Fireball seen over Eastern Great lakes

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fireball
Screenshot of a video of the AMS Event#3737-2016 caught from UTSC Observatory (Toronto, CN) UTSC Observatory

More than 750 reports

The AMS has received over 750 reports so far about of a fireball event over seen over the Eastern Great lakes region on Tuesday, October 4th 2016 around 10:36pm EDT (Wednesday, October 5th 2016 around 02:36 UT). The fireball was seen primarily from Ontario but witnesses from New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland, New Jersey, Washington DC, Michigan, West Virginia, Delaware, Massachusetts, Virginia and Québec also reported the event. Toronto police and fire services received multiple calls about a “plane crashing into the Toronto Harbour”, but luckily it was just a fireball in the night sky.

If you witnessed this event please fill an official fireball report.
If you have a video or a photo of this event please contact us.
If you want to learn more about Fireballs: read our Fireball FAQ.

Below is a video of the event caught on a dashcam by Kris Brown.

Trajectory

Below is the heat map of the witnesses location with the first estimated trajectory. The preliminary estimated trajectory plotted from the witness reports shows the meteor was traveling approximately from the South to the North and ended its flight south of Cameron, NY.

heatmap

AMS Event#3737-2016 Heat map of the Witnesses Location and First Estimated Trajectory

Witnesses

The majority of the reports come from Toronto, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and Toronto. More than 40 people had the chance to observe the event from the Niagara Falls region.

witnesses

AMS Event#3737-2016 Witnesses Location and First Estimated Trajectory

Here is a 4 frames animation created from a timelapse recorded by the UTSC Observatory:

animation

AMS Event#3737-2016 – 4 frames animation

Below is another video of the event caught on a dashcam by peace office Pat Fairhurst.

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62 comments

  • Jeff 2 months ago

    I saw this while driving home last night in Bucks County , Pennsylvania…almost drove off the road.

    Reply to Jeff
    • Judd A Zimmermann 2 months ago

      I saw it from Carbon County, PA. It looked like it was crashing up in our area.

      Reply to Judd
    • Debra 2 months ago

      Coming home from work and I was close to lansdale. Amazing site.

      Reply to Debra
    • Rachel 2 months ago

      I saw it driving home in Montgomery county pa , on 422 going west. I thought it was a plane crashing!

      Reply to Rachel
    • Marie Phillips 2 months ago

      I saw the fire ball on Nov. 1, 2016 at 8:15 PM in Auburn NY as I was driving on Route 38. It looked as though it landed over the horizon. It was about the size of a full moon n lasted about 15 seconds.

      Reply to Marie
  • Layne Main 2 months ago

    I witnessed a large red ball with flames behind it at approx. 10.40 PM on October 4, 2016. I watched it until it burned out and appeared to fall into Niagara Falls, or western New York. Sighting of a life time.

    Reply to Layne
  • Morgan Scudder 2 months ago

    I got to witness this! It was my first time ever seeing something like that! Amazing!!!

    Reply to Morgan
  • Jason Medley 2 months ago

    Saw something similar in the northwestern sky over the Chicago suburbs.. Seen from Hammond Indiana area while I was driving west on Interstate about 1130 cst 10/4/2016

    Reply to Jason
  • Veronica Baragona 2 months ago

    Saw the fireball last night…in Niles/Youngstown Ohio area. Whitish yellow finish right before the burn out.

    Reply to Veronica
  • brandy sharer 2 months ago

    Well me and my friend Kelly were talking and standing out side on rt 8 right below Mark rd and all of a sudden threw the sky going west to east was this huge ball of way looked like fire and bouncy line behind it and then it lit up the whole sky green

    Reply to brandy
  • Timothy Nolan 2 months ago

    Thank you for the informative post and aggregation of all the reports!

    Reply to Timothy
  • Pat 2 months ago

    I caught this out of the corner of my eye from my bedroom window in suburban Philadelphia.

    Reply to Pat
  • Jesslan Rose 2 months ago

    I was in my bedroom and saw a bright flash out the window near Jamestown, NY. I assumed it was lightning and another storm was going to start, but the thunder and rain never came and there weren’t anymore flashes after that.

    Reply to Jesslan
  • Tom Stasiak 2 months ago

    I live in Andover Ohio on the PA border and saw the fireball streak across the sky out my front window around 10:40 last night. I actually cringed as it fell through the sky waiting for an explosion or something.

    Reply to Tom
  • vanessa 2 months ago

    I seen it in Wilkes Barre Pa….loved it. “The person I was with was like what was that lightening?” I was like no…a shooting star! :)

    Reply to vanessa
  • Anna 2 months ago

    I saw this last night in the thumb area of MI. I filed a report on the home page. I’m so happy to see that others saw it too!

    Reply to Anna
  • Sher Miller 2 months ago

    I’m from the northwest corner of Connecticut &I was driving home from work at 10:30 and had gotten out early and I got to see it !!!! I thought I was seeing things to be honest!

    Reply to Sher
  • denise 2 months ago

    I saw this last night aprox 1035 driving west on the mass pike I 90. Near worcester MA….Greenish…then a fireballvw a tail! Super cool!!

