Bright Mid West Fireball

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The American Meteor Society has received over 100 reports of a bright fireball seen from mid western states at approximately 8:30 PM local eastern time. Witnesses from Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, West Virginia, Kentucky, Michigan and Pennsylvania reported an extremely large and bright bluish green ball of light followed by a bright white tail. Sighting reports clustered the start and end point of the meteor near the Ohio and Kentucky border, heading from the east almost due west.

UDPATE FROM Bill Cooke (Meteoroid Environments Office, NASA)

  • Time of this fireball was January 29 at 01:17:39 UTC (Jan 28 – 8:17pm EST.)
  • Best trajectory estimation:
    Start location: 83.397 W, 37.809 N at 93 km altitude
    End location: 84.278 W, 37.162 N at 70 km altitude
    Speed: 36 km/s +/- 7 km/s
    Radiant: RA 172.1 +/- 2 deg, Dec +40.8 +/- 0.4 deg
AMS Event #312-2014 - "Mid West Fireball" - January 28th, 2014 - 2D Trajectory

AMS Event #312-2014 – "Mid West Fireball" – January 28th, 2014 – 2D Trajectory

Below is a 3D estimate of the meteor’s path through the atmosphere.

AMS Event #312-2014 - 3D Trajectory

AMS Event #312-2014 – “Mid West Fireball” – January 28th, 2014 – 3D Trajectory

This mid western fireball event was followed by three more fireballs in different parts of the country a few hours later in the night. The three followup fireballs all occurred within 15 minutes of each other near 5:00 UTC time. AMS Event #313, over Missouri happened just a few 100 miles away from the earlier event in Ohio. AMS Event #314 was reported in California and a forth confirmed fireball, AMS Event #316 was reported in Florida.

January 28th, 29th 2014 – Four Confirmed Fireball Events

January 28th, 29th 2014 – Four Confirmed Fireball Events

If you witnessed any of these fireball events, please fill out an official fireball report.



    • amsadmin 9 years ago

      Joyce and All,

      It was definitely a meteor as sun dogs are only produced when the sun is above or slightly below the horizon. This event occurred well after sunset.

      Robert Lunsford
      American Meteor Society

      Reply to amsadmin
  • Gregory Scott Chelf 9 years ago

    On Tuesday, January 28, 2014, at approximately 8:15 PM EST, my girlfriends’ parents and I were traveling northbound on KY Hwy 55 North, US Hwy 68, approximately 1 mile outside the city limits of Lebanon, KY when we observed a blue flash in the sky (resembled cloud lightening) and almost immediately what we first thought was a fallen star. We determined amongst our discussions that it wasn’t a falling star because it appeared to be falling straight downward, and not at an angle like the usual characteristic of a falling star. We decided that what we observed was a meteor of some type.

    Reply to Gregory
  • Amanda thompson 9 years ago

    Scared us to death the loud thunder sound was enough to wake up my kids that where in bed

    Reply to Amanda
  • Laura 9 years ago

    I saw it in Fremont, OH last night! It was HUGE and bright! Now I know I wasn’t crazy. Oh, and that the aliens aren’t invading. 😉

    Reply to Laura
  • Jenny George 9 years ago

    I seen it last night between 8:10-8:15pm est. I live in Shelbyville, KY and I was driving Shelbyville Road just past the Gene Snyder exists. Although I didn’t hear any noise. I did see the explosion of bright green,blue and yellowish gas. It looked as if it exploded 3 different times in less than 3 seconds. It was really awesome to witness! It looked really close! It was huge where I was.

    Reply to Jenny
  • Jeanetta 9 years ago

    My husband seen this too. He was laying in our living room floor watching t.v, when he just looked out of out front room window, when he seen this. He descibed it as a large bright blue ball with a redish orangish tail. He descibed it as traveling straight down, instead of the usual float across the sky event. He actually watched out the window for many minutes following. It was kinda scary. We live in Lewis Co Ky.

    Reply to Jeanetta
  • Robin Blankenship 9 years ago

    We were standing on the porch outside Morehead, KY between 8:10 and 8:15 yesterday evening, January 28, 2014, when the entire sky lit up brightly for a moment. At first, we thought it was unexpected lightening, but no sound of thunder followed. I was looking in a westerly direction, and my boyfriend in an easterly direction, and it seemed both of us saw nearly equal brightness. I went to fill out the official report, but since we didn’t actually see the fireball or any directional activity, it didn’t seem appropriate. I’m very interested to find out more about this event! So exciting!

    Reply to Robin
  • Jean 9 years ago

    I live in East Lynn WV Wayne County. My kids and I was watching TV and we felt the house shake and sounded like something blew up. We thought a gas line blew. It was wild.

    Reply to Jean
  • Dan 9 years ago

    I saw this shortly after 8 pm. It was not blue, but bright red and orange. Even the long and wide tail was red for me. I slammed on my brakes as I thought it was a helicopter on fire landing a mile away. It was so awesome and mind blowing that I started looking around thinking it was a weird reflection from my windshield. Then it disappeared under the trees. By far the largest thing I have ever seen in the sky (other than the sum and moon). I will never forget it!

    Reply to Dan
  • Sally 9 years ago

    My sunroom faces east, and while watching TV around 8:15 p.m. on January 28, I saw a bright white light dropping quickly in the distance and thought it was an airplane falling from the sky until I saw a huge splash of light following it. I didn’t hear any sound but that might have been because I had the TV turned up. The next morning I tried to find something on the internet and found only one submission. It wasn’t until I found this website that I decided to report what I saw.

    Reply to Sally
  • David Martin 9 years ago

    I was driving due south in Michigan near the Ohio border and the meteor remained visible in the tree cut for the north-south road creating the sensation that it was either traveling in a southerly direction or almost straight downward. No way to tell if it was 20 miles away or 220 miles away or further.

    Reply to David
  • Gabe 9 years ago

    I saw it too. It was the brightest one I’ve ever seen and GREEN. I’ve never seen green before.

    Reply to Gabe

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