The American Meteor Society has received over 300 reports about a bright fireball over San Antonio Texas Saturday night at approximately 8:45 local time or 2:45 Universal Time. Witnesses reported an extremely bright green light that rivaled the brightness of the sun. Bill Cooke (Meteoroid Environments Office Lead / NASA) were able to estimate the peak brightness at >-14 (stellar magnitude), which means this meteor was at least four feet wide, weighed about 4,000 pounds and burned five times brighter than a full moon.
You might ask how an object so small can create such a bright flash and be seen over such a wide area? The answer is the extreme velocity at which these objects strike the atmosphere. Even the slowest meteors strike the atmosphere at a velocity of 10 miles per SECOND. The videos of this object (see below) show a meteor moving at an impressive speed so the actual velocity could have been twice this speed. These objects also become visible while at least 60 miles altitude so they can be seen over a wide swath of land.
Below is a 3D trajectory computed from the witness reports.
Here is a video of the fireball caught during a concert in Austin TX
Here is a video of the fireball taken from a dashboard camera:
The amazing picture below has been taken by John Gutierrez – www.Anticipationvideos.com (Canon 70D – Sigma 17-50mm lens, ISO 3200, f/6.3, 1/160 second diffused flash). John said: “Just what are the chances that when pressing on the shutter button while photographing the Solero Latin Band a falling star appears, a meteor? I had just focused my camera looking through the viewfinder of the Salero Latin Band playing at Dia de los Muertos in Round Rock tonight, and just when I began to press the shutter button, this falling meteor appears. What makes this photo so interesting is that it made a perfect backdrop for the band while playing rather than an empty dark sky. At first I thought it was a firework, but they don’t fall at that speed. (…) Definitely a shot of a lifetime!”
Below is the heat map of the witnesses of this event.
For more information about fireball meteors see the AMS Fireball FAQ. If you witnessed this event please fill out an official fireball report.
Here is another video of the fireball taken from a dashboard camera:
Photographer John Gutierrez is displaying still of the fireball at he shot while photographing a concert: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10202730673019040&set=a.1215269232965.2027576.1565871584&type=1&theater
We saw what must have been this same event. We were driving south on FM 156 north of Haslet, north of the intersection with Intermodal Pkwy. The time was exactly 8:45. It was falling at a steep angle towards the west. In all honesty, I had no idea we were witnessing an even that far away. It looked like it was falling into the fields/woods west of Haslet. I’ve seen a couple of shooting stars before, way up in the sky. This was low down towards the ground.
I think you are quite right Steven..
It looks very definitively to have been travelling
almost due West…it bears it out in the direction the car was
travelling in the video…I cant quite get my head around
how it was as low to the horizon as it was in San Antonio
and still be that high in the sky in the Dallas area…but heights can be
very deceiving when its not every day that something enters the
atmosphere at an apparent steep angle.
We heard a loud sound from the meteor, it was the super sonic speed. We are located 2 hours and 30 minutes from San Antonio. The meteor landed some where in Piedras Negras Coahuila Mexico.
My wife and I saw the same object while standing next to the Tobin Center during San Antonio’s Luminaria Art Festival. As the meteorite streaked across the sky traveling in a westward direction, it got very bright and about five or six small fragments could be seen proceeding the meteorite just before it burnt out.
I’m sorry folks but I remember when fireballs were a singular and rare appearance. Today they are seen every week and maybe even more often. What has happened? Is the Earth in a sector of space where such dangerous objects are more prevalent? When will the big one hit? Why at this particularly dangerous time would the US Republicans shut down an astronomical program that works to find these dangerous objects and warn the nations about them? Are we, in fact, cutting our nose off to spite our face?
Archie and All,
Nothing has happened except that the capability of reporting fireballs has become instantaneous thanks to groups like the American Meteor Society. It use to be that you would only read about fireballs in the local newspaper when one occurred nearby. Now with internet connections and dashcams people are reporting these events like never before. The rate of fireballs visible in the sky is not changing, it’s that we hear about a much larger percentage of these events than we use to.
There were actually TWO big meteors last night. We saw them both while westbound on 290 just past Bastrop. The first was about 10 to 15 degrees north of the big one being reported and about 20 degrees higher in the sky. Didn’t catch the full line from that one just the last bit and a final explosion. The second one, the one in the picture, came about 15 minutes later.
I saw the same thing, two fireballs, in NW San Antonio. I thought someone set off fireworks until it turned bright green. It was high in the sky and looked like it was dropping straight down. The second one, about 15 to 20 minutes later, streaked across the sky at a much lower angle and seems to be the one everyone noticed.
