Fireball Event 331 – TX, OK, KS, CO, AR, NM

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The AMS has received over 30 witness reports for a large fireball seen March 23, 2011 at 21:17 CDT. Witness reports have come in from Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Colorado, Arkansas and New Mexico.

From Brenda in Piedmont OK:

It was huge! The train looked like a dozen meteors following a crashing/ explodig rocket. (also, I do not know if I have the time right, because it may have been about 9:15 or 9: 18. Ive grown up in the country in Oklahoma. My kids and I have stayed up to watch meteor showers, we have even driven out in the middle of the night to watch further in the country where there are no lights at all, and we have never seen anything like this. This was the biggest thing I have ever seen. It looked like a comet from the movies, headed toward Oklahoma City. It frightened all of us, and it was very beautiful, amazing amount of colors. Wish we could have filmed it.

From Laura in Abilene, TX:

It was glowing whitish blue with red tipped flares coming off of the ball. I heard a boom about a minute later – but am not sure that’s what it was.

From Jon in  Palestine, AR

It looked like a big ball of fire and it was really close to the ground! Kinda freaked me out because it was so close!!

Here’s a video and still picture of the meteor captured by Sandia Sentinel All Sky Meteor/Fireball Camera operated by James Beauchamp of Oklahoma City.

All Sky Camera Image of 2011-03-24 Meteor - James Beauchamp

And here is that image roughly plotted on a sky chart.

James Beauchamp Meteor - Star Map

James Beauchamp Meteor - Star Map

The video shows the fireball path started north west of Oklahoma City and it was headed on a south eastern trajectory, terminating approximately 267º west of Oklahoma City.

Below is a map of the plots from all observers with an estimated ground track represented as a red arrow.

AMS Event 329 - March 23, 2011

Click the image above for an interactive map for this event.

There is current speculation about this meteor event possibly producing meteorites. With multiple reports of fragmentation and delayed booms there is certainly a chance, but this can not be confirmed one way or another at this moment.

We will update this post as more information comes available. If you witnessed this event yourself, please leave a comment below and also submit a fireball report.


  • Richard and Gene 12 years ago

    (From Osborne, KS) We saw this meteor directly to the south. Started as bright white then turned green in color before disappearing. One of the most spectacular meteors I have ever seen.

    Reply to Richard
  • Chris 12 years ago

    Around 9:15 pm my wife came to tell me she had just seen the meteor previously mentioned. About 15 minutes later, we were out for a smoke and together we witnessed a second meteor fall in a perpendicular motion from the first, in the same quadrant of the northen sky. From her account it was only slightly smaller than the first and was just as spectacular in tail and in color. Just thought I’d pass it along. Feel free to contact if you have any questions requiring better detail.

    Reply to Chris
  • Ashley 12 years ago

    My friends and I were outside in Abilene, TX when we saw this bright red and white streak in the sky pretty low to the ground to the north of us heading from the west to the east. We live near dyess air force base. There were five of us outside and we thought it was pretty awesome. Not sure of the exact time, but it was pretty well after dark but before ten.

    Reply to Ashley
    • Maria 12 years ago

      I am not sure if I saw the same event. I was heading north on Treadaway about .25 miles from S.11th. The meteor I saw was just to my left (west) but it was heading north/northeast. Looked very low and the tail was a greenish glow. I watched for a good 5 seconds or so. Very cool!

      Reply to Maria
  • Tom 12 years ago

    As my wife and I and our 2 grandsons were driving NB on I35 in Round Rock, TX we watched the meteor directly in front of us. It was low enough to be in our sight through the windshield, from the back seat also. It passed from the west, to our left, to the east, falling below the horizon about directly over the freeway. It was slightly greenish in color and the size was about twice the size of Venus when seen at its closest. We could see it for just over 5 seconds. We never did see more than one object before it disappeared.

