Large fireball spotted in Midwest

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The AMS has received nearly 700 reports of a large fireball this morning September 26th around 7:05 am local time. Witnesses from Ohio, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Missouri and Wisconsin reported a bright light moving across the morning sky.

Below is a heat map of the witness locations.

Heat Map For Midwest Fireball - September 26th, 2013

Heat Map For Midwest Fireball – September 26th, 2013

An estimated trajectory computed from the witness reports shows the meteor was traveling from the west to east and ended somewhere over eastern Indiana.

Estimated Trajectory For Mid Western Fireball - September 26th, 2013

Estimated Trajectory For Mid Western Fireball – September 26th, 2013


This September has been a busy month for fireballs in the USA, the latest marking the 13th significant event so far this month, more than any other month in the history of the online AMS Fireball Report. (A significant event is defined as a fireball event reported by 25 or more witnesses).

If you saw this fireball please fill out an official fireball report.



  • Paul Burgess 10 years ago

    Sighted from Homewood, IL at 0604 local. Traveled southwest to northeast, duration 5-7 seconds, estimate apparent magnitude at > – 1, no visible smoke trail or associated sound evident. Appeared to fade out at approximately 40 Degrees elevation above the eastern horizon from my position.

    Reply to Paul
    • StarGazer2184 10 years ago

      I saw it too! I was pulling in to work in Harvey, IL around 6AM. It was pretty amazing!

      Reply to StarGazer2184
    • Kenny 10 years ago

      From here in Dayton, OH there clearly was a smoke trail. It lasted about 5 seconds or so after the object dissapeared!

      Reply to Kenny
      • kenya 10 years ago

        I saw this driving on the interstate and almost crashed trying to get my phone to snap a photo or video … it was still day light out and it was so big and bright that it was clearly visible even in daylight. bright green and moving so fast I didnt know what to think im used to seeing them at night but def not green

        Reply to kenya
        • neesa68 10 years ago

          Did you or anyone happen to get a video or picture?

          Reply to neesa68
  • Staci 10 years ago

    I saw it, too! It was quite beautiful! It literally looked like it was going to fall in the field down the road from my house. It was super bright. It broke up in to three spectacular different colored pieces of flame. I don’t know if that was from the composition of the pieces, the angles they were falling at or the fact that the sun was just barely coming up, but it was the most beautiful meteor I’ve ever witnessed.

    Reply to Staci
    • Sonny 10 years ago

      it really was beautiful.. I never seen anything that seemed so close. I am from Louisville and it seemed like it was only a mile from me

      Reply to Sonny
  • heath 10 years ago

    DAYUMMMM. i wish i was up north then. Depending on the size and how fast you get to it, meteors are worth BANK BIG BUCKS to collectors.

    Reply to heath
    • Linda 10 years ago

      Same here. I live in SW Michigan and thought the same thing.

      Reply to Linda
  • Glen Germain 10 years ago

    A very large meteor was spotted today by me and my granddaughter while waiting for the bus at approx 7:06 AM in Lawrenceburg, IN. Very low in the sky and long tail breaking up. Never seen one that low in the sky and that large. Thought I was going to hear it hit the ground. Many reports of seeing this locally and with the American Meteor Society

    Reply to Glen
  • Rob Bullock 10 years ago

    I saw this as I was getting out of my car on the campus of IUPUI (735 West New York St.) in Indianapolis, IN at 7:05 a.m.
    At first I thought it looked like a lone firework tail. It was traveling from west to east.

    Reply to Rob
  • Frederick 10 years ago

    I seen the fire ball looking object in Sonora KY this morning at about 7am

    Reply to Frederick
  • Eric Clarke 10 years ago

    I was in Burns Harbor IN this morning i alson seen moving through the sky

    Reply to Eric
  • Matt S 10 years ago

    This seems to be one of the most reported meteors in at least recent posts for this site… which either means it was at a great time to see it (going to work, going to school, waiting at the bus stop with kids/grandkids) or it was one of the larger fireballs as of late. Or it could be a combination of both. I myself did not see a fragmentation at the end, but definitely would be curious if the pea-sized or larger chunk had anything reach the ground.

