Large Fireball Reported from NC, SC, TN on March 16th, 2013

The American Meteor Society is receiving numerous reports about a bright fragmenting fireball event that happened over what appears to be western North Carolina and Eastern Tennessee. The event occurred at 03/17 00:50 UTC or 8:50 PM local time earlier tonight. Here is a map of the reports so far an estimated trajectory (orange line) based on the reports. Click the map below to view the witness reports and event map for this fireball.



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
28 Responses
  1. Stephen Morgan says: March 17, 2013 at 11:34 am

    Myself and two buddies witnessed it. At first we thought it was a shooting star. But it was moving so slow, glad to have found this page and found some resolve! Very very neat experience.

  2. Stephen Morgan says: March 17, 2013 at 11:56 am

    Also, were located about 3 miles north of the South Carolina, North Carolina line. In Cashiers, NC.

  3. Miriam Mace says: March 17, 2013 at 2:35 pm

    Saw this in South Carolina at Bennetts Point South of Charleston

  4. Very beautiful. Was showing my dad where Pan Starrs was located. Out of the corner of my eyes saw a white flash. It broke into several pieces, white, orange, red, blue. I thought it was fireworks since it was flying over Greenville,SC. Very cool, once in a lifetime experience.

  5. Jason Brafford says: March 18, 2013 at 6:14 am

    Saw this too in Forest City, NC. Appeared to be almost directly overhead. It was slow, bright, and then broke into at least two pieces. Coolest one I’ve seen!

  6. Becky Griffin says: March 18, 2013 at 10:55 am

    Saw this in Anderson, SC, near Portman Shoals Marina on 3/16. It was moving in an east>west direction. It was white, blue-green, and red, and the largest, brightest meteor I have ever seen. I really thought it would land in Hartwell lake and I would hear a hiss! Amazing!

  7. Jan DesRoches says: March 18, 2013 at 10:59 am

    Yes… my family also viewed the spectacular event around 8:50 pm on March 16th in Mills River, NC. The slow moving fireball appeared to be just about the treetops and lasted for at least 5 seconds. An amazing experience to witness by campfire on a warm spring evening.

  8. John Flicek says: March 18, 2013 at 11:11 am

    Most amazing sky event I’ve seen. We were in North Auigusta SC on teh GA border looking at my apple sky map when my friend exclaimed, “Look at that!” It was in the north moving east-wes, bright white-blue, flaming or trailing, and looked huge, we did not hear anything.

  9. Michelle BAmford says: March 18, 2013 at 11:40 am

    We saw it in Harrisburg NC!!

  10. Eric Dsugherty says: March 18, 2013 at 12:18 pm

    I saw this from Dacula Georgia. Many years of watching the sky.And from my angle with the slower speed of the fireball. This was one of the best sightings that I have ever had. Right there with Star burning brighter and brighter then going away ( a meteor coming straight at me?) Wish I had caught these on video.

  11. Douglas Safford says: March 18, 2013 at 4:14 pm

    I saw it Saturday March 16th,2013 streaking over head, on Hwy 13, interstate 95 South, Near Eastover ,NC. It looked like it was rapidly descending around 8:52pm.

  12. We saw it in Tobaccoville, NC, near Winston- Salem. It was slow moving, huge, white, with blue tail! It was incredible!

  13. Jeanne Sommer says: March 18, 2013 at 8:31 pm

    My friend, Jeff Miller, and I were walking around the Biltmore Estate. It was an amazingly beautiful night. The air felt so amazing, warm, after a cold and wetter than normal winter. There was an almost crescent moon and there were different colors of light in the sky as the sun was setting. Then, as we were heading back to our cars, a little before 9 p.m., kind of lost, but having a nice time, there appeared out of our left angle of vision this bright burst of light, almost parallel with the earth, and with a cool blue light following. I could see little fragments behind the fireball I thought it was a stray firework at first, but there was no sound. Then it reappeared a few seconds later through another cloud opening. I couldn’t have been with a nicer person to see this remarkable event and it couldn’t have been a more lovely night. I’m thankful I got to see it!

  14. Two of us saw it in the Cotswold section of Charlotte, NC on Saturday the 16th, just before 9pm. It was very bright and slow moving – it seemed very close because it was so large and bright. I have never seen anything like it before. At first I thought someone was shooting off fireworks.

  15. Saw this at a wedding reception on 3/16. No one believed me, Atlanta has such bright skies. Also witnessed the one that hit Russia. 2 in one year, I feel so lucky!

  16. Jarrod El-Khouri says: March 19, 2013 at 9:56 am

    Our school was on a camping trip in Cades Cove. My instructor saw this and after he told me about it I suggested it was a Fireball. Turns out it was! How neat!

  17. This flew right over top of the Lawndale NC allsky camera which captured a beautiful streak of it!

    The NASA network also captured it on 3 cameras and calculated the trajectory and orbit.

    Both are a little south of the orange line above.

  18. sarah schalk says: March 19, 2013 at 9:31 pm

    We were coming home right before 9pm in Sanford, NC and my husband, 3 children and I saw a blue light falling from the sky like a shooting star but it was so big and so slow, but beautiful in color. My 10 year old son, thought it was a UFO as we had never seen anything like this. This was an amazing experience and I am so happy that I could see it once in my lifetime.

  19. So happy to have for this site and confirmations. Saw the fireball looking across downtown Decatur, Ga. in very well lit area. Couldn’t get my wife to look in time!

  20. Scot Parsons says: March 20, 2013 at 5:00 pm

    I saw it from Columbia, SC.

  21. I live in the Ballantyne area in Charlotte NC and saw this too. It was pretty amazing!

  22. My wife and I saw this fireball on the 16th driving southbound on I-81 just south(west) of Salem, VA. It was the brightest shooting star I have ever seen in my 43 years! It lasted a long time and it was going relatively slow too. There seems to be an increase in these things lately, but since I don’t keep up with stuff like this, maybe not.

  23. My husband and I saw this event as well on Saturday, march 16. Slow moving SE to NW. We are in hendersonville, nc. It was very bright. He thought it was a firework, but I pointed out it was above the clouds, as it passed behind one as it moved.

    This site, above, has the event occurring on the 17th, but what we saw and what others are posting was on the 16th. I think this is a typo.

  24. Several friends and I saw this event from the front deck of a friends house in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Wilkesboro, NC. It was a beautiful sight. Especially since we were all gathered at this house to celebrate the birthday of a dear friend, Ken Lyons (the original bass player for .38 Special), who passed away last May. We all sorta just said it was him letting us know that he knew we were thinking about him. It was a very brilliant light in the sky, and very special timming.

  25. I saw the fireball from Ball Ground Ga sitting on my deck. It was low in the northeast skyline moving from the east toward the north. Beautiful site!

  26. Brandy Trevino says: March 26, 2013 at 11:53 am

    I saw it in Charlotte NC. My bf and I were walking around the side of our building and it came directly over our head. It was awesome to see and I spent the next hour staring at the sky.

  27. john doughball says: May 18, 2013 at 2:00 am

    In asheville flew right over our heads , was the best meteor I’ve ever seen in my life.

    We just so happened to be looking at the stars at the right time.

  28. My son and I saw it in Seneca SC. We were outside talking and he looked up and said what’s that. It was bright white with long tail, seem low to the ground and slow moving. It was an awesome site

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>