Lancaster Meteor

Over 104 (so far) witnesses reported a large fireball over Lancaster County (PA) last night (10/14) around 8:25 PM local EDT (0:25 on 10/15 UT.) The fireball was seen from primarily Maryland, New Jersey and Virginia but witnesses from Washington DC, Connecticut, New York and Pennsylvania also reported seeing the fireball.

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

A preliminary trajectory plot shows the meteor entered over New Jerset and flew on a north east trajectory, ending somewhere in or near Lancaster County in Pennsylvania.

Preliminary trajectory - AMS Event #2456-2013

Preliminary trajectory – AMS Event #2456-2013

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 2456-2013

Heat Map For AMS Event 2456-2013

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
20 Responses
  1. Karen Murphy says: October 15, 2013 at 9:40 am

    Was sitting outside when I saw the fireball…..traveling from SE to NW…. huge and lit up the sky.

    Live in Long beach, Calvert County maryland

    • driving west on Ocean Pkwy,near Gilgo Beach, Long Island, saw the fireball about 8:24, streaming east to west over the Atlantic Ocean, and was thrilled by the sight! called to tell my son at 8:28.. huge beautiful and filled with color!

  2. Deborah Lynn Hager says: October 15, 2013 at 10:24 am

    I live in Gainesville, Virginia.

    Last night about 8:30 – 9:00 PM I was in my tomato garden looking up north towards Dulles Airport when I saw a flash…then flaming fire ball streak in a falling arc…was it a plane?…no sound…

    It lasted 3 – 5 seconds. I live surrounded by woods so there was little other light.

    Very exciting!

  3. I saw the fireball around ca 8:25 pm . Was sitting in my living room chair and saw the fireball thru the window. Was looking ne . I live in Washington, DC. October 14, 2013

  4. Charlie Judge says: October 15, 2013 at 3:48 pm

    Meteor was moving from SE to NW. Brightest and largest I have ever seen.
    Brilliant white-yellow with green surrounding light on aft edge from about 2 o’clock to 6 o’clock position.

    Broke into 2 pieces just before end of visibility, smaller fragment in front of main body, smaller piece curved downwards trajectory, larger rear fragment continued to track straight.

  5. margaret woodford says: October 15, 2013 at 5:28 pm

    Waretown, NJ around 8:30-8:45…..not sure of the directions, southeast to northwest perhaps..lasted about 7 seconds..and it was a beautiful site…very low in the sky it seemed to me….

  6. i was in south philly, it looked like something i’ve never seen before. it was huge and red and i witnessed things falling from it. i got scared thought it’d be a good idea to get out of the city before it was too late. does anyone know what it was?

  7. Last night (Tuesday night), at the same time as all of the other reports of the fireball, I was traveling on the NJ Parkway heading to DC. I saw a green fireball (with white tail go into the residential neighborhood around Newark the right of the Parkway. I do believe that is where it landed. No sound other than a kind of popping hiss.

  8. Bunny Kovalcik says: October 15, 2013 at 6:09 pm

    I was traveling on route 13 in Levittown Pennsylvania at about 8:20 p.m. on October 14th when I saw a large blue fire ball above me heading south east.

  9. I saw this bright green fireball here on the south shore of Long Island, NY. It was in the southwest and absolutely incredible!! It fizzed out with a few green sparks.

  10. Lee Rzepecki says: October 15, 2013 at 8:03 pm

    I saw it also. We were travelling around Washington, D.C., on our way home to Maryland when I saw a rather large green and white object with a long tail, heading towards the earth. Just learned it was the meteor. It was bright and beautiful.

  11. Melissa Lieb says: October 16, 2013 at 9:44 am

    My husband and daughter were outside and happened to look up as it went over. They said they watched it over their area for about 3 seconds before it disappeared behind the trees. They said it was a huge bright ball, bigger than they’ve ever seen. we are in South Jersey area

  12. I saw the meteorite in northern Calvert County, MD appearing to be over the trees. It was a bright white ball, yellow around the edges, and a piece seemed to separate from it as it crossed the sky. It was so large that I thought it was close enough to land in the nearby woods. This was Monday 10/14/13 around 8:30pm.

  13. Paul Carruth says: October 17, 2013 at 10:32 am

    Monday evening 10/14/13 at about 8:30 PM my wife and I were traveling South on I-81 in Pennsylvania, between Wilkes-Barre and where I-81 intersects with I-78. We both saw a bright meteor just above the horizen of the mountain in front of us moving generally in a left to right direction. I couldn’t tell exactly whether we were moving SE or SW nor could I tell whether the meteor was moving toward or away from us. What impressed me however was how long the sighting lasted (2 or 3 seconds) and how thick the trail seemed to be, which gave me the impression that the meteor was very low to the ground. The speed of the flight seemed to be not as fast as some other meteors that I have seen. The color of the trail was bright white. I’m glad many others also saw it.

  14. I was driving south on Rt 684 near Golden’s Bridge, NY with my son when we witnessed the meteor. It was the brightest meteor we’ve ever seen.

  15. I was just googling to see if there had been any reports of what I saw earlier this week in Lenoir. I was outside
    with my dogs and just happened to look up and saw this! How exciting. The path would definitely take it up and in the directions indicated on your map but I’m the lowest siting so far. I’m in the foothills of the mountains.

    • Sorry, I should’ve said Lenoir, NORTH CAROLINA.

      • I saw that meteor too Donna, looked like a fireball with sparks coming off of it. I’m trying to remember which way it was heading, I was over near the Bernhardt plant that night.

  16. Meteor, 2 times as bright as venus, moving S/W from Wheatland California at 9:23 pm. white with short tail, saw it for about 3 seconds.

  17. me and my friend were sitting on my roof and this was about 2 years ago and we seen something moving we both didnt have our phones but it was like an aqua color blueish an it wasnt like anything we seen befor it was crossing the sky pretty fast but enough were it seem like it was slow and it had a glow to it but tell me what that sounds like an i am around lancaster pa

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