    Reply to Matt
  • Andrea 10 years ago

    We saw it in Walton, KY also. It was very neat!

    Reply to Andrea
  • John Boyle 10 years ago

    I was driving south on Rt 59 near 75th St in Naperville, IL around 6AM CDT. I did notice what I would describe as a long lasting meteor about 25 degrees above the southeast horizon when I first noticed it. The meteor was heading to the east and getting lower in the sky as it moved. I would say I saw it for about 10 seconds. Very noticeable meteor….

    Reply to John
  • Lisa V 10 years ago

    I live in Batavia, IL – on my way to work driving down Rt. 25 at about 6 am CDT. Originally thought it was some kind of flare-the bright green and then reddish orange colors were glowing so brightly in the sky. This by far the coolest thing I have ever seen!

    Reply to Lisa
  • Mike 10 years ago

    I saw it about 6:04 am CDT. Driving eastbound on MO Hwy 100 about 1 mile from MO Hwy 109. It was my first sighting and was pretty amazing to watch.

    Reply to Mike
  • Laura 10 years ago

    I saw it in Charlotte, Michigan (just south of Lansing). It was traveling above the southern horizon, heading east.

    Reply to Laura
  • Cindy Harrell 10 years ago

    I saw residual, pieces, I guess at 7:05 a.m. as I was driving to work in Mattawan, MI, west of Kalamazoo. Bright light and some smaller bright pieces behind it. It fell, must have burned up and it was gone.

    Reply to Cindy
  • Stefanie 10 years ago

    I witnessed a large green fireball soar down into a field around 7:05 am. I thought it was a firework at first! I am assuming it was a particle of the large meteor people are saying they saw over northern Indiana??

    Reply to Stefanie
  • chris thingvold 10 years ago

    I wasn’t aware anyone reported these. Earlier this summer I saw two of them, one following the other in the sse sky very low. Large and beautiful. Never mentioned it as I am 76 years old and assumed everyone would think I was crazy. They appeared like 2 beach balls following the horizon. Seen from my 3rd floor apt southern edge of Menomonee Falls, WI looking toward setting sun.

    Reply to chris
  • Kae Ruscher 10 years ago

    I saw this “fireball” around 7:00 am across the sky above Taylor Mill Road. Looked like a bright star (but much larger) flying horizontal pretty quickly. There were “sparks” falling off of it as it flew by. Lasted around 10 seconds.

    Reply to Kae
  • Lindsay Kottmann 10 years ago

    I saw it from St. Charles, Missouri this morning shortly after 6:00am.

    Reply to Lindsay
  • Matt 10 years ago

    I saw it from Berwyn, Illinois. I thought it was fireworks at first. It was green with gold or white sparks in its tail. It looked like it was going to crash into Lake Michigan. It was the most amazing meteor I’ve ever seen.

    Reply to Matt
  • Cindy Henning 10 years ago

    I saw it out of the corner of my eye to the north as it was descending toward the east. A second later it seemed to break up into several pieces at the end.

    Reply to Cindy
  • KC7ZXY 10 years ago

    Grand Rapids, MI (7:05 am)… I often listen to local ham radio ops chatting during the the morning drive. This morning one ham was talking about things unrelated to meteors and suddenly exclaimed that he had just seen a very bright “meteor or something!” He also stated that the object was still visible and was due south of his location. He asked if others could see it. Unfortunately I could not see it because I was under a low fog bank at the moment (but I tried). I’m happy to see that this in the news. Very cool! You should have heard the excitement in his voice!

    Reply to KC7ZXY
  • Terri 10 years ago

    I was stopped at a street in South Lebanon, OH, north of Cincinnati, when I saw the fireball in the western sky. I saw a piece break off, and then the fireball went out. I watched it for about 5 or 10 seconds.

