10
Sep
2013

Large Fireball Meteor with Sonics Over Alabama

Over 275 (so far) witnesses reported a large fireball over Alabama last night (9/9) around 8:25 PM local CDT (1:25 on 9/10 UT). The fireball was seen from primarily Alabama and Georgia, but witnesses from Mississippi, Florida, Tennessee, Kentucky, and the Carolina’s also reported seeing the fireball.

We are currently investigating dozen of reports about this event. We will update this page later today with more information.

Here is the current heat map for the event that shows where the witnesses reported from. Click the image below to review the event map and witness reports for this fireball.

Heat Map For AMS Event  2013/1907

Heat Map For AMS Event 2013/1907

A preliminary trajectory plot shows the meteor entered over Birmingham AL and flew on a south west trajectory, ending somewhere in or near Tuscaloosa County.

20130910-al

20130910-al

Someone caught the fireball on video at the Mumford & Sons concert at Oak Mountain Amphitheater in Birmingham, AL.

The NASA cameras observing this event are located at Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville; the James Smith Planetarium near Chickamauga, Georgia; the Tellus Science Museum in Cartersville Georgia; and the North Georgia College Observatory near Dahlonega, Georgia.

About Vincent Perlerin

Vincent Perlerin, PhD is a software developer, web designer and community manager. He is working on the American Meteor Society under the supervision of Mike Hankey. He is the lead front-end developer of the project.
31 Responses
  1. I saw what I first thought was a falling star and then it turned bright green.
    Anniston, AL


    • I had the honor to witness it too, I also thought it was a shooting star but soon realized there was no way it could be, it came straight as an arrow from the sky and when I first saw it moved at an OK speed as it came closer to the ground it was almost like it was going in to slow motion and had like a stuttering to it that’s when it became very clear this was not a shooting star, it than reminded me of Russia of course on a much shorter scale, ones it was heading towards the ground it almost looked like it was coming to an stand stil it started to shack / flutter got very bright and faded out, I was waiting for a boom but did not hear it, It was the most amazing thing I have ever witnessed just wished I had the camera on in. ( North AL)


  2. Pingback: Allgemeines Live-Blog ab dem 8. September 2013 | Skyweek Zwei Punkt Null

  3. Me and my girl saw it too. We where really shocked to see it I honestly still can’t believe it. It was big and so green. norcross ga


  4. I saw it too!! Heading home to Marietta from Loganville on hwy 78!!


  5. Pretty sure I saw it around 8:30 from Ridgetop Tennessee.


  6. I saw it near Dallas Highway in Marietta, Georgia near the National Battlefield around 9:20 pm. At first, I thought it was an errant firework, but it was bigger, neon green, came straight down and then disappeared. The police car that was parked on Dallas Highway probably saw it as well.


  7. I am not from the effected area, just curious if there is an increase in meteor/meterites or “fireball” activity? or if it just seem that way?


    • Studies indicate that there is no real increase in the rate of fireballs. What we are seeing are more reports because it is easier than ever to report and spread information about these events.


  8. My husband saw the sky light up suddenly last night and then it was gone in an instant. I was sitting next to him and missed it. We live in Louisville, KY. He said it was like a helicopter suddenly lit up our court, but we heard no rotors. I figured he was losing it. Nice to know he isn’t!


  9. Jean O. Clemens says: September 10, 2013 at 1:30 pm

    I was tending to a burning brush pile just after dark when I looked up to the south-southwest sky and saw something bright descending and fizzling out and heard a small rumble. Wow! My location is on the Sand Mtn. bluff directly southeast of Scottsboro and the Tennessee River.


  10. Couldn’t believe my eyes when I turned a 180 degree to turn around after walking the dog down the street and saw a bright green streak! I was about 20 miles south/southeast of Nashville


  11. I was driving down 78Hwy Snellville, GA and I saw the fireball it was after 9pm. Initially, I was wondering what it was and was looking to see and hear a crash or fire but it disappear. I got home turn on the TV for the news and the internet and didn’t see anything until today’s article.


  12. I think the video posted on YT claiming to be the Birmingham meteor may in fact be one from Argentina earlier this year: http://www.nbcnews.com/science/suspected-meteor-flash-briefly-transforms-night-day-argentina-6C9555494


  13. S. Patterson says: September 10, 2013 at 4:56 pm

    I saw the fireball when I was 30 miles south of Montgomery, Alabama on highway 331. WOW!


  14. At approximately 9:20 pm last night (9/9) I saw a meteorite fall straight down over the area of N. Roswell Road at Roberts Drive in Sandy Springs, Georgia. I viewed this event from approximately 1/4 mile to the east. I estimate the size of the green ball to be approximately that of a bowling ball. I doubt that there was much mass left because of the speed at which it was falling with no sound.