I saw exactly the same thing as Joseph. I am also in Northwest San Antonio. Sitting in the drive-thru at Starbucks and I saw a very bright rainbow light that widened as it fell straight down from the sky and then it disappeared. Then maybe 5-10 minutes later as we were driving home another one streaked across the sky in front of our car and this time my husband and 4 year old in the back seat also saw it.
i was on I-10 headed from west houston/katy to willis texas (so 2 hours from san antonio) and saw it. everyone was slowing down wondering what it was and where it was landing because it went out just like the one in the video.
We saw this amazing sight from the plaza in front of the Cathedral, downtown San Antonio. Just before the light show began on the Cathedral facade, this enormous and hugely bright green ball with a pink/orange tale bolted across the western sky.
We were sure it was a firework from behind the Cathedral that hadn’t burst open…but then there was nothing else…but it was as large and bright and colorful as a firework. It was simply stunning! We couldn’t confirm what it was until we got back to hotel and turned on news, and all but 1 of us was sure it was fireworks.
My wife, son and I witnessed the fireball just north northwest of San Antonio in Boerne, Texas. I was on an entrance ramp for I-10 North looking toward to west to clear my entrance into the traffic right-of-way when I was “blinded” (not literally) be the spectacle. The fireball looked so close as if it were only a mile or two away. I know looks are deceiving though when you are talking about astronomical events like this one. The whole sky was illuminated almost like the day. It reminded me of a firework streaking nearby as if it had a horizontal launch instead of vertical. Then, amplify a typical firework’s luminosity many times and enjoy the glorious tail shining with of all the colors of fire imaginable and brilliantly clear. All this happened in an instant which required several seconds of brain processing to realize what we had just witnessed while trying not to get run over by a tractor trailer on a dark, rural interstate highway.
Wow where are they all coming from lately! I saw one of the ones last September 23 that was supposed to have fallen over Michigan. I saw it from Illinois. It was HUGE! I reported it here. There was just another fireball in the Chicago area a week or so ago. And now this one over Texas!
I saw this while heading south out of Hugo, OK. Bright as all hell!
I can confirm it would have been visible as far north as Hugo. Was plainly visible from rural northwest Lamar County Texas just southwest of Hugo. Brilliant white with an orange tail, appeared about 10 degrees above horizon, angled sharply downward and westward, visible for 4-6 seconds.
In mobile al Saturday november8 2014. About 6:00 pm I was driving and I saw a big white blob falling out of the western sky. Needles to say I was very suprised. Just wanted to report it to someone. Thank you
We saw this in Concan, TX, about 100 miles west of San Antonio. It did not strike the ground. It broke up into a bunch of pieces.
I saw a large, bright green fireball north of Kingman AZ last night — around 9 pm. It was arcing down and toward the east.
Two more videos of the meteor – one from Houston on I-10 and another during a concert in Austin (neither are mine):
I saw it myself while driving westbound in Missouri City, TX.
My husband and I saw the meteor at 8:45 as well. We are in the process of getting the direction and degree from the horizon from our vantage point. It was an awesome event and I feel lucky that we were able to witness such a wonderful thing.
p.s. Our sighting was from San Angelo, Texas… Anngie McWilliams.
In Mexico City my husband and I were inside our car and the car was in movement. Suddenly at 8:38 (Mexico city) pm more or less, we saw a resplendent green light, whose elapsed time was 2 seconds, however the sky was something cloudy.
It was strange. Maybe it was the metorite, that fell in Coahuila Mexico / TexaS USA, although it’s a long the distance from Mexico City to there.
I saw a green fireball around 8:45 during Modest Mouse show at Fun Fun Fun Fest in Austin Texas. 🙂
We saw green fireball Sat 11/8 also… from Frisco… not as bright as the video in San Antonio, but definitely same.
We were driving at that same time on Saturday evening near St. Hedwig, TX on loop 1604 South. It was a bright, green light that lit up the entire sky! My son saw the tail of the meteor and said it looked like it was on fire. My husband and I only saw the bright light across the sky. It was awesome!
My husband and I were headed from Carlsbad, MN to Van Horn, TX and around 8:40-8:45 I saw the sky light up like lightening had flashed, I turned to ask my husband ( who was driving) if he saw it and saw him looking out his driver side window and he jumped and freaked out because he saw what he thought was an explosion. It was gone in a flash. It happened so fast he thought it was a rocket being shot out of the ground. We never heard anything though. He said the fireball was massive. Imagine our surprise when we hot back to Bandera Sunday and saw the SA news story on it.
