. The oddest thing that struck me is that it just disappeared rather than going to the horizon. It’s possible though that a cloud obscured it as it went west. It was quite bright, but more the brightness of the moon than the sun. Unfortunately I don’t know the exact time since I didn’t have my watch or cellphone with me. I am guessing it was between 12:30 and 1:00 AM. If it helps to triangulate the object, my location is Tampa, Florida.

    I’m definitely curious about observations by anyone else that might have seen this, assuming I’m describing the same thing you mention above.

    Reply to john
  • john 5 years ago

    Oops sorry, I just noticed that you have a “report a fireball” link above. So I posted my observation there. Please feel free to delete my above posting, though I’d like to read any other observations or explanations of the event. I’m a little suspicious of my observation and memory since it happened so fast.

    Reply to john
  • Angie 5 years ago

    I was at Navarre Beach, Florida and witnessed the “fire ball” on Aug. 11 as well.
    It was a very bright white circle with a yellow tint that came down the sky for about 5 to 7 seconds. It seemed to get brighter and then just disappeared. It did have a trail of light behind it and it was unlike anything I have ever seen.
    Angie

    Reply to Angie
  • Dan 5 years ago

    My wife and I were at the Silver Moon Drive In when we saw this fireball. She saw the full thing whilst I caught the fireball and tail for maybe a second or two. It was incredibly bright and lit up the sky like lightning.

    Reply to Dan
  • rick castillo 5 years ago

    I happened to see this fireball come down. It lasted perhaps 3 or 4 seconds and appeared quite large and very bright. It had a long trail as it fell. Approx. NE from my location in lake co. florida. It was very cool to see!

    Reply to rick
  • Ben 5 years ago

    We were driving southward on Aug 11th 2011 towards the town of Opp on a backroad. The night was dark and to the south east of us, out of the left drivers window, we witnessed a bright huge ball of fire come out of the sky and trace across the sky for a few seconds before disappearing again towards the horizon. The ball itself was bright orange, with a bright orange tail, it was tear drop like. My wife and son saw it too and we were quite surprised and intriged as to what it could have been. We are glad there are other witnesses to the event. It was quite awesome!

    Reply to Ben
  • Betty Hansen 5 years ago

    i saw something 8/11 that i reported officially at this website. i am wondering, lots of activity reported all over the state of florida at about the same time…could a single meteor break apart in the atmosphere and send pieces over a wide swath? could this account for so many seeing something at about the same time all over florida? i wish i had seen more, but i caught just a glimpse really, in the rear view mirror of my car! but it was so bright, and seemed SO close…the children thought it was lightning…at first i could not believe what i saw, but then realized i had seen something important enough to report…glad for this website thanks

    Reply to Betty
    • amsadmin 5 years ago

      Betty and All, a single fireball can be seen all over Florida. Although they often appear close, these fireballs occur nearly 50 miles up in the atmosphere where they can often be sighted over a very large area.

      I hope this helps!

      Robert Lunsford

      Reply to amsadmin
  • William Morgan 5 years ago

    I too saw the same fireball. I just found this website,so let that be an excuse for a late post.
    I am located about 10 miles south of Tallahassee Florida and at this location it appeared to come in from the north. When I saw it it had a very large head(white and teared shaped) it had a very long tail that had a mix of colors ranging from white,blue and reddish orange. This had to be the most amazing thing related to space I have ever seen bar none. AMAZING

    Reply to William

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