    Reply to Terri
  • Laura W. 10 years ago

    My son and I saw in Portage, MI a little after 7am. It was amazing!

    Reply to Laura
  • Paul Rosen 10 years ago

    Driving Northbound on I-65, North of Bowling Green KY, & South of Elizabethtown KY, 6 AM approx. CST, the fireball crossed my entire field of vision from the South-West to the North-East as seen through my windshield. Lasting about 5 seconds, the tail trail was visible the entire time of the sighting (long tail or trail) so that the tail was visible across my whole windshield. The head was dropping luminous pieces (chunks) that fell forward and down. Best description would be that of a rocket ship in a Buck Rogers or Flash Gordon film from the 1940s, spitting sparks from the engine, but leaving a tail many miles long. Nature does a more realistic job. It was very cool; I’ll never forget this!

    Reply to Paul
  • Lee Anne Rossio 10 years ago

    I was on my way to work this morning and saw it as I was traveling down 43 about to get onto I-65 Southbound. It was magnificent! I wish I had a camera! Looked like it broke apart into 3 pieces. The colors were amazing.

    Reply to Lee
  • phyllis chambers 10 years ago

    Isaw it when I was leaving my job this morning to drive a school bus. It looked like a fast streak on fire. I thought maybe it was an airplane going down but it was really fast. whoosh and it was gone. And my co-workers thought I was crazy !!

    Reply to phyllis
  • Jake 10 years ago

    I saw the fireball at around 7 this morning . . . . I was driving north on Hwy 55 between Bloomfield and Taylorsville, KY, almost at the turnoff to the Taylorsville Lake Dam. It moved from left to right from my vantage point. It seemed slow, almost like a man-made object, and you could see the debris burning off it. It disappeared off to the east somewhere.

    Reply to Jake
  • Staci Thomas 10 years ago

    I saw it in Brandenburg KY. It was really bright and low in the sky. It was traveling west to east and I witnessed it for about 5 seconds This is the first time I’ve seen one and it was amazing.

    Reply to Staci
  • Larry Peters 10 years ago

    I was 5 miles south of Goshen Indiana at about 7:05 am and heading south and saw it for about 5-6 seconds traveling from the west heading east until it burned out. Very bright and fast. First time I have ever seen one of that magnitude.

    Reply to Larry
  • Jim 10 years ago

    I saw it just after leaving work in East Chicago, Indiana Approx 6:05 central time. It was spectacular

    Reply to Jim
  • K osiadacz 10 years ago

    Saw it in Vernon Hills, IL this morning shortly after 6am. I wasn’t sure what I saw and was I am happy to see these postings to confirm it was a meteor. I’ve never seen one before today. Very cool!

    Reply to K
  • DARCY COPENHAVER 10 years ago


    Reply to DARCY
  • Dan Sampson 10 years ago

    I was in northern Michigan, driving southbound on I-75 near exit 301 (Wolverine, Michigan) when I saw a very large meteor streak due south of me, at a sharp angle (about 85 degrees) from west to east. It was in my field of vision for maybe 3-4 seconds and had two very bright flares that looked as if maybe it broke apart as it raced to Earth. It happened at 7:03 eastern time. I could have sworn it hit the ground about 20 miles away, but am now astonished to see it was so far away! I could not see a vapor trail.

    Reply to Dan
  • Ryan 10 years ago

    Saw the fireball near the Chicago lakefront after 6AM. Moved from west to east and looked green in color as it broke up…looked great against the rising sun!

    Reply to Ryan
  • amparo 10 years ago

    yup saw them on way home. six of them over southside of chicago high way over the ht of normal commercial airplane levels but idk if they were meteors they were flashing lights like an airplane within them clear as day about 7-7:30pm at sunset or so. fireballs that after a while just disappeared into the dark side of the sunset.