  15. I saw this also in Newnan Ga around 9:20pm EST it was amazing much bigger than a falling star! Amazed!


  16. Tuscaloosa/Jefferson county line. The trees lit up like lightning flashes but green. I still had time to look up and see it for several seconds! I watch the sky often but, this was a once in a life time moment! We live in an amazing world!


  17. I saw it from Kelowna, British Columbia, right between Cassiopea and Ursa Major, green, bright, and whistling during its fall. Amazing, I was scary though.


  18. Pingback: ‘Very bright’ meteor lights up Southeast sky | Atlanta Georgia

  19. On Sept. 7 around 12-2 am. my spouse, two friends and I witnessed a strange light/fireball in the sky. We are located in the south Jersey (Millville area). This strange light did not appear to be falling. It began with an upwards trajectory then leveled out shooting straight across the sky. Also, there was no “green glow” like many of you have described, but appeared rather orange. Once the object leveled out the light dissipated for a moment (we thought it was over) then lit back up, shooting across the sky, only this time it seemed to be leaving a whitish/bluish tail behind. The light only disappeared for 1-2 seconds before reigniting and was only visible for another 2-3 seconds before appearing to dissipate once again without reappearing; however there did appear to be light remaining which seemed to be emanating from the area the object first dissipated, shining in the direction the object was traveling. I have described this event to the best of my recollection and ability. Anyone who may have witnessed this event, anyone with information on what this object might have been or what could have caused this, please respond.


    • We saw the same thing as you – my husband and 2 kids as well – we saw exactly what you are describing in California, the night of Sept 7 – nothing could explain what it was – it was just around 8pm when we spotted it – we watched it move horizontally across the sky for several minutes before it’s light lessened, then it brightened again and we watched it move along for a while more before it appeared to move out of range of site, it sounds just like what you described. No explanation on my end, a meteor would not have defied gravity right? I won’t soon forget what we saw though, it helps to know you saw it too.


    • I saw it too! Exactly how you described it! Thank God someone else saw it. It was really amazing! Wonder what it was?


  20. My wife and I saw it as well driving to work from Smyrna to Dallas on the East West Connector side of Barrett Pkwy. As stated above, it was very bright, and very green. Neither of us had ever seen anything quite like it, It did look close, and seemed to be going almost straight down in trajectory. I honestly expected to hear or see more about it, since it was phenomenal. Absolutely beautiful. And I have to say, I work a lot of nights, and whether or not the data confirms it, there has definitely seemed to be more activity in this area. Nothing like this before though, probably a once in a life time.


  21. Nephew and I witnessed it. It was amazing. Pisgah, al


  22. i am in Texas and what it looked like here was a huge shooting star with ball in front and blue fading to orane and yellow tail. Totally awesome!


  23. Michael Freeman says: September 29, 2013 at 2:57 am

    Tonight, 8 September, 2013, at precisely 8:47 pm ( EST) Atlanta, Ga. I was driving west on I20 and witnessed a large bright fireball streaking across the sky. It was moving do east directly in my line of site as I was traveling west on I20. It maintained integrity and suddenly fragmented and left behing it a trail of smaller illuminated fragments as in plunged earthward. Very kool!


  24. Diane Schlemmer says: September 29, 2013 at 4:44 pm

    Saw this spectacular event at approximately 7:40 EST on 09/28/2013 after departing from Lagrange, GA airport. I was approximately 15 nautical miles north of Lagrange and 13 miles west of Newnan, GA at 4,600′ MSL. I had Atlanta Approach (ATC) providing Flight Following as I encroached into Class B Airspace.

    I saw, what I initially believed to be, an aircraft in distress or possibly a rocket or missile breaking up. The rate of speed was staggering. There were two (2) explosions followed by one large explosion and intense burn with a huge fiery plume before it burned out. The remaining object was small and greyish in color, still on a speeding trajectory traveling approximately 120 degrees southeast.

    I alerted ATC. They took down the information and said they had no reports of an aircraft in distress in my immediate area. They radioed me back a few minutes later requesting more information. It was not until I landed that learned from this website that others had seen it too!


  25. The Hendersons says: December 18, 2013 at 10:42 pm

    Wow! My husband and spotted it too. We thought it was a shooting star at first but then it changed from white to a bluish green. I thought it went down over a house and that it must have been a firework but now I realize it was a meteor. It was around 8:30 on December 17. We live in Oxford, Alabama.


  26. Andy Akers says: August 13, 2014 at 4:39 pm

    I’m from Louisville Ky. I was at the Phish concert at Oak Mountain Amphitheater in Pelham Alabama on 8-2-14 and saw the whole sky light up a bright blue. The meteor had a huge fire tail following behind it. It was a long life meteor as it traveled from one end of the horizon to the other. I could not hear the sonics from it, Phish was right in the middle of a song called simple. The biggest and best one I will probably ever see in my life!


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