    Reply to denise
  • Mary 2 months ago

    My coworker and I witnessed this on our way home from work. It was the most amazing thing. I was in Kingsville, Ohio and it was 10:36pm. It looked like a huge ball of fire with a long bright tail. I thought it would hit the earth since it was so low in the sky.

    Reply to Mary
  • Brenda 2 months ago

    I saw this on my way into work last. I was in Boardman Ohio!

    Reply to Brenda
    • Paula 2 months ago

      My son swears he saw the same thing last while on our way home near Elm Rd in Warren.

      Reply to Paula
  • Sharon 2 months ago

    We saw three last night.around 10pm Tuesday Oct 4. est Beamsville, Ontario Canada

    Reply to Sharon
  • Sal 2 months ago

    Saw this out my window, thought it was a plane going down, crazy sighting tho

    Reply to Sal
  • Missy 2 months ago

    We heard this loud boom in Hughesville, Pennsylvania at this time last night. ..shook the house!

    Reply to Missy
  • Curtis 2 months ago

    I live in edmeston NY in Otsego County and I saw this on my way home last night. I only caught the last tail of it before it disappeared.

    Reply to Curtis
  • Sharon Yeo 2 months ago

    This was an amazing sight to see driving South on Turkey Point rd ( Ontario ) close to Lake Erie ! We tought it fell in the lake !

    Reply to Sharon
  • Evert Oldham 2 months ago

    I live at Flora Vista in NW New Mexico. The Tavis Smiley show had just ended & I took the dog out for her evening break . The night sky was clear & beautiful. The Milky Way loomed large overhead. I was looking at the North Star trying to figure out where the Big Dipper was when just to the left and above the North Star appeared what looked like a giant comet traveling slightly left to right but mostly curving downward right through my line of sight to the North Star. The huge front end looked like three or more pieces starting to separate and on fire with a curved and tapered trailing tail. In an instant it dimed and went dark. The whole event couldn’t have lasted longer than two seconds, but is sure was spectacular!

    Reply to Evert
  • Rachel 2 months ago

    I saw this while driving home last night in Fenelton, Pa. What I saw was a beach ball sized green flaming ball with an orange tail, a piece fell off and simmered out, but it looked like it hit the ground. I almost wanted to go look todat, but was probably too much private property to check. I wonder if there were several, it was low.

    Reply to Rachel
  • Mark 2 months ago

    I’ve been blessed to see several meteors in my life , last nights show was one with most color,and body .It clearly moved into my top 5 ,
    I’m not a constant star gazer , but ever since my first meteor in 1974-75, I can’t walk outside on any starry night without taking a moment to search the Galaxy .
    Their is always something special .

    Reply to Mark
  • Stephanie 2 months ago

    I live south of espyville, PA and saw this in the sky lastnight. Amazing!

    Reply to Stephanie
  • Renee V 2 months ago

    Saw it while on I90 near Fairview, PA. It was amazing!

    Reply to Renee
  • Dave D 2 months ago

    I was driving on I-84 from Connecticut going into New York around the Danbury area and was amazed at how long the trail of this was and how bright orange it was streaking across the sky. Wish I could’ve caught it on recording but it lasted only about 4-5 seconds and was gone. Nonetheless, extremely impressive sight to see.

    Reply to Dave
  • Sue smith 2 months ago

    I live in Andover Ohio on the PA. boarder seen this last night around 10:35 out my bedroom window it was traveling from West to east scared me at first I thought it was a plane or something going down.

    Reply to Sue
  • Sam Schultz 2 months ago

    I swear that this one landed 110 yes away from my house. haven’t found it yet tho

    Reply to Sam
  • George 2 months ago

    I saw this Celestial and Beautiful Fireball from New York City overlooking the Jersey Palisade and the Hudson River. It was spectacular, luminous and magnificent. I deem it an auspicious pulsation of Light …

    Reply to George
  • Joe Hougelman 2 months ago

    My wife and I both saw this out our picture window. It happened right after vp debates ended. This was much more entertaining. At first I thought it was a plane going down and ran outside but heard nothing. Looked like it was only a few miles away. Glad we both got to witness it. New Wilmington. Pa.

    Reply to Joe
  • Deb 2 months ago

    I saw this in Northern New York ….Jefferson County. I thought it was a military flare as we are near an army base! Theresa Ny

    Reply to Deb
  • Daniel Crane 2 months ago

    I saw the blue light in the sky thought it was a transformer on a power pole that blew. I didn’t know it was seen by so many people.wow It must have been a Meteor. How cool to have seen it. Batavia NY.

    Reply to Daniel
    • Terri 2 months ago

      I was not too far from you – in Piffard, NY. I thought someone turned a flashlight on me…I turned around and saw that in the sky. It honestly scared me.

      Reply to Terri
      • Zak W 2 months ago

        Very interesting Terri and Daniel,

        I was driving from Akron to Alden, southbound, about 3 minutes from the town of Alden and compared to other reports mine was pretty different. The thing literally crashed right next to me. Maybe it was just a piece? Everyone’s saying it went from left to right or visa versa but mine went straight down like someone shot a road flare from the sky towards the ground. I got out of my car and looked around someone’s yard (without trespassing) to where I believed it could’ve landed and didn’t find anything, it was very dark and foggy.