    Reply to amparo
  • John 10 years ago

    I was in whiting, In. this morning on indy blvd. next to lever bros headed south and I seen what looked like a skyrocket going from west to east approx. 2-3 seconds then it was gone seemed low in the skies. Kinda weird never saw one before. 9/26/13

    Reply to John
  • M. Douglas 10 years ago

    This was the most terrific meteor I have ever witnessed. I was traveling north on I65 near the 110 mile marker at 7:02 AM, EST. A brilliant green streak caught my eye as it was turning to a dark, rich green. Then three or four flashes about 10 times the diameter of the final “star sized” flash. On the last flash the distinct green trail disappeared and the meteor turned a brilliant white like a morning star. The trail lasted about 5 to 15 seconds going from south west to northeast and was about 30 degrees above the horizon. The path was fairly level and only dropped about 2 to 5 degrees. Beautiful!

    Reply to M.
  • Bettie Johnson 10 years ago

    I saw this while driving to work this morning a little after 7:00 a.m. I was around 50 miles east of Cincinnati, heading west on SR 32. Very bright in the sky.

    Reply to Bettie
  • Sean 10 years ago

    I saw this awesome fireball at about 6:05 central time in Chicago il.
    Great blue color, looked like a tumbling rock on fire. At first I thought it was a firework or a flare, but there was no sound at all. It was traveling from west to east and was by far the closest type of meteor / shooting star that I have witnessed. Like the previous notes, I too felt like it was going to land a block or two away from where I was standing. What is more interesting is that visibility was very clear even in downtown chicago. Absolutely spectacular. Very excited to have seen it. The color was almost a turquoise blue / silver with a sparkling / fragmenting tail.

    Reply to Sean
  • Patrick Zeller 10 years ago

    On the way to work this morning, I saw a bright meteor, lasting several seconds, with what appeared to be trailing pieces coming from it, at approx. 6:05 AM CDST, in the south sky, going from west to east. I was about 1 mile north of Westville, IN. Very impressive!

    Reply to Patrick
  • carl angel 10 years ago

    paul b, def rght about the angle to horizon… here it was east… on top of constellation leo… andromeda star system? didnt look or move like stars… planes flying into it… several lights moving upward… still happening tonight in the same spot… planes also

    Reply to carl
  • Heather 10 years ago

    I saw this in Milwaukee, WI at about 6AM. I thought it was a plane crashing because I live close to the airport and it was going straight to the ground (it seemed) and have never seen a fireball. Im glad I got to witness it, now that I know it wasnt a plane crashing.

    Reply to Heather
  • Deb Barnett 10 years ago

    I did not see it, South of Falmouth, KY, but around 6:55-7:00 I heard something loud and sounded like a train, but no whistle….I listened for about 1 min and the sound was gone…never put much thought into it, do they make a sound when going by?

    Reply to Deb
  • Nancy 10 years ago

    I saw it at 7:05 (estimate) in the northern sky, moving west to east from Pekin, IN. It was spectacular and had my attention for several seconds. It was bright white with a long tail, eventually turned more yellow and then disappeared. It lasted approximately 3 seconds which was phenomenal! Must thank my dog Chloe for needing to be walked at that very moment!

    Reply to Nancy
  • Lane Anderson 10 years ago

    I was running when it flashed in front of me. The fact it broke into a splay was really cool. Here in Warsaw IN I saw both yellow and green at the end.

    Reply to Lane
  • Paul Lundy 10 years ago

    I saw the metorite around 7:00 a.m. in Lansing, MI! On my way home traveling south and saw a bright green light with a glowing orange trail. It lasted for about 3-5 seconds then was gone. So glad I was blessed with that magnificent sight!!

    Reply to Paul
  • Sherri 10 years ago

    I saw the meteorite around 6:05 a.m. as I was traveling south on Rte 115 west of Loda, IL. Lasted 5-10 seconds. Seemed like it was on 2-3 miles away.