    Reply to Tom
  • kathy smith 12 years ago

    My Husband and I are Rock Haulers and so head to work daily between 2 and 3 am. We were headed west on I 240 form choctaw rd. we were aprox at Sooner rd when I holared to my husband to hurry look look! He sat up and saw the fireball just as it went out. I have wittnessed larger than normal shooting stars quite frequently but what I saw was unlike anything I had seen and what was even more amazing was how close it
    appeared as it passed from my left across I 240 and seemed to have to have landed somewhere on top of TAFB. It looked to me to be around 4 telephone poles high and looked almost like it just cleared the tree tops on the north side of the hwy. It was moving at such a speed and the tail of it was so colorful with greens and blues and creamy white with a strip of red flame thru it. It seemed to just clear the trees and in no time at all it just was gone like someone just turned it off. I could not believe what I had seen, the size of this fireball and all its amazingness. I couldnt help but worry a little as what may be to follow. Was there more to come?
    We arrived at work and got in our trucks and heades south on I 35 towards Davis Oklahoma. We were south bound I was in front, my husband in his truck behind me we were at aprox the 79 mile marker when I saw out of the corner of my eye straight in front of us the last couple of seconds of another fireball that could have been twins to the first. I again holared for my husband only this time by cb radio, did you see that and he replied oh yeah! I did I watched it come down from way up in the sky. Myself I missed the long show he saw and this time only caught the last second or two but still was able to enjoy this rare sight.
    The second fireball was definetly miles away straight south of where we were, no way to judge the distance but we were still able to see the same colors following behind it as the first one. And to see two within an hrs time was nothing either one of us expected. I wonder as i read thru some of the other wittnessed sightings each one only mentioning the one towards the south. Did anyone else happen to see the one that was heading north and is probably a resident of TAFB at this time. Im so glad I decided to do a search on this and to know that we werent just halucinating and that other people saw this to. Now my last question would be. Does anyone have any idea where these flaming rocks may have landed and may have caused a deep hole to be cut into the earth? Or does anyone know if this is just the begining of what may be to come?

    Reply to kathy
  • Susie floyd 12 years ago

    I saw it about 9:15 pm on wednesday 3/23/2011. In burleson texas. I was off hwy 731 heading north. I saw this huge green meteor (it had a tail). It shot across the sky and was falling downward. And then it was gone. It was really cool!

    Reply to Susie
  • Nanci Holtsford 12 years ago

    Finally, confirmation…I did witness this meteor. I live in Lipan, TX and was driving due North about 9:15 pm when I saw it. It was large and traveled from the West toward Northeast…glowing white followed by a burst of teal, blue, and green before disappearing. I also saw another one just as big about 8:40 or so…not sure of the first ones exact time.

    Reply to Nanci
  • David Pettyjohn 12 years ago

    My wife and I saw both fireballs. We live in Aledo and were sitting on the back porch looking north when I spotted the first one and pointed it to her. About 10-15 minutes later, we both saw the second one. Bright, brilliant and exciting. As the fireballs burned out, they left large trails. We at first thought shooting star, but then realized they were much to big and too close. We thought meteorite but could not be for sure. Thanks for all the posts. Sometimes you see things in the sky and think you might be crazy. Spectacular sighting and just happened to be in the right place this time.

    Reply to David
  • Dena Travis Berquist 12 years ago

    I was on State Highway 10, traveling west between Overland Park, Ks and Lawrence, Ks. My friend and I saw this meteor. I remember it looking bluish green. It seemed to be falling from the north to the south, in the lower left quadrant of the sky.

    Reply to Dena
  • Rochelle 12 years ago

    It was pretty awesome seeing that after work. It was a huge green ball of fire falling through the atmosphere to the ground. I’ve never seen anything like it. I live in rural Northern Colorado, and seeing it fall through the clouds and turn them teal, it was eerie and exciting.

    Reply to Rochelle
  • Alana Elliott 12 years ago

    You have done a cool job as mobile and social media marketing ace Christian Dillstrom is recommending your blog page.

    Reply to Alana
  • Natanael Diaz 12 years ago

    My family and I saw it too. We live in Lawton, Oklahoma (South Oklahoma). The big fireball was moving so slow towards south and the colors were blue and green. I have seen meteors before, but like this one, none.

    Reply to Natanael

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