We actually saw a fireball same nite and time here on Central Coast of Ca. It looked like fire and my dog thought it was aimed at her. She was cooling off in our back yard. Nearly broke the slider door trying to get in before it got her. Many people here saw it. Didn’t look like meteor at all.
Is it possible that this could have been seen in Georgia? I was on top of Walnut Mountain in North Georgia and it was a very clear night and I saw a very large, bright light streak across the sky heading west. Amazingly bright and fast.
Kathleen and All,
Probably not as the distance is probably too great. There have been several reports of fireball activity over Georgia and adjacent states. One of those is probably the one you witnessed.
Nov. 8 around 5:20 p.m. I was travailing south on interstate 430 in Little Rock Arkansas and seen a fireball falling apart in the south south east skies.
I saw this fireball Saturday evening in Andrews, TX. I’m pretty sure it went NW of town, looked as if it was headed to land. It was a large white light.
At deer camp 11/8/14 approx 8:30 almost 9 pm. Kinney Co. Tx. Sitting around campfire we saw VERY bright white light. Like a Q-Beam. we all turned and witnessed this event must have lasted 3 to 4 seconds. As it came down the colors changed whites greens orange. Then what must have been 4 or 5 minutes after it disappeared we all heard a very loud explosion. The ground did shake. We thought it might be a quarry blasting but not that late a night. it was cool. Some reports said it may have landed in Maverick County. It was large. There has to be some big chunks of it somewhere in Texas. Hope someone finds pieces of it.
How grand our Universe is.
I witnessed this amazing sight while west bound on Beltway 8 in Houston. It appeared to drop straight down out of the sky just north of due west. Hence my skepticism that it landed in Mexico. I tend to agree that it fell somewhere in Texas and was so bright that the impact sight should be relatively easy to find. It did not appear like any meteor that I have ever witnessed, because of the trajectory, but no doubt in my mind it is the same as seen on the videos.
A friend of mine who lives near Fairmont WV witnessed this when I was on the phone with her.
I live in Del Rio and was looking north at the time I saw it. It was way north of us so it can’t be the one they saw (or landed, should I say) near Piedras Negras as they are an hr south of us.
Just wondering if any impact site has been found or where the latest area has been narrowed down to. Texas? Mexico?
I witnessed this event in Newport News Virginia. The object was visible as I was traveling west. It was about positioned about 10 o’clock and issued for a single object then split at about 15 degrees into two equal looking pieces….one going northwest and the other southwest. The time here was about 9:37 to 9:40 according to my watch.
I live in the state of Tlaxcala , between 10.40 and 11 pm on Nov. 8 , was at home and resting , when a loud knock on the garage, I thought someone was trying to steal something out of the garage. I turned on the light and did not notice anything. The next day , I discovered several segments of a rock type and a larger chunk scattered throughout the yard . I kept some fragments since it did not seem very common. I read the article I was struck by the phenomenon , the time and day. Obviously it is a coincidence but it is a curious fact.
My husband and I were driving westbound on Hwy.90-A at 8:30 p.m. East of Richmond, Texas, just east of Harlem Road (between the Grand Parkway 99 and Harlem Road) when we saw the fireball and had a jaw dropping moment. It was amazing.
It lit up the oil field near Big Lake like the sun. Trajectory was East to West.
my wife and I were at the Chisos Basin campground at Big Bend National Park looking due east waiting for the moon to come up over the horizon when we saw this bright enough to cast shadows, first red/orange/yellow, then turning green and blue as it broke up – didn’t hear any sound, and to my recollection it was moving straight down toward the ground at the horizon, although my wife remembers it somewhat parallel to the horizon
Seen this beatiiful scenery while at a football game at the famous Ratliff Staduim in Odessa, Texas. It was so big and bright and it actually looked as if it was going to land in town. I was shocked to hear and see that many around the the big state saw it too!
This past Wednesday (July 22,2015),while driving home from work,When a “Bright Green Meteor” passed right in front of my vehicle.It burned bright for bout 3 second,and had a trailing tail… I was traveling Southbound on IH 35,connecting onto Loop 410 West interchange when the meteor.Time was 9:15 p.m. Wedesnday night.
Did anyone else happen to witness this meteorite?
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What happened to the meteor? When i saw it. It passed over my head. I was in Piedras Negras in Mexico and we even felt and heard the boom but we never knew what happened. What was found? I remember i got a footage and it was in november 8 at night. I was recording my friend a skateboarding. Then the meteor passed by.
there has been another green fireball over Texas again February 3, 2017