    Reply to Sherri
  • RachaelJane 10 years ago

    Was in Wilmore, KY doing my horse barn chores around 7:07 and here comes this beautiful white/bluish fire streaming down from the ky with a train of smoke in its wake. It lasted for about 5-7 seconds. First time seeing such creation.

    Reply to RachaelJane
  • Robert Crowe 10 years ago

    Saw it also in Owensboro.Ky Bright green moving NW toNE @6:04 a.m.

    Reply to Robert
  • Jill 10 years ago

    Saw a meteor tonight, 9/27/13 11:30 p.m. in Fenton, MI. Looked like it was moving from East to Southwest, bright green and huge.

    Reply to Jill
    • Jane 10 years ago

      I saw the same meteor over Fenton as I was driving south through town. At first I thought it might have been some type of fireworks with a streaming bright green tail, but glad to know someone else saw it and I can now count myself among the lucky to see such a beautiful site.

      Reply to Jane
  • Jim Robbins 10 years ago

    I saw the fireball at 7:05am Est. in Bedford, Indiana, on the way to work. It looked to be rather low in the sky. I could see it clearly as it passed just over the top of my car. It was heading from West to East. It looked to be roughly 8-10 feet in diameter and maybe 20-30 feet in the trail of fire behind. I did not see where it landed, as I was driving on the highway. I really wasn’t convinced at first that it was a meteor because of such a low altitude, but I knew that it had to be one.

    Reply to Jim
  • Bruce Fowler 10 years ago

    My carpool partner and I were driving south on US-131 in Michigan early in the morning of September 26, north of Plainwell. The streak of light went from west to east, appearing to be heading on a mostly downward trajectory. At first I thought it was an airplane, but realized quickly it was not. The meteor was bright and dramatic.

    Reply to Bruce
  • AD 10 years ago

    I saw a large orange/red fireball around 8 PM in (Hamilton County) Cincinnati, OH moving from southwest to northeast in a mostly horizontal trajectory, very low in the sky. I also thought it was a strange plane for a moment. Very big, very bright, very awesome!

    Reply to AD
    • AD 10 years ago

      I should add that I saw it on the evening of September 27.

      Reply to AD
  • Miranda 10 years ago

    I saw this light of fire when i was on mu smoke break at work. The whole sky lit up. People were yelling pointed it out. At 11:30. Sept. 27, 2013

    Reply to Miranda
  • Rick Callahan 10 years ago

    An amazing daylight sight! (which I recount 2 days later). Shortly after 7 a.m. EDT on Sept. 26, I exited my home on Indianapolis’ southeast side. The sky was light blue, as sunrise was near. I had just stepped onto my back patio when nearly directly overhead I saw what I initally thought might be a firework fired by a neighor. But it was a bright fireball that lasted perhaps four seconds, moving nearly directly to the east. As it passed, it broke into about four or five pieces, and some of them flared, producing a whitish-blue color with a tiny amount of reddish-orange, like sparks trailing each piece. The large fragments faded and then I watched as one small remaining fragment moved low to the east and vanished into the treeline. I wondered if that piece may have reached the ground. I’ve seen many fireballs before, but this was the first one in a daylight sky. I can only imagine how bright it would have been if it had arrived a half-hour earlier when the sky was still dark! I feel lucky to have stepped outside at just the right time.

    Reply to Rick
  • Clay 10 years ago

    Saw the bright flash of light in Ohio at about 11:00pm last night

    Reply to Clay
  • Carolyn Angst 10 years ago

    My Son and I were driving home in Collinsville Ohio about 11:30p.m. Friday evening when we saw a huge fireball light up the sky. I thought we were seeing some type of fireworks but the brightness made it look like daylight for a few seconds and a long tail could be seen as it crossed the sky. Absolutely Beautiful!!!!!!

    Reply to Carolyn
  • Scott Murphy 10 years ago

    Driving past the Fort Knox gold vault. It was in three pieces by then. At first I thought an aircraft might be on fire. It went behind the treeline and I kept driving.

