4
Feb
2012

Chesapeake Fireball on February 3rd, 2012

Over 54 fireball witness reports have been logged with the AMS regarding a large fireball seen from New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware & Virginia on Friday night at 10:20 PM.

From Washington VA

It was very intensely bright and large and appeared to be just 300 yards from our house.

From Berlin, MD

After viewing the fireball streak across the sky, there was a large flash, then it continued to streak for another second or two before disappearing behind the houses/tree-line. Approximately 90 seconds after the fireball disappeared, we heard a deep boom that shook the ground…

From Baltimore, MD

Very bright and slow.

Here’s a map of the witness reports. Green lines represent the first location of the meteor, yellow lines represent the last point of the meteor. Click the image below for an interactive Google Map for this event.

Chesapeake Fireball - February 3rd, 2012 @ 10:20 Eastern

For alternate views of this event, looking at the maps with more experienced observers.

Observer Level #2 Witness Map – More experienced observers

Observer Level #3 Witness Map – More experienced observers

Observer Level #4 Witness Map – Most experienced observers

Based on the brightness and sonic boom reports, its possible some fragments could have reached the ground. While they could have ended up in the Atlantic, the witness reports suggest a landing zone somewhere on the Eastern Shore of Maryland or possibly Delaware.

No videos have surfaced yet. If you have video, please email us.

If you witness this event please fill out an OFFICIAL FIREBALL REPORT.

About Mike Hankey

Mike Hankey is a software developer, entrepreneur, amateur astronomer, astrophotographer, meteor observer and meteorite hunter. Mike's enthusiasm for meteors led him to the American Meteor Society where he volunteered his time and the services of his software development company to redesign the AMS website and fireball reporting tool. In 2011 Mike was awarded the society's C.P. Olivier award for his work. In 2012 Mike was promoted to the role of Operations Manager. Mike and his company continue to maintain and enhance the AMS website and fireball reporting tools. You can see Mike's photography work and read more of his posts on his astronomy blog: MikesAstroPhotos.com. Mike can be contacted at mike.hankey [AT] gmail.com
9 Responses
  1. Driving on Valley Road in Montclair New Jersey at approx 10:20 pm,saw an amazing meteor in the south western sky. It was a very bright flash with a short tail. Perfect timing a couple more feet and it would have been hidden behind big oak trees.


    • i saw something in hayes va around 4 today feb 9 2012 had a bright white with a tint of yellow on the outer parts it was moving faster then the helicopter on the other side of the sky with an arch path from the looks of it it should break up over the Chesapeake bay it was intresting to watch hadnt seen one before today


  2. I saw this as I was walking south on Broadway in New York City last night; it was spectacular. Like burning magnesium, shedding sparkling bits of brilliance, white to blue-white. It lanced almost straight down, looking like it was spearing the Battery downtown: about 20 degrees off vertical, falling east to west. This part of Broadway is right at 4th Street, and points south.

    I was so surprised that I called out to the other pedestrians, “Did you see that???” and a couple of men walking ahead said, “Yeah, cool.” No one else seemed to catch it, but it was visible in the slot between the skyscrapers for all of two seconds. It was huge: you could see its roundness. About half the apparent diameter of the Moon. It actually looked like a disaster-movie asteroid coming in!

    Stunning. I hope someone caught video of it, but its trajectory was so steep that I fear there wasn’t time. Never saw anything like it in my life.


  3. I saw the meteorite about 4 miles south of West Chester, Pa that nite


  4. I was walking the dog that evening in Upper Fairmount on Maryland’s Eastern Shore between but west of Princess Anne and Pocomoke, saw the fireball as was mentioned like a magnesium flare with a big forefront ball. I was looking north and a bit west. It’s a toss up whether it was over land or the Bay but I’m glad to have found these reports, I worried the next day that I should have called in a flare report to police as it might have been a boater in trouble. Thank you for easing my mind.


  5. Didn’t get a video of it, but we will never forget it! My boys and I were riding our bikes and I noticed an orange light in the sky. We all came to a stop and stared at the huge bright fireball in the eastern sky, streaking down towards the earth. For an uneasy second or two I thought it was a plane in distress going down over Ft Knox, but realized that it was a meteor. We were standing on the bottom of a hill when we first saw it, and ran up to the top to get a better look. As we ran, it simply winked out. We three were stunned and mystified, and immediately ran back to my mothers to turn on the the news. There was nothing locally reported, and I thought it was most unusual that there seemed to be no one who saw it. And it appears that I was right, about Kentucky anyway! What an experience!


  6. Feb 9th, 2012 about 6 pm. Chesapeake, VA, Greenbrier area. My daughter and I saw a bright yellow streak shoot across the sky, for about 5 seconds. It went out of sight behind trees. My husband who was on I-64 in Virginia Beach, saw the same thing. It was amazing.


  7. I saw one Friday, February 3, 2012 at approximately 10:15 PM while in Allentown, PA. I was glad to see I was not imagining this. It was truly exciting to see.


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