        Reply to Zak
      • Zak W 2 months ago

        This just got weird… I’m noticing all of these reports are from weeks ago – this happened to me on Tuesday.

        Reply to Zak
  • Pete 2 months ago

    I was with two Millersville University in Lancaster County PA when we saw the meteor/fireball. It was a once in a lifetime experience (most likely) for me, even though I will go outside to try to catch shooting stars during meteor shower events. Our initial perception was that due to the brightness and size that this meteor was within a mile or two at most of our location, then we realized it could be much further. It was without question one of the cooler things I have seen in my life. Thanks for your site!

    Reply to Pete
  • Sylvia M 2 months ago

    I saw this as I was driving to work in Cobourg Ont. I’ve been busy and only just had time to check for news stories on this. A couple of other co-workers saw it and thought it was a firework but the speed and tragectory made me think it was a fire ball.

    Reply to Sylvia
    • Rusty Brown 2 months ago

      Was it flying “south to north” as the report states, and if so, how could it be seen over Cobourg, Ontario, since it ended up in central New York state?

      Reply to Rusty
      • amsadmin 2 months ago

        Rusty,

        These objects occur very high in the atmosphere where they can be seen over a wide area.

        Robert Lunsford

        Reply to amsadmin
  • Laura 2 months ago

    I saw one in Utah! It was just before 8pm last night. I was facing southeast so not even the same direction.

    Reply to Laura
  • Andrew F. Wilks 2 months ago

    I was coming back from a walk at about 1030pm that evening and saw flashes of light just above hill on other side of river here in Franklin, PA. I figured at time it could of been somebody setting off left over fire works. Did not think anything of it until I read on my phone the next day about a bright fireball at around 1030pm on Oct 4th. Saw this myself as flashes of light dismissing it as fireworks when what I really saw was this bright meteor as I found out the next day.

    Reply to Andrew
  • Sarah faller 2 months ago

    I’m from Fowler Ohio and also seen the bright flash of light in the sky. I had no idea what it was at first. . kinda freaked me out.

    Reply to Sarah
  • Lisa Robinson 2 months ago

    I was sitting on my front porch with my dad in Warren ohio and we saw what we thought at the time to be a plane going down. Thank god it wasnt.

    Reply to Lisa
  • Elissa E. 2 months ago

    Saw it in Blakeslee, Pa. It was so bright!

    Reply to Elissa
  • Cynthia 2 months ago

    I’m right on the coast of Lake Erie-near London and I saw this stunning streak-wondering if it has a name?

    Reply to Cynthia
    • Robert Lunsford 2 months ago

      Cynthia and All,

      Fireballs are usually not named unless they drop meteorites on the ground. If meteorites are found the event is usually named after the area in which they are found.

      Robert Lunsford

      Reply to Robert
  • Hillary 2 months ago

    My father in law and I were smoking cigars on his back porch in the Lehigh Valley, PA when I saw the fireball and called his attention to it. It streaked across the sky, green and white, heading northeast-ish. If he hadn’t have been out there with me to witness it, I probably would have written it off and thought I was seeing things! It was absolutely incredible though. We called the non-emergency number to report it and it seemed the responder thought we were messing with them.. she sent out police to our house!

    Reply to Hillary
  • james 2 months ago

    i was milking cows on my farm in jasper ny and i was looking through the barn and saw the most brilliant bright light of my life. like a welder without a helmet. i live within two miles of south cameron.

    Reply to james
  • Rusty Brown 2 months ago

    I’m trying to understand how a fireball travelling south to north and ending up in the middle of New York state could be seen over Toronto, Ontario.
    Is that possible?

    Reply to Rusty
  • Tee 2 months ago

    I was driving on route6 in shrub Oak, New York I was about to make a right onto Taconic State Parkway southbound when I saw the fireball right in front of my windshield of my car for six seconds. I saw the fireball at 10:36pm on Tuesday 10/6/2016 & I posted on my FB about seeing the fireball at 10:38

    Reply to Tee
  • Sebastien 2 months ago

    I was driving south to north in Florham Park NJ and I saw this for about 4 seconds. Very short time, but Extremely bright. Reminded me of the brightness of burning magnesium when we experimented with this in high school. It seemed very close. The most impressive sighting in my life!

    Reply to Sebastien
  • peter 2 months ago

    Saw it cross 95 heading North around Ridley Park, a bright fireworks green effect. Approx 22:35

    Reply to peter
  • ken 2 months ago

    Saw it and had a great perspective to calculate the trajectory in degrees (heading away from me on a straight road). It was 55 degrees NE according to Google Earth. (N is 0 and E is 90 degrees).

    Reply to ken
  • Jeff Polara 2 months ago

    Saw this in Orwell Ohio NW Ashtabula County. My friend and I were driving North on RT45. At first the whole horizon started flashing especially over Lake Erie then to my right which is East I saw a red fireball with a trail of sparks heading straight down. Thought it was a plane or rocket….

    Reply to Jeff

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