    Reply to Scott
  • Beverly Hall 10 years ago

    Saturday, September 28, 2013 Traveling south on Hwy 111 toward Sparta, TN approx 6:45pm I saw the fireball. At first, I thought it was a very bright falling star but this bright ball had a flaming tail trailing behind it. I thought maybe it was a plane on fire but it just vanished after about 5 or 6 secs. Amazing site to see this fireball.

    Reply to Beverly
  • Maureen 10 years ago

    I saw the fireball on Sept 26 also – driving west to go to school on I64 just before Midway, KY. It was beautiful! As bright as a 4th of July sparkler.

    Reply to Maureen
  • Lisa 10 years ago

    I was driving home from work in Grand Blanc Michigan around 11:30pm and saw this green stream of light falling from the sky, it was stunning! I thought I was seeing things at first and waited to see if there was more. but there wasn’t. I feel lucky to have witnessed it!

    Reply to Lisa
  • Wormy 10 years ago

    I saw it around 6:45 a.m. (Central time) while I was driving northbound on Highway 111 in Sequatchie County, Tennessee. It was moving across the sky from the west to east. I saw it roughly for 5 seconds, it was a bright green color and then broke up over the Northeastern horizon. I thought it was very cool and was glad my wife and I got to see it!

    Reply to Wormy
  • Sarah 10 years ago

    My daughter came home from school and still today asked about it so we looked it up. On her way to high school her and her friend saw it. We live in Muskegon Mi. They thought it was a plane on fire.

    Reply to Sarah
    • Sarah 10 years ago

      They were headed to school she gets picked up at 7am so around 7:05 would have been right on!

      Reply to Sarah
  • Dave Baker 10 years ago

    Did anyone see the Orange lights in the sky moving East then North over Chicago before dissappearing in the Northern sky about 8:30pm Sept. 30th ?

    Reply to Dave
    • nancy schingeck 10 years ago

      On september 30,2013, at about 7:45PM, a neighbor, my daughter and I saw 3 fireballs pass directly overhead, moving very fast and low. Then about 5 seconds later another passed directly ovehead, then in about another 5 seconds another passed directly overhead. They all were traveling from south to north, were very bright shimmering fire balls and as it was dark they shone very brightly, flew very low and disappeared in the north. As there is a row of big trees to the north, I don’t know if they disappeared totally or just disappeared out of sight behind the trees. What did we see and who do we tell about this.

      Reply to nancy
      • amsadmin 10 years ago

        Nancy and All,

        You have responded to the right place as we keep track of such objects. I’m not certain though what you witnessed were natural fireballs. Fireballs are nearly always one object unless they fragment toward the end of their flight path. These fragments are nearly always close together and not separated by much space. They seem to moving moving too fast to be sky lanterns. I cannot check your observation verses others that we have as you did not include your location. Once I have that we can see if there are any other witnesses.

        Robert Lunsford
        American Meteor Society

        Reply to amsadmin
  • Robin 10 years ago

    I saw this fireball around 6:50am as I was going to work in Bardstown, KY.

    Reply to Robin
  • james r lee 10 years ago

    saw light that lit up entire contryside in salem sc 29676 about three in the morning. did not know and do not know what the cause was except a larget fireball lit up our world for a few seconds………really cool

    Reply to james
  • snow 10 years ago

    I saw falling objects on 10.6.13 @9am while driving south on 15fwy toward san diego CA. Looks like meteor shower but in bigger scale than usually and slower movement. There were 3 of them with big tails on south east sky. Called my hubby to go out the house and watch them while they last. About 7 min later they dissappear… was there any indications that you know of fire balls over southern CA? Thanks

    Reply to snow
    • amsadmin 10 years ago

      Fireballs do not last for 7 minutes as they are traveling much too fast to last for more than a few seconds. Theses objects must have been distant aircraft.

      Robert Lunsford
      American Meteor Society

      Reply to amsadmin

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