Fireball over Illinois – April, 15th 2016

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The AMS has received over 575 reports so far about a fireball event over Illinois on Friday, April 15th 2016 at 10:15pm CDT (April, 16th, 3:15 UT). The fireball was seen primarily from Illinois but witnesses from Missouri, Michigan, Wisconsin, Oklahoma, Kentucky, Kansas, Minnesota, Alabama, Iowa, Tennessee and Ontario (Canada) also reported the event.

If you witnessed this event please fill an official fireball report.

Below is the map of the first witnesses location and the first estimation of the ground trajectory:″

Fireball over Illinois - Witnesses location and estimated ground trajectory
AMS Event #1382-2016 – Witnesses location and estimated ground trajectory

Below is a video of the event caught by a Youtube User (Stewie2552)

This event also appeared on live TV on Wave3 (©

Below is the 3D trajectory obtained from the first reports we received:

AMS Event #1382-2016 – First 3D Trajectory



  • Norman Wettstein 8 years ago

    We were on a friend’s patio south of Eureka, IL when we the fireball. It seemed also blue, not just the normal red/white glow. Lasted 2 seconds maybe. It was low on the southern horizon.

    Reply to Norman
  • Thomas Filipski 8 years ago

    I was with a small group (3 of us) sitting outside the Orland Park Public Library when I witnessed this event (Orland Park, IL – suburb SW of Chicago). Since I was standing at the time & facing to the SW, I was the only one who saw the fireball. By the time my friends had stood up & turned at my direction to notice it, it was already gone. So unfortunate, there might have been 2 more witnesses to this. Caught the initial glow out of my left peripheral vision, then followed it to just above the horizon while yelling & wildly gesturing to the others.
    I’d approximate the start (when I first noticed) of the trajectory at about at about 40 degrees above the horizon due South, tracking toward the West-SW and fading out about 20 degrees above the horizon at that point. The time elapsed was only 3 – 4 seconds, but it is possible that it had a longer path (coming in from the East) before I noticed it in my vision field. Also noticed a dark “lane” in the bright track for a moment, along with some glowing pieces “flaring off” as it traveled. I’ve been involved in amateur astronomy on and off throughout my life & never saw any meteor this spectacular. Made my hair stand on end sure enuf!

    Reply to Thomas
  • Randall J. Majzel 8 years ago

    I saw my car in the driveway at Benld, IL light up and as I looked up I saw the bright object to the North and then flame out.

    Reply to Randall
  • Joe 8 years ago

    I saw it over Rockford , it was actually visible for a good 5 to 10 seconds before disappearing

    Reply to Joe
  • Debbie Biegel 8 years ago

    I also saw it out my family room window in Lansing, IL.
    So BIG, and bright blue! Gorgeous! Seemed so close!

    Reply to Debbie
  • Sarah 8 years ago

    We were to Millwakee WI. When we saw the fireball, my husband actually pointed it out to me. First thing I ever seen like that.

    Reply to Sarah
  • Monica Rodela 8 years ago

    We were having a bonfire in Morris IL and I was snap chatting the fire pit to my friends and saw the blue light go across the sky. I amid my phone toward the fast moving blue light and caught a glimpse of it on my phone.

    Reply to Monica
  • john bartholomew 8 years ago

    I was fortunate to be looking at the same place in the sky that it appeared in,and was able to watch it from birth to death.Really great fireball and long lived.

    Reply to john
  • Russ 8 years ago

    Saw it in NW Indiana, off to the west of me and must have been moving away more than across the sky from me as it was visible for quite a while. I was not sure what it was, it appeared to move more slowly than what I’ve seen for things like meteorites. Wasn’t until I checked online a few days after that apparently this is what I saw. It wasn’t blue from where I saw it, I thought it was more yellow and surprisingly large in the sky when I was watching it. It faded away to the WSW of where I was.

    Reply to Russ
  • Jeannie Byers 8 years ago

    I just found this page while I was looking for info. I saw this meteor in west central Indiana, in Williamsport, on April 15. It was bright blue with a green tail and appeared to be bigger than Mars.

    Reply to